‘So what are the pros and cons of lift chairs?’ My work buddy Bob interrogated me about my grandfather’s birthday gift while we headed home.
‘Well,’ I replied, ‘I got him a power lift chair — an absolute bargain comfort-wise.’
Seeing that his grandmother’s birthday was coming soon, Bob thought the idea was simply stunning.
So, we dropped by our local dealer the following week (this fellow has EVERYTHING) to ask about the pros and cons of these chairs — Bob was hooked…
- Power lift chairs look like typical recliners but have a motorized mechanism.
- Power lift chairs help people with mobility sit and rise quickly.
- While lift chairs have advantages, they also have certain drawbacks.
What Is a Lift Chair?
According to Market Watch, the global market size for lift chairs averaged $1597.77 million in 2021 and will reach $1770.92 million by 2027.
This growth — a massive pro in addressing the pros and cons of lift chairs — means that people’s demand for chairs that help with their mobility-related problems increases. (1)
But what exactly is a lift chair? A lift chair looks like a standard recliner but has a motorized feature to help users sit and rise.
The chair has a pre-programmed remote control, unlike recliner chairs that you must operate manually.
Check out this YouTube video from Furniture Fair on what you need to know about power lift chairs.
When Should You Get a Lift Chair
Lift chairs are specially designed to help people with limited mobility, and those at an advanced age achieve accessibility.
So situations that warrant investing in a lift chair are as follows:
1. When a Patient’s Safety is at Risk
According to the CDC, falls among elderly persons average 36 million annually. Moreover, these falls lead to fatal consequences like hip fractures and death. (2)
People with disabilities are at risk — especially those that cannot support themselves in sitting straight.
Besides, a lift chair is necessary to help the individual rise and sit without risk of falls or injury.
2. In Severe Medical Cases
Some medical conditions like arthritis cause body weakness, making someone dependent on caregivers. This condition limits freedom and affects the quality of life.
You may also just have surgery and cannot control your muscle function. A lift chair allows you to maintain a flat position, adjustable to your desired comfort level.
3. Assistance to Caregivers
Some caregivers with heavier patients face a bit of hardship.
While custom wheelchairs help move bariatric patients safely, the seated position can make them uncomfortable.
Lift chairs chip in to help these individuals get a fulfilling life despite their body shape and weight.
These chairs have one significant advantage — transition ease: a caregiver can quickly transfer a patient from the bariatric wheelchair to the comfy chair.
Pros and Cons of Lift Chairs
1. Promotes independence
These sturdy chairs are also widely used in assisted living homes to help senior citizens live independently.
So, if you are an older adult, lift chairs may greatly benefit you with added autonomy and independence.
Surprisingly, these chairs have a remote access panel, so you can control the chair however you wish.
2. Doubles as a Bed
A lift chair functions like a regular recliner, allowing the user to adjust its position as needed. If you are experiencing severe mobility issues, a lift chair can become your bed.
Also, the chair has an adjustable foot and headrest that will allow you to position yourself well.
And the best part? Never worry about getting hurt when going to the bathroom.
3. Eases a Caregiver’s Responsibility
The lift chair recliners take the heavy work off a caregiver’s shoulder. These individuals do not have to lift or lower their patients to wheelchairs or the chair itself.
4. Helps Avoid Stressing the Body
If dealing with a medical condition like severe arthritis, a power lift chair is what you may need to ease the stress on your joints.
Because — and lucky for you— the chair works with a touch of a button, you will have an easier time giving your muscles a rest.
1. Lift Chairs are Expensive
According to a USA Today review, power lift chairs range from $399 to $740.
But, the price will change depending on the chair’s number of advanced features. (3)
2. Negative Impact on Oneself
According to Lisa K., an Ohio therapist, “using a power recliner makes one dependent on the chair, limiting their use of leg muscles.
So when used for a considerable time, the chair may weaken the person.” (4)
3. Dependent on Electricity
A power lift chair usually depends on electricity to achieve its functionality. Sadly, no power means no service if there is a power outage.
Luckily, you can also buy a battery to offer power in outage situations. However, the batteries may be expensive, adding up costs.
4. Demand Regular Servicing
These recliners feature a powerlifting mechanism to adjust the chair to personal preference.
Note that you must often service the chair and motor mechanism to prolong its shelf life and allow for smooth usage. (5)
Read more dangers of sleeping in a recliner chair.
Here is a YouTube video from Recliner Repair Guy on what to look for when servicing your power lift chair.
1. Will Medicare pay for a lift chair?
Medicare does not typically cover the cost of a lift chair. However, this mobility aid falls under the DME category, and the program covers its cost if a therapist deems the chair necessary. (6)
2. What is the average cost of a power chair lift?
The average cost of a chair lift is $500. However, the price can go up to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the type, model, and variety of features offered.
3. What type of chair is best for the elderly?
The best chair for seniors depends on the user’s needs and budget. While there is a list of essential features power recliners offer, others have extra features to meet specific needs.
Knowing the pros and cons of lift chairs can significantly help you understand what to buy.
So there you have it — a brief overview of power lift chairs highlighting the advantages and disadvantages to expect. Now, please tell me what you think in the comments section…
- 1. Available from: https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/lift-chair-market-growth-statistics
- 2. CDC. Keep on Your Feet [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html
- 3. Available from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/reviewed/2021/08/13/
- 4. Pros and Cons of a Lift Chair for Arthritis [Internet]. Verywell Health. Available from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/should-you-buy-a-lift-chair-2552066
- 5. Durable Medical Equipment Coverage [Internet]. Medicare.gov. 2019. Available from: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/durable-medical-equipment-dme-coverage