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Home Medical Equipment

What Is a Powered Lift Chair?

A home hospital bed—among other benefits—helps people with mobility, balance, and strength limitations to sleep comfortably, transfer to and from their bed safely, and rest in positions recommended by medical professionals. Adjustable beds are especially beneficial to the quality of life, independence, and safety of people who are bedbound.

But adjustable-bed users who aren’t bedbound face challenges if their other furniture—including their chair—doesn’t offer the same assistance as their bed.

A powered lift chair is a chair with motorized adjustments that change the seating position of the occupant. They are more sophisticated than the recliners found in many homes. In addition to reclining, lift chairs raise the occupant from a seated or reclining position into a standing position.

The seat and the back of the chair gently lift and straighten, angling the seating surface so that the occupant can stand without exertion. They also lower the occupant from standing to sitting, easing the occupant into their preferred position while reducing the risk of falls and eliminating the impact of an unsupported drop.

Who Benefits From a Powered Lift Chair?

Anyone who finds it difficult to sit down or stand up from a chair may benefit from a powered lift chair. That includes people with conditions that affect balance, mobility, and strength. If you have trouble getting out of your chair, a lift chair may be able to help.

People who benefit from lift chairs include those with:

  • Stiff and sore joints
  • Back pain or stiffness
  • Arthritis
  • Shortness of breath with or without exertion, including shortness of breath caused by COPD and asthma
  • Heart and circulation-related conditions

In addition to helping people to sit and stand, powered lift chairs can recline and many can elevate the occupant’s legs. Leg elevation is particularly useful for reducing swelling caused by the pooling of fluid in the lower limbs.

What Type of Power Lift Chair Should I Buy?

All power-lift chairs raise and lower to help with sitting and standing—a chair that lacks this feature is a recliner. Just like home hospital beds, power lift chair manufacturers make chairs at various price points with different features. Lift chairs can be divided into three categories, although manufacturers may use different marketing names.

  • Two-position lift chairs. The least expensive and sophisticated lift chairs, two-position lift chairs typically recline only a few inches. They are suitable for people who need the chairs lifting action but do not intend to lie down in their chair.
  • Three-position lift chairs. Three position lift chairs recline further than two-position chairs. They are suitable for people who want to lie back in their chair for comfort or to nap.
  • Infinite-position lift chair. These lift chairs have the greatest range of motion. They recline so that the occupant lies flat, horizontal to the floor. Typically, infinite position lift chairs can also elevate the feet above the heart, a position recommended for people with circulation and heart issues, as well as those with swelling of the lower limbs.

Are Powered Lift Chairs Safe?

Powered lift chairs are safe for patients who have cognitive awareness to operate them properly. There is some risk of a patient with dementia or other cognitive impairments triggering the lifting feature but not extending their legs to stand and therefore falling. If you are concerned that the chair’s user lacks the awareness to use it safely, consult a medical professional.

Some medical professionals advise against using a lift chair until it becomes necessary. Powered lift chairs do the work that would otherwise be done by leg and back muscles. Lack of use atrophies muscles and may increase the progression of muscle weakness.

Powered lift chairs need electricity. They will not function if the power supply is cut. Power cuts can cause problems for patients who rely on the chair to lift them, especially if they are in a reclined position. The best power lift chairs include an emergency battery backup to power the chair when the mains powered supply is not available, but only for short periods.

Powered lift chairs are most useful as part of a complete care system that includes an adjustable home hospital bed. Transfer Master manufactures a wide variety of home hospital beds in the U.S., including our flagship, the Supernal 5, which offers head, foot, height, Trendelenburg, and Reverse Trendelenburg adjustments.

Contact us today by phone or email to talk to an expert about which home hospital bed is right for you.

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About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Twenty-five years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.