Just getting up from a seated position can be difficult. Trouble sitting and standing is one of the most common annoyances of aging. But the devices to help us sit down and stand up are getting better and better. I had spinal surgery to fuse some slipping vertebrae when I was a kid. I lived and slept in a recliner that my grandfather lent us for the cause. What passed for “high end” chair 45 years ago would be considered entry level today.
Now we have recliners called “lift chairs” that can transport you from sitting to standing up. We have cushions that expand as we get up to give us just enough push to stand up. We have sitting and standing assistance devices for couches, hard chairs, and toilets.
There is one assistance device not to use, because if it slips, it will take you with it. A friend’s mother went heels over head (ever think about the phrase “head over heals”? 🙂 using a shower transfer pole, so the transfer pole is now crossed off our list.
Go Directly to the Stand Assist Devices!
If you want to cut to the chase, here are all the in-depth articles and recommended products referenced in this article.
Use a Lift Chair to Help to Stand Up and to Sit Down
Do you have trouble getting to a standing or sitting position? Is an upcoming surgery prompting you to setup a first floor bedroom? A recliner lift chair is a recliner on steroids. You can sleep, sit, and get assistance standing up using a recliner lift chair.
There is such a thing as a lift chair that is not also a recliner, but they’re rare.
You might consider getting a lift chair if you are:
- going to be recovering from surgery
If you plan to sleep in the chair such as you would after surgery, check that the chair you buy declines to 160 to 180 degrees. This is almost flat to flat. If the chair doesn’t lean back far enough, it might be difficult to use for sleep.
The UltraComfort Recliner Lift Chair with the “Trendelenburg” position is the only chair I’ve found that goes past the sleep position. The Trendelenburg puts the feet higher than the heart, which is often prescribed as a therapeutic posture.
Read our lift chair article to learn everything you need to choose the right lift chair for your situation. Here are just a few of the questions it answers:
- Does Medicare Pay for Lift Chairs
- Why You Need to Understand Upholstery and Battery Backup Before You Buy
- How Much Space Do You Need for Your Lift Chair
- What Size Lift Chair Should I Get?
- Will the Chair be Hard to Put Together?
Make a checklist so you get the exact right lift chair for your needs. To learn everything you need to know to make a smart buy, read our article now:
Use a Couch Sit and Stand Assist on Soft Furniture
The two-leg couch stand-assist is a frame that anchors under a couch pillow (or a pillow on a soft chair). It gives you two arms to grasp as you sit or stand.
As you sit down, your weight anchors the frame to its maximum capacity. As you stand, the pillow holds the frame while you push down on the arms for leverage.
The point is, the two-legged frame is not bolted to the furniture. It’s an assistance device allowing you to use about 70% less strength than getting up by yourself.
The one-leg couch assist gives you only one place to grasp for stability and leverage. It stands in front of the couch rather than alongside you as you sit.
The one-leg assist is more stable than the pillow-anchored assist, because you tuck its foot under the couch foot. The weight of the furniture holds it down.
In exchange, it’s a bit more awkward than the two-legged approach. It’s only one arm and not two, but it’s very stable.
Learn More About Couch Assistance Devices
Click below to learn how to choose the right couch stand assistance device for your situation, and for our favorite couch assistance device products.
Use a Chair Stand Assist for Help Standing from Hard Furniture
A chair sit-stand assist device is a clam-shaped device covered in foam and upholstery. You place it on a hard chair and sit on the device. As you sit down, the clam-shape closes. As you stand up, it opens.
A manual chair sit-stand assistance device uses a spring or pneumatic arm to open and lift you as you stand.
An electric chair sit-stand assistance device uses a motor to open the device and lift you closer to a standing position.
An air-filled chair assist uses uses a motor to fill a seat pillow with air. As the pillow fills, it lifts the sitter toward a standing position.
Learn More About Hard Chair Standing Assistance Devices
Click below to learn how to choose the right chair stand assistance device for your situation, and for our favorite chair assistance device products.
Use a Toilet Safety Rail Push Yourself to a Standing Position
A toilet sit-stand assistance device gives you rubber-coated arms to grasp as you sit or stand.
A toilet assist sits on the floor around the toilet, or on the base of the toilet under the seat.
A floor-based toilet device gets its stability from the toilet itself. If you push down hard on one side, the toilet prevents the other side from tipping that direction. Assists sitting on the toilet are more prone to tip.
Learn More About Toilet Sitting and Standing Devices
Click below to learn how to choose the right toilet sit-stand assistance device for your situation, and for our favorite toilet assistance products.
Allow a Caretaker to Move You Using a Wheeled Transport Device
A patient transfer device is a wheeled carrier that caretakers use to transport a patient from room to room.
In the device pictured above, the patient pulls herself up from a sitting position onto the platform. You can also get a patient transfer that uses a sling and hydraulic motor to do 100% of the lifting.
Learn More About Patient Transfer Devices
Click below to learn how to choose the right patient transport for your situation, and for our favorite transport picks.
Do Not Use: Tension Mounted Transfer Pole
A friend’s mother got seriously hurt using a tension mounted transfer pole. As a result of that story, we took transfer pole standing-assistance device off our list.
The pole was mounted in the bathroom near the shower. She started to slip. She looked for stability in the mounted pole.
She grabbed the bottom of the pole, which disloged the mounted points from their positions. The resulting instability added to her injuries.
While a pole is probably safe if very tightly mounted and used from the middle, it’s too dangerous to recommend.
What would have worked in this situation would have been a mounted bar screwed into the ceiling joist and subfloor. Tension mounts don’t have enough staying power to be safe.