Are you having trouble getting on and off your chair? Is it getting just that little bit hard to find the armrests or to reach them to help you get out of a chair? If so, it might be a sign that your leg muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be. Our quad muscles and our hamstring muscles are so important to help us to be able to get in and out of chairs, to get on and off the toilet, on and off our bed; they’re so important to keep nice and strong. But if it’s hard for you to get out of a chair, maybe it’s because your chair’s too low. In this chair here my knees are about the same level as my hips, but if your knees are sitting higher than your hips, you’re already using a lot more effort to get out of your chair.
What you could do is raise your chair up or find another chair in your house that’s a little bit higher, a little bit firmer, a better surface to get up from. And then, if you use your arms on an armrest that also helps to get out of chairs. It’s really important to keep moving, keep active, use those muscles to keep yourself strong. But for those people who have a condition that means it’s actually harder to get out of chairs and their condition’s going to continue to deteriorate then we also often recommend a power lift chair or an electric reclining lift chair and what that can do is help you to get out of your chair. Now to start off with, we recommend people don’t use the lift function until they really need it. And you don’t use it all day every day unless you need it because you still need to get on and off the toilet.
So you need to keep your muscles as strong as possible. But for some people, by the end of the day, for example, they may be just a bit too tired, a bit too sore, in too much pain to get out of the chair well. And so to help them, the lift function of the chair helps them to get higher, get their hips higher than their knees and that makes it easier to start moving or transferring as what we would often call OTs and physios. So your transfers are really important, make sure that you feel strong getting around your house. If you are not sure what to do, please get in touch, call your occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and your health team, your doctor, your nurse, let them know that you’re having problems getting out of chairs, that it’s not as easy as it used to be.
And there are plenty of things that we can do to help support you, to keep you strong, keep you mobile, keep working on those balance and lower limb exercises as well as making sure the equipment in your house and the setup of your house is appropriate for you so that you can independently and safely get on and off chairs, in and out of showers, on and off a bath, out of a bath, on and off the toilet and in and out of bed. All these things are critical to keeping you at home. And if you’re not sure what to do call out for help, this is what we’re here for. This is what we do most days of the week. Get in touch because we have loads of strategies, tips, and ideas that will help you to get in and out of your chairs by yourself as much as possible.