Multiple System Atrophy Trust
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Reclining armchair - any advice??

We have decided to get a reclining armchair for Jax having managed hitherto with our sitting room sofa which has done her well.

Whilst I bought a chair for my elderly mother some years ago, we have no experience of them and there appears to be numerous manufacturers with an equally wide price range.

Does any one have advice on what to buy and perhaps more importantly, what to avoid?

Thanks for any comments- take care, Ian

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We had a full riser recliner which helped a lot as it stands you almost upright and saves a lot of struggle

You can spend a lot on a made to measure riser recliner. If you are buying for someone with nonstandard measurements like long legs which could hang over the end and cause pressure sores, that may be worth thinking about. Otherwise, like all disabled aids there is a good market in second hand or even wanted on Freecycle. Sadly people tend to buy these things rather late and often do not get much wear out of them, making them good bargains.

We did this and were very pleased with what we had. We had a wing chair which helped to keep him from tipping off sideways when he found it hard to sit straight. Then the fashion went to soft plain backs. which would have been much more difficult for us

do try it before you buy. Remember that when it is fully reclined it takes a lot of room behind it. Much more than an ordinary arm chair.

Good luck

FredaE

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Thanks Freda, all good advice. The idea of a winged back chair is good. Jax is very light and so the standing but isn’t a necessity but it may help particularly as she further loses the strength in her legs.

Ian

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Hi Yanno, it’s good to think of future needs to, so I agree with the rising recliner suggestion. Billy had one and had good use of it. My only tip is, to get one that has a leather, or leather look finish. Spills can become a problem. And that makes things so much easier to clean up

Regards to you both, Beverley

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Thanks Beverley

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We have a riser/recliner as well. Geoff really appreciated the rise when he was beginning to struggle to get up and I have appreciated it when he has needed some help as he is not so low down. Whilst I understand the benefits of leather for wiping clean, fabric is better for not slipping down so you have to decide. We own a carpet shampooed with a hand tool which has helped if anything gets spilled etc.!!! There are 2 types with a single motor or twin motor and I thought we needed twin until we went in a shop and tried it and the single did the job better for less money but it would be worth going to a mobility shop and sitting in lots even if you then buy second hand. Our OT advised that if we were buying one new then to get the gel cushion integrated into it so that pressure relief was dealt with from the start and no extra cushion needed however it adds about £200 to the cost. And I was extremely picky about the colour so that it looks like part of our lounge not a medical appliance!!

As you can guess we ended up spending quite a lot, but we have been very happy!!! Disabled gear is a useful website for second hand equipment.

Hope that something in that helps!!!!

Disne

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Hi.

Are you eligible or have contact with OT?

They can be available through them. They will find most suitable and size.

Mum had a rise and recline which was a godsend, also with wings which stopped some of tipping to the side. She was in the process of having one made with extended supports when she was struggling to stay upright. Due to the length of time, and endless visits from reps, this wasn’t ready until she had passed unfortunately and was bedbound prior

Don’t forget to take pressure cushions into account too.

So spk with OT before spending money and tell them you are struggling to get up!

Good luck

Alison

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Hi Yanno,

We purchased one for my dad who has MSA. He finds it a great help as he struggled for a good few months trying get to get out of standard armchairs. He has a dual motor one (which means he can operate the reclining feature on his head and legs separately). It was from our local disability shop. He paid £800 a few years ago. There are loads on the market. I have tried out one from HSL which is one of the leading retailers. I found it really comfortable and they will measure you to make sure it fits perfectly. They do a home visiting service if you are unable to get to one of their showrooms. However, we tried to do this for my mum and despite several attempts to make an appointment, they did not get back to us. It might just have been the branch, but we ended up going elsewhere. It is worth considering the comfort and the padding as anyone with a disability will be spending a lot of their time using it. Also consider being measured for it to help prevent pressure sores. Hope this helps.

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Hello Hellebelle, Thanks for taking the time to write, your comments are very useful. I think a double motor version will be important for Jax as we need to be able to raise her legs independently - she tries to raise them as often as possible to avoid the redness and swelling that comes from taking Amantadine.

We are just starting to look but already realise that there's a ;ot of choice of chair out there.

Thanks again for responding - how are things with you?

Take care, Ian

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Hi Ian, I am pleased you have found so many helpful comments. This community is very supportive and friendly. It is really useful for me as I live a distance away from my lovely dad who has MSA. I visit as often as I can and provide much needed support for both my sister (who lives next door to my dad) and my parents. My dad has just recovered from a very nasty UTI which played havoc with his whole system. It exacerbated his symptoms and made him depressed. Thankfully, he is back to his normal self. He seems quite contented and has some lovely carers who visit each day. The most debilitating thing for him is his fatigue and lack of motivation. He was once so energetic and interested in everything around him. It is very hard to watch. We are doing all we can to make his life as good as can be, not forgetting my mum of course who cares for him through the day. I have so much respect for all you carers our there. You are doing such an important job. Love to you all.

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Ian, Sue has one and our friend Steph got it for us......at no cost!!!!!!

Designed for Sue's size. But fabric...

Well worth it as Sue can recline and stand up using the chair... But she doesn't fully rise it sometimes and then struggles to stand!!!!

Gives her independence in not having to ask to move around...

Paul

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Hi Paul - your friend Steph seems like a good friend to have! See you for coffee as planned next Friday. Ian

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I got one but it did not suit me so make sure before bye it

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Thanks Teresa, I think the advice seems to be very much to try first

Take care, Ian

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Ian, hello

John had a riser recliner chair that worked very well for a while. The problem as activity declines is obviously the possibility of sores. 18 months ago our OT got him a special neurological chair. It has 3 different motors and so is very flexible. Most importantly is the fact that it is made totally from the special anti sore gel / foam material that hospital mattresses are made from. Our OT had to take John's case to a special panel to get the funding (they cost more than £2,000), so getting them is not straightforward, but it has been invaluable. An anti sore cushion with a normal riser recliner would probably be a good idea. We bought ours from Lloyds for about £450.

Amanda

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Thanks for this Amanda. I am beginning to think this is not as easy a job as I first thought. I have now spoken to our local OT's who are very good - we will see where that takes us.

How are things with you?

Take care, Ian

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Above all get the right size, I didn't and had to change it as I sank out of sight ! they are all much of a muchness otherwise and very useful for getting up, I've got two. Penny aka border betty.

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Hello Penny. Jax is quite slight and so not to buy too big a chair will be important. It appears that the common advice is try before you buy or borrow!

How are things with you? Take care, Ian

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Going downhill steadily, pc playing up so can't type much. Chairs came from HSL and CareCo

Good wishes to Jax and yourself, Penny.

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Thanks Penny, best wishes to you too - I hope your PC sorts out, it must be so frustrating. Ian

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We have found, having had 3 riser recliner chairs now, that the ones with massage abilities are very firm and even hard to carry the vibrations. The last chair was the hardest, too hard, and i had to go out and get another soft chair within a week as my wife just couldn't cope with it.

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Many thanks Kevin for the advice - One of the reasons that Jax has kept her current sofa for so long is she is comfortable sitting in it most of the time. Carol's experience with a hard chair just show why we need to arrange for Jackie to try one before buying.

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My hairdresser has a massage chair for when you have your hair washed.Its voluntary but I HATE it. its just like sitting on a heap of fidgety bricks. Massage is lovely but not this sort of uncontrolled pummelling. Try it first

FredaE

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