4 Tips For Choosing Care Home Lounge Chairs

The average lifespan of care home lounge chairs is estimated to be 5 – 10 years depending on level of use and how they are cared for. Therefore, whilst this isn’t a regular expense, it is important to consider some key points when you are looking to purchase new high back chairs to ensure that they are suitable for your residents and will provide you with longevity and value for money.

Typically, an older person will spend at least 9 hours of their day seated. With this in mind, there are numerous benefits that providing the correct seating will provide, such as; improved comfort and continence and a reduction in agitation, pain, fatigue and DVT. Carefully chosen lounge chairs also give your residents a comforting, homely atmosphere. In this blog we explain 4 key considerations that you need to contemplate before purchasing your new living room chairs. These tips can be applied to residential settings that also cares for residents living with dementia.

1. What arm height should your care home chairs have?

The arms of lounge chairs are often used to aid people when getting up and sitting down, and as such need to be of an appropriate height to ensure that that this can be done with ease and safely. Arms also provide stability when seated and for those that suffer with restlessness or agitation they can be a source of distraction and comfort as the arm rests provide a tool to keep theirs hands occupied.
Arm heights will vary depending on the nursing chair style, but as a general rule look for chairs with an arm height of between 625 – 700mm from the floor to the top of the arm.

2. Calculating the appropriate chair seat height & depth.

An incorrect seat height or depth can cause discomfort by forcing the user to sit forward and therefore not providing back support whilst also putting pressure on the feet by placing all of the weight on one area. Higher seat heights reduce the pressure on the hips and joints to enable people to rise from a chair easily, but it is important to make sure that the seat height is also still appropriate and comfortable for when the person is seated.

  • If possible, provide seating with a variety of seat heights between 410 – 530mm to cater for residents with a range of abilities and functional movement.
  • Seat depth should also be considered and it is advised to look for seat depths from 430 – 510mm.

3. What is an appropriate lounge chair back height and angle?

Studies show that seating with a sloped or reclining back are generally harder for older people to rise from independently, however these are also elements that increase comfort when seated. We would always advise you to provide a range of reclining/sloping chairs and straight back chairs so that you can cater for all needs. In general, a low or medium backed chair is appropriate for activities or reception and waiting areas, whereas a higher backed chair is suitable for lounge and living room areas. If you have a multi-functional space then be sure to provide enough seating with low and high backs for those that want to take part in activities as well as those that would like to relax.

  • For low back chairs look for a back height of 460 – 560mm
  • For high back chairs look for a back height of 675 – 850 mm

4. What style of lounge chair should you choose for your care home?

The design of the chairs you choose will depend on the style of your interiors, along with the colour palette and the space you have available. For a traditional style home, a Queen Anne leg will compliment well, whereas in a more modern setting a tapered leg with a slimmer profiled chair would be more suitable. Whatever style chair you decide on it is important to provide a variety of options; with and without wings, high backs and medium backs and also 2 seaters to promote interaction and communication between residents and also carers. Bear in mind that whilst chairs with wings will provide added support, they will reduce visibility and the ability for residents to chat with those next to them.
If possible, when selecting your new high back chairs, it is helpful to test them out for comfort, but remember that as we age we require more back and neck support. Consideration should also be given to the upholstery type and design to ensure that it reflects the interior scheme you would like, as well as being suitable for your needs and the amount of use they will get. If you’re unsure whether to choose textile upholstery, faux leather or a combination of the two, have a read of our blog post here to help you to decide.

To conclude, there are some simple and easy guidelines to follow when selecting your new care home lounge chairs that will ensure you purchase chairs that are fit for purpose, and also provide your residents with comfort. Whilst it is important to maintain the desired ‘look’ for your communal areas, consideration also needs to given to providing chairs with different height seats and backs. But it is possible to achieve this and still have a uniform style of chair by choosing a ‘family’ of chairs such as the Cambourne or Torino that have different models within the same range. If you’d like to discuss your requirements with our expert team, contact us on 01603 664900 or sales@furncare.co.uk.