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Standing Independently from a Chair

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Before you buy equipment, consider the following: 

Have you discussed your needs with a healthcare professional?

Is your chair the right height for you? Standing from a low chair can be challenging. Having an armchair which is the right height for you should make standing easier.

  • When sourcing a chair, it is important to ensure the chair is the right size for you. Please see our Taking Care in Sitting Guidance.
  • Check your arms can rest comfortably on the armrests on both sides and that the armrests are in the right position for you to push against when you stand up.

Using the correct technique can make a huge difference when trying to stand:

  1. Come forward in the chair – gently move each hip forward in the chair. Position yourself close to the edge of the chair but still be safely perched.
  2. Position your feet under your knees and keep them hip-width apart.
  3. Lean forward (nose over toes) and look ahead. Use the chair armrests to push up.

If you have considered the points above and you are still struggling, the following equipment solutions may help. Always seek professional advice.

  • Chair Raisers –  if a chair is too low to enable a good seated position and to allow you to stand up, it may be possible to raise the chair. Chair raisers come in different designs depending on whether the chair has legs or castors and can raise a chair by up to 6″ (15.5cm). Lightweight chairs, such as dining chairs, and chairs with moving parts, such as riser/recliner chairs, should only be raised using equipment designed specifically for that equipment.
  • Grab handles –  sometimes handles secured to a seat can help a person to push or pull themselves from sitting to standing. The Couch Cane sits on a base under the chair and has a grab handle that the person can pull on to help them to stand. The action of pulling up into standing is not a natural movement so could lead to a reduction in the strength of muscles needed to stand over time. The Easy Stand-N-Go frame sits under the cushion on your chair or sofa and has two adjustable handles which fit either side of the person to help push themselves up into standing. This can be used when the arms of the chair are too short or too low.
  • Lifting Cushion – these cushions are placed underneath the person and use a hydraulic or powered mechanism to help someone to stand. They carry the risk of altering someone’s normal sitting position which may destabilise them or compromise pressure relief and comfort in the chair. Over time, it may also result in weakening the muscles to stand up. There are several lifting cushions on the market – contact ILC for further advice about suppliers and prices.
  • If getting up from a sofa – using a Positioning Wedge or a Handling Block in conjunction with the arm of the sofa can help the person to push up into standing. A pair of handling block can be used together if the sofa arms are too low.
  • It may also be worth considering purchasing a Riser Recliner Chair. Please see our Before you buy guide on Riser Recliner Chairs for further information.