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Equipment Information for Chairs

Buying a suitable chair is a very personal activity. If there is a reason why you need to purchase a certain type of chair the first consideration is that it is suitable, after that it becomes more personal when you choose the fabrics that complement the rest of your room and decor.

Staff at Disabled Living aim to help and give advice on products and equipment that may help make daily living both easier and safer.

The equipment centre staff have extensive knowledge of national and local suppliers of equipment and can offer practical advice and details of where to get most disability products.

Disabled Living has on loan from companies, 100's of different types of disability equipment.

If you wish to try the equipment and to speak at length with an Occupational Therapist about equipment suitable for your needs please telephone Disabled Living for an appointment on:

0161 607 8200

Or email a member of the Equipment Centre staff at: equipment@disabledliving.co.uk

In order for staff to give you the right information please include in your email the area where you live or work.

Types of Chairs

Sometimes people are confused by the terminology (names) given to different chairs and this in turn does not always give a clear indication of what a certain chair does. Here at Disabled living we refer to chairs as follows:

Riser Recliner:

This type of chair looks like a normal 3 piece suite type armchair. Its main functions are to recline the user into a lying down position or to help the user stand on their feet by lifting and tilting the entire seat section. The riser recliner types can be operated manually or by electric hand controls. The electric versions of the riser recliner can be bought with either dual motor or single motor options. The dual motor means that the different parts of the chair like the footrest and reclining back action can be worked independent of each other, for example, you can raise your feet whilst still sitting upright . The single motor will recline the backrest and lift the footrest both at the same time.

High Back Chairs:

Also known as Fireside chairs or Easy chairs. These type of chairs tend to be higher and more rigid in shape and design than the Riser Recline. They also have wooden legs and may have wooden arms. This type of chair can be beneficial to people who may find it difficult getting up from an armchair style chair.

Chair Raisers:

Chair raisers come in different designs and shapes and vary in height. They can be used to raise the height of armchairs, dining chairs and fireside chairs. It is important to get the correct fitting and type of chair raiser for the chair.

Pressure Care:

Some chairs will have the option to incorporate pressure cushions into the seat and possibly back sections of the chairs if required. For more pressure care information please go to the section on Pressure Care.

Chair Alarms:

These products are used for people who may be at risk of falling and will alert carers and staff or family members when someone rises from the seat.

Chair Protectors:

Absorbent chair protectors for people who have continence issues. For more information on continence products go to the PromoCon website.

Bear in Mind

Any equipment used must be suitable and safe for the person to use. Everyone will have different requirements and needs, so what may suit one person may be of little or no use to someone else. Also, think about the possibility of using a ceiling track hoist or other free standing hoist equipment to help with bathing and toileting needs.

Where to get Equipment from

There are now many high street shops that sell a vast range of equipment. But could you be buying something you are entitled to get from either the NHS or Local Social Services? The offer of equipment from these services is limited. So if you are in hospital ask to see the hospital Occupational Therapist, if you are at home, contact your local Town Hall for your nearest Social Services Department and if you are in residential care ask the Care Manager.

Second-hand Equipment.

Almost all equipment can be bought second-hand. This is a good way of saving money if the equipment is in good working order and is a fraction of the cost new. But, do be aware that second-hand goods will have a shorter life-span than new products. Also that warranties will probably have run out or may not be transferable to another owner.


  • The second-hand goods you are buying are in a good state of repair
  • Check no removable parts are missing
  • Ask for the original instructions
  • Ask to see the equipment working
  • Ask about any contacts the seller may have that could service or repair the equipment

But perhaps most important of all-don't buy something because it's cheap; buy it because it is safe and suitable for you to use.

Disabled Living advise that people obtain guidance from an Occupational Therapist or other such healthcare professional before purchasing disability equipment.

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