Aging in Place Furniture Checklist

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Aging in Place?  Why you need to think about your furniture.

People are always surprised when they learn there are eighteen and twenty years between my brothers and I.  To make things more interesting my younger brother, and I share the same birthday, eighteen years apart.

My younger brother spent the weekend with us recently. After putting my son to bed, we sat on my comfy couch catching up on his neighborhood drama and upcoming knee surgery. He’s had knee pain and swelling for years and now needs the same surgery our mother had. He’s not looking forward to it.

About twenty minutes into our chat he excused himself to use the bathroom. I watched him struggle to find the momentum he needed to stand up. Once he was up, the pain was clear on his face as he tried to straighten his knees and take a few steps.

Getting up and down from a chair or sofa can become difficult as we get older.  Many of us will find it difficult to lift ourselves up out of the seat to standing. We can also have problems sitting down. For example, when the seat is too low it can feel like you’re about to fall on the floor. If you’ve had that experience you know how jolting it is. If our balance or coordination has diminished we can find ourselves essentially falling backward into a chair. Because difficulty standing up and sitting down can lead to falls and injuries it’s in our best interest to make things easier and safer for ourselves.

The problem isn’t just sitting and standing, the wrong chair or sofa can also put you in the wrong position when seated. As a result, joints may become stiff or cramped making it uncomfortable and potentially harder to get up from the seat again. Over time, sitting in the wrong position could lead to more serious physical problems with posture, balance, and flexibility.

Imagine planning to age in place, knowing what to look for when deciding on a new sofa or chair. You'll know the right height and seat depth, what styles to look for, and recommend upholstery filling.  

If you or someone you love is uncomfortable using their current furniture or can’t find a good sitting position, it's worth investing in a new seating.

You can bet the next time I buy a chair or couch it will be a thoughtfully considered choice. Given my age and career, it will be with aging in place in mind. I love lists and what better way to ensure I’ve made the perfect decision but to have a checklist. I want to be sure I’m picking a chair or couch that will be comfortable and helpful to anyone in my home.

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The Aging in Place Furniture checklist has everything to look for when shopping, from how to choose the best fit for your body to what upholstery colors to choose.

Susan Rains

Susan Rains Design, 408 Spring Road, Havertown, PA, 19083