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6 Unique Types of Furniture for Seniors

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: September 19, 2023
Last updated: December 29, 2023

As we get older, our needs and abilities change. The furniture we used in our younger years may no longer suit our lifestyle or abilities. Choosing furniture designed specifically for seniors can make life easier, safer and more comfortable. Here are 5 unique types of furniture worth considering as we age.

Lift Chairs

A lift chair is an armchair or recliner that has a built-in motorised lifting mechanism. With the touch of a button, the chair slowly rises up to help the senior get in and out of the chair more easily. The footrest also raises to allow for a more comfortable seated position. Lift chairs come in various styles with options like heat and massage. They help to provide independence for seniors who struggle to get in and out of standard chairs.

Lift chairs feature powerful lift motors that gently raise the chair from its lowest to highest position. The smooth lifting action helps prevent falls or injuries that can occur trying to stand up from furniture that's too low. Seniors with mobility limitations such as arthritis, knee or back pain, injuries, and disabling conditions can benefit from a lift chair. The chairs often include adjustable backs, armrests, and footrests to customise comfort and support. Options like storage pockets and cupholders add convenience within reach.

Lift chair fabrics range from basic vinyls to plush microfibers. Models include classic recliner styles, contemporary designs, and even three-position lift chairs that also recline fully. Some lift chairs run on household current and batteries as a backup in case of a power outage. Lift chairs are available in many colours and patterns to blend with existing home decor. Prices vary based on size, materials, and features. Lift chairs provide an attractive furniture option that promotes safe, independent living for ageing adults.

Mobility Furniture

Mobility furniture refers to pieces designed for seniors who use walkers or wheelchairs. An example is a table that adjusts to the ideal dining height whether the senior is sitting or standing. Wheeled cabinets and mobile storage carts make it easy to bring items within reach across a room. Clearance under beds and desks provides ample legroom for wheelchairs. 

Thoughtful mobility furniture accommodates physical limitations and maximises independence.

Mobility furniture includes adjustable-height tables and workstations, wheeled carts for TVs and computers, full-extension sliding shelves, and under-furniture clearance for wheelchair access. Chairs and sofas with seat lifts make sitting and standing easier. Turntables allow wheelchairs to change direction without backing up. Drawers and cabinets on rollers bring storage within reach. Threshold ramps facilitate rolling over doorways between rooms.

Seniors with conditions like arthritis or injuries find mobility furniture helpful for preserving independence and conserving energy. Key features include smooth rolling casters, retractable cord management, and T-handles for opening cabinets easily. Breathable upholstery provides comfort for sitting. Mobility furniture comes in standard designs to blend discreetly into any home decor. Investing in mobility furniture creates an accessible, senior-friendly environment.

Adjustable Beds

Beds that adjust to different positions provide relief and assist seniors with limited mobility. Adjustable beds raise and lower the head and foot areas with a wired remote or wireless app. Some models even adjust into a chair-like seating position for reading, watching TV, or getting in and out of bed. Adjustable beds can also help reduce acid reflux by elevating the upper body. More comfort means better sleep.

Some adjustable beds allow custom positioning for conditions like back pain, swelling, sleep apnea, and acid reflux. Raising the legs promotes circulation. Seniors can choose from full, queen, and king size adjustable beds with features like under-bed lighting, USB ports, and programmable memory positions. Wireless remotes enable changing positions with a simple click. Some adjustable beds even connect to smart home systems or voice assistants for hands-free control.

Various adjustable bed frames accommodate seniors' mattresses, headboards, and foundations. Bases range from basic models to high-end beds with massage, Bluetooth speakers, and other luxury features. Safety features may include emergency battery backup and mechanisms to prevent entrapment hazards. Investing in an adjustable bed can provide years of customised comfort and medical benefits.

Sensor-Activated Lights

Diminished vision and unsteady mobility put some seniors at risk for falls, especially at night. Sensor-activated night lights illuminate automatically when they detect motion. They can be installed along hallways, in bedrooms, and bathrooms to light the way. Sensor lights mount to walls with adhesive or magnets for quick installation. They provide guidance without the need to turn on bright overhead lights.

Sensor lights are available in a range of styles such as discrete LED strip lights, portable tabletop lamps, and wall-mounted fixtures. Most detect motion within 5-10 feet in order to turn on. Some models allow adjusting the light brightness and sensitivity range. Helpful features include dusk-to-dawn sensors that activate at night and photocells that turn off when ambient light is sufficient.

Strategically placing sensor lights along frequently travelled routes provides greater safety for ageing adults getting up at night. They offer just enough light to guide the way without creating glare. Power options include battery-operated, electric plugin, and hardwired styles. Investing in sensor lighting can help prevent dangerous stumbles and falls during middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom or kitchen.

Ergonomic Furniture

Ergonomics focuses on designing furniture to match the human body and promote proper posture and movement. Ergonomic living room furniture might include contoured lounge chairs with high backs and firm cushions. Dining chairs could have extra padding, lumbar support, and seat heights that make getting up easier. Adjustable ergonomic beds align the back properly to help with pain relief. The goal of ergonomic furniture is to provide long-term comfort and ease of use.

Quality ergonomic furniture is designed to cradle and support the body's natural curves. Chairs feature cushioned seats with waterfall edges to reduce pressure on legs. Adjustable armrests and backrest angles find each user's sweet spot. Breathable, hypoallergenic upholstery adds comfort. Many ergonomic pieces are modular or customizable with options like swappable seat cushions of varying firmness and add-on accessories like lumbar pillows.

Ergonomic furniture ranges from contemporary designs to classic styles to suit any home. Pieces are scaled with proper seat depth and height to fit seniors' bodies. The potential benefits include improved circulation, spinal alignment, and joint health. Sitting or sleeping in improper positions daily leads to chronic pain over time. Investing in ergonomic furniture helps safeguard seniors' quality of life as they age.

Mental Health Furniture

The importance of mental health for seniors cannot be overstated. Using mental health furniture designed for mental health spaces can be a unique and innovative way to nurture mental health among seniors.

Mental health furniture can help to create more pleasant spaces for seniors, with specialised products including sensory furniture. You can browse a wide array of mental health furniture from Knightsbridge Furniture here.

The right furniture can help seniors maintain their independence and make everyday living easier and safer. Lift chairs and adjustable beds accommodate limited mobility. Ergonomic designs provide comfort for ageing bodies. Features like motion sensors and mobility aids increase ease of use, while mental health furniture can help nurture an overlooked part of seniors’ health.

 As our abilities evolve, furniture suited specifically for seniors allows us to get the most out of our homes. With so many designs catering to mature adults, it’s easier than ever to create a space tailored for our needs as we age. Consider exploring Supplemental Security Income for seniors to ensure financial well-being in retirement.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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