Is it getting difficult for you to get up from a chair? It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It can happen if you have some type of condition or injury that weakens your muscles or just from getting older. It is one thing that is really frustrating for me because it makes me feel so helpless and I’m one of those stubborn ole ladies that does not like to ask for help so I will struggle and struggle for some time to get up out of a chair, especially anything that is built low like a couch. But then I had a talk with myself. Yeah, I have to do that now and then. I had to accept the fact that my condition was not going to improve because of arthritis and disc degeneration in my lower back that cannot be corrected with surgery.
What is a Lift Aid?
Lift aids are one of the many categories of medical equipment that are referred to as mobility aids. A lift aid is any kind of device that helps you to lift yourself up or down from a sitting or laying down position. A caregiver can also assist in helping with this type of equipment when you are too weak to do it by yourself. A lift aid can also be used to describe a device such as a chair lift, which helps you get up and down stairways or those that lift a scooter or wheelchair into a vehicle; however, we will be covering only types of lift aids that help you get up from a chair, bed, couch or vehicle.
When it comes to getting up from a chair, I was under the impression that the only equipment available to help you get up and down from sitting in a chair was one of those expensive lift chairs that are electric and that rise up from the back of the chair to let you slid out of the chair. But then I started researching lift aids and found all kinds of other lifting equipment that are more portable and much less expensive.
This is your guide to finding the best lift aid(s) for you or your loved one by reviewing five different ones available.
Carex Upeasy Seat Assist
This lift aid substitutes for the full-size lift chair that is made to assist persons that need help getting out of a chair. The Carex Upeasy Seat Assist is economical in comparison to the full-sized lift chair by hundreds of dollars. It can be used in most armchairs as long as you make sure there are arms on both sides of you to hold onto as it lifts you up. The Upeasy Seat Assist is built with a comfortable and safe seat cushion that has a hydro-pneumatic gas spring that releases slowly as the person sitting on it starts to stand up. It stays in the upright position until you sit back on it and as you put pressure on it, the spring brings the seat down to a sitting position again. The Upeasy Seat Assist lifts or declines only as much as is needed so that the person using it can maintain some strength in their leg and core muscles. It can lift up to 70 percent of your weight up to 220 pounds. There is also one that is for 200 to 340 pounds and both have adjustment weight settings.
The Upeasy Seat Assist has patented LeveLift Technology that ensures a lift that is safe and gentle and does not push you forward too quickly. The Upeasy Seat is helpful for caregivers as they would not need to be lifting their patient or loved one out of chairs or couches anymore. One great asset is that it doesn’t need any electricity or batteries. Another great thing about this lift seat is that it’s portable as it can be folded together so you can carry it by its built-in carry handle and it weighs just nine pounds. The cushion is made of high-density polyurethane foam that molds to your body for extra comfort and is water resistant and has a fire retardant. It has a removable Marine Blue washable cover made of 100 percent polyester. The base of the seat is made of non-slip durable ABS plastic that can last for years. The cushion is 17 inches wide and 19 inches from front to back.
This lift aid is a great invention and being portable, I’m sure many people would want it so they could go outside of the home to visit friends, go to restaurants, appointments, etc. However, it will work better on a fabric surface rather than a metal or wood surface that may cause it to slip some. An important thing to note is that while sitting on the Upeasy, you shouldn’t lean forward to pick up something because the seat will automatically start to lift you up as if you were going to get up. You would need to remove the Upeasy from the chair or sit elsewhere to put on shoes and socks.
Able Life Universal Stand Assist
The Universal Stand Assist by Able Life is meant for those who have some strength in their arms and would not need as much assistance as in the last example with a pneumatic chair lift. This a unique product that helps you or your loved one to use their own strength with the extra leverage of having easy to reach handles to assist in standing up from a sitting position. This lift aid is designed to fit most chairs, recliners, or couches and is made with adjustable steel metal tubing that has ergonomic cushioned handles on both sides for you to hold on to while pushing upward. The device fits in between the cushions of the chair or couch with adjustable legs that go to the floor for extra support so that anyone up to 300 pounds will be able to lift themselves up from a sitting position. There are two different ways that it can be used, depending on the type of chair and size of the cushion. You can either place the frame on the top or under the cushion. The Stand Assist does require some assembling and includes the main stand with legs, two handles, two L-tubes, a center back piece, hardware to connect the pieces and an Allen wrench to use to put pieces together. After assembled, the dimensions are 32 x 27 x 27 inches and it comes in a glossy black and weighs 8.5 pounds. The space between the handles where you would sit is adjustable from 19 inches to 26 inches. The height from the handles to the floor is adjustable from 22 inches to 32 inches. Also, the depth is adjustable from 23 inches to 26 inches.
The Able Life Stand Assist certainly can make your life more able! This simple device is nice and strong for pushing up on the handles to get out of a chair that can be a struggle to safely rise from sitting for anyone that has lost some strength in the arms but still have enough to use this lift aid. I could really use one of these for my recliner that I don’t sit in anymore just because it is so hard to go from sitting to standing. I can understand why you would feel like you have gained back some independence when able to get up and down from sitting without asking for help. It is notable that when using on a recliner, it may take a few times of getting it adjusted correctly but it will work and it will not scratch the finish of the recliner.
Stander CouchCane – Ergonomic Safety Support Handle
The Stander CouchCane is an effective solution to the struggle so many elderly folks or those with conditions that limit their strength to do everyday things such as getting up from the couch or chair. The CouchCane is made by Stander and they certainly live up to their motto of “Be Independent” with this product that can give your independence a boost while boosting you out of your chair. They claim to create the “world’s most innovative mobility equipment” knowing that safety is a factor that is most important to you and your loved one. I guess you won’t know whether to believe that or not unless you try the CouchCane. It is made strong out of steel and besides being a lifting aid, it also helps you balance as you get up which would be a help for you if you tend to get a little dizzy when getting up from a sitting position.
Along with the circular ergonomically designed lift aid handle, you get a handy 4-pocket organizer pouch that hangs off the handle that you can store small items like the remote, a paper pad and pencil, snacks, or your glasses. You also get a swivel tray that swivels 360 degrees to open up a small area that you can place a book to read or eat a meal on or do crafts. Then when you want to get up, you simply swivel the tray away from you so it’s not in your way.
The base of the CouchCane is made to fit in two different ways and can be placed on the inside of the legs or the outside of the legs of the chair or couch. There are two anti-skid large pads connected that you need to place under the feet of your chair or couch to maintain its steadiness for the best support by reducing slipping while protecting floor surface. It can be placed at either end of a couch or side of a chair and fits feet that are 21 to 33 inches apart. The measurement of the base length adjustment is 20 inches to 36 inches, the height adjusts from 34 inches to 40 inches, and the handle is 6 inches by 6 inches. It all weighs 19.5 pounds and the weight limit for the person pulling on the handle is 250 pounds. To assemble it only takes putting in one bolt and sliding the two base pieces together. The CouchCane is one of the few lift aids that can be used with a lift chair.
The extras of the pouch and the tray on the CouchCane are such a great addition that makes this lift aid unique and enjoyable. I know I would like to have a pouch to put things I use often such as glasses, lip moistener, or snacks. Plus, having the little tray would really be handy. It also seems to be easy to install and pretty versatile as to where you can use it, including a lift chair. Also, I like that it can be on either side depending on which hand is your dominant or easiest to use. What a relief this would be for a caregiver who was used to always helping the patient get up or down. Then when the CouchCane was installed, the patient could get up and back down without any help from the caregiver.
Pull-Me-Up Handle for 2 Hands
If you have ever had someone try to help you up when it was hard to get up from a chair or out of a car, you know how awkward that can be and how it can even hurt you if not done properly. That is exactly what the Pull-Me-Up handle is for, even though it doesn’t look like it could do much. However, it is a strong and rather magical tool because it relies on the laws of physics (Action Force equals Reaction Force) to work and as your helper holds on to one side and you hold on to the other side, only a quarter to a third of your actual body weight is felt by the helper as he/she pulls you up because the weight has been shifted to the floor. This certainly makes it easier to help you or anyone to be able to be assisted in getting up from a bed, bench, chair, couch, or automobile seat.
It is not to be used to pull you up from the floor or ground and it should only be used by you if you are mobile and have enough arm strength to be able to hold on to the Pull-Me-Up and then be able to stand steadily. This model is made to be used with both hands to safely pull you up and is capable of handling up to 350 pounds. To use the Pull-Me-Up you would grasp one side and your helper would take the other side and you would move up to the edge of your seat. Then holding the Pull-Me-Up firmly you should lean forward and place your feet firmly on the floor to keep from slipping and then count to three with your helper and when your helper says “pull,” then you would allow the helper to pull you up to a standing position.
The Pull-Me-Up comes in two lightweight sizes; one being to use with just one hand that weighs two ounces and the other to be used with two hands that weigh a little less than ten ounces. Because it is small and portable, you can take it with you in the car and wherever you go. It has a gripping pattern that makes it easy to hold on to this non-slip device instead of trying to hold on to someone’s hand or arm. If you go to your favorite coffee shop, just tuck the Pull-Me-Up in your bag and then you can have a waitress help you up from one of those comfortable couches they have and because it’s so quick and easy to use, I’m sure she won’t mind a bit.
I love this great easy to use option of getting someone to help you when needing assistance to get up from a chair or out of the car. It’s almost like having a grab bar that goes with you but better. You need to have enough strength to be able to grip the bar so take it really slow the first time you have someone help you in order to test out your strength. If you have any doubt as to being able to hold on, it’s best not to use the Pull-Me-Up. However, for all the caregivers, friends and families of someone needing a little help, this little lift aid is a big help.
BodyHealt Self-Powered Chair Lift for Independent Standing
If you are a senior, a physically challenged person, or anyone who finds it difficult to stand up from a sitting position or knows someone who does, the BodyHealt Self-Powered Chair Lift may be a solution. This self-powered chair lift works with an automatic spring release as it lifts and gives you just enough gentle and safe assistance in order to stand up from a sitting position in a chair with arms. The BodyHealt Chair Lift curves to a flat surface that lifts you up onto a level plane with a lifting mechanism that releases automatically as you start to stand. As you put pressure on the seat when you want to sit down, it gently returns you to a sitting position.
The chair seat is comfortable and made of non-slip fabric that is durable polycarbonate material that will not wear out easily. It also has a washable cover. Since people come in all sizes, this lift seat comes in two different weight limits, one for 80 to 230 pounds and one for 195 to 350 pounds. Just think of how much you could be able to accomplish by having the extra independence of being able to get up from a chair. There would be no more calling someone to help you or struggling to do it by yourself. You don’t need electricity or batteries for this device. Under the cushion is a gauge to set for your weight.
The BodyHealt Self-Powered Chair Lift is comparable to the first review of the Carex Upeasy lift but the description are rather lacking, which to me, makes the product lacking. This chair lift aid should not be placed in a recliner, easy chair, or couch unless you’re the handyman type that could make a board fit in the chair to give it a hard surface to sit on. BodyHealt does not make instructions for this product, which can cause some people to return it because they can’t figure out how to put it together or adjust it. Not having instructions with a product that requires any type of assembly, possible adjustments, gauges or switches is just not a good business practice. With some improvements such as including easy-to-understand instructions and some ideas or recommendations as to how to use it, I believe this would be a good product.
How to Find the Right Lift Aid for You
With so many ways to lift you up, where do you begin? Of course, you should talk to your doctor and/or case worker as to which would be the most useful for your current situation. Before discussing with your case worker/doctor, review this guide to get an idea of which products you think will serve your needs the best at this time. In reviewing the ones listed above, the following should help you in determining which chair lift aid or other lift aids would be best for you:
- Do you want a chair lift aid that is portable? Have you found that when you go out to restaurants, doctor offices, visit friends/relatives, that you could use some lift aid help?
- Will your insurance pay for part of the cost? Make a call to your insurance company before you or anyone else orders anything.
- Is the cost within your budget? Once your insurance company tells you how much they will pay, calculate if you can afford the remainder.
- Take into consideration the strength in your arms if you’re interested in one of the lift aids that require you to use your arms. If you are in a wheelchair, are you able to lift yourself out of a wheelchair? If so, you should be able to use this type of lift aids.
- If applicable, is being able to adjust the height or width important to you?
- If applicable, is the type of handle grip or what it’s made of important to you?
- If you have any questions that are not answered in this guide you may call the manufacturer of the device; find their number by searching for it on the Internet.
Lift Aid Brands
Below are two other brands of lift aids that I thought were worth mentioning. I may be partial because I have both types of items mentioned below but I also rely on them and believe them to be an important addition for you or your loved one that needs some help to get in and out of a vehicle and in and out of bed due to having surgery, having arthritis, back problems, chronic pain, or Parkinson’s disease. Since I’ve had experiences with all of these conditions, I know that having these simple and inexpensive lift aids can mean a lot to anyone needing assistance.
Emson 9663 Car Cane Portable Handle
Whether you are able to drive a vehicle or ride as a passenger, this little gadget may be your solution when you have a difficult time getting in or out of the vehicle and are afraid you may fall, especially from an SUV or pick-up truck. Some vehicles have grab bars built in but I find that it’s usually on the passenger side so the driver has to grab the steering wheel to pull up on and that’s not good for your steering column. The Car Cane is a forged aluminum portable handle shaped grab bar and you can apply as much as 350 pounds to it. It fits parallel to the car so you can get a comfortable grip with optimal leverage as it hooks into the striker or latch of either the driver’s side or the passenger side. Most vehicles have them but you need to make sure you have the door striker/hatch on the door frame before purchasing a Car Cane. You simply attach it to use and then remove it when done.
This model is a 3-in-1 Car Cane as it also has a light on it so you can see where to hook it on at night, plus it has a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker for emergencies. You don’t need to make any modifications to your vehicle and it will not leave any marks anywhere as it snaps into the door striker/latch. It is nine inches long and weighs less than one pound. I have one of these and it is very handy when you need a little extra boost and there’s no one around to help you out. I keep mine in the console of my SUV so it’s handy as I normally use it when getting out. I also used it for my husband who had a stroke and had to be helped into the passenger’s side while he would hang on to it for support. Note that the one I have is a Stander brand, which also has an emergency cutter/breaker but I think it is built stronger. I thought the addition of the light would be a good thing to have so I will just have to buy one.
Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket
Due to the fact that the bedroom is one of the most common places for people to fall and mostly while getting in and out of bed, it would be wise for you to check into an assist/lift aid for the bed if you or a loved one is having difficulty getting in or out of bed or rolling over in bed. I recall that not being able to roll over in bed was one of the first things I noticed when my back started having serious problems a few years ago. I didn’t have the strength to be able to sit up to get out of bed or roll over in bed and had to always ask my husband help me.
Once I got a lift and assist bar for the side of my bed, it was a big relief not to have to ask for help. Plus, it has saved me a lot of painful effort of trying to roll over or lift myself up from bed. I love how I can hold onto it while getting out of bed for balance and stability and to get into bed all I need to do is sit next to it, hold onto the bar and swing my body around to be in the right position for sleeping. The Bed Assist Bar gives you stability and confidence, as well as peace of mind. It fits beds from twin to king and beds can be almost any height and it can be placed on either side of the bed. It has a bar that slides between the mattress and box spring and has a strap that wraps around the mattress to add reinforcement. The legs adjust using simple push-buttons to move it up or down to the right height.
Some simple assembling is necessary and step-by-step directions come with to make it easier. You may need assistance with moving the mattress off the bed while placing the straps around the box spring or frame. What’s really cool about the Medline Bed Assist Bar is that it has an organizer and storage pouch to keep personal items that you want to have handy, such as glasses, cell phone, or the remote. This is truly one of the best things to have to help you feel more independent.
Why Do You Need One?
This type of lift aid is one way of helping people who have difficulty getting out of or sitting down on a chair due to lack of strength in the upper and/or lower body that may be a result of injury or conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s, MS, or other muscle or nerve diseases. It can also be used after an operation that weakens the muscles needed to lift you up and be able to sit down without just collapsing into a chair. If you are not able to get up from bed or a chair without the help of someone, it stands to reason that your activity level would go down and you may not even want to try and get out of bed. However, if you have this type of device, you would be able to keep some of your independence in order to do many of the usual things that you are like to do.
How Do You Get One?
If you have had an injury that would qualify you for one, your doctor will prescribe the correct lift aid for you that you would need to purchase from a medical equipment company as most drug stores do not carry them. If you need it due to other conditions, your doctor can also prescribe it so that it is covered by your insurance. To get an idea of what you may want and the prices, you can view a large selection online from several different websites.