Stand assist for seniors
Upon reaching senior age, you might have a difficult time standing up from a sitting position, either due to mobility or balance issues. It can be hard to deal with the loss of strength, especially since it affects your ability to stand without support. In such situations, you might want to consider a stand assist, a device which can greatly improve the overall quality of life. You can use it to be more independent in your home, no longer relying on caregivers to make the transfer from sitting to standing.
Vive Stand Assist - Mobility Standing Aid Rail for Couch, Chair - Assistance Handle for Patients, Elderly, Seniors and Disabled - Safety Grab Bar for Sitting, Sofa, Home - Adjustable, Portable Device
- Allows elderly to rise from chairs, sofas and recliners with greater ease
- Easy to install
- Adjustable frame
- Soft grip covers
What is a stand assist?
In simple terms, a stand assist refers to a device that can be used to make the transfer from the sitting to the standing position. It is known as a mobility aid, being recommended for seniors who are dealing with loss of strength and mobility. Even though they might be able to complete a part of the task without assistance, the respective device can make the whole transfer easier. They increase the overall mobility, allowing seniors to maintain their independence. Not having to rely on caregivers is a big plus, helping one integrate a positive mindset as well.
Rock Steady Cane - Hip, Knee, Surgery Recovery Aid - Helps You Recover Faster from Surgeries and Injuries. Fully Adjustable Walking Cane Keeps You Moving, Increasing Circulation and Flexibility
- All-in-one versatility - can be used for walking, getting in and out of the car, getting up from couch or bed
- Adjustable to your height
- Self-standing walking cane and stand assist aid
- Heavy duty construction
Features of stand assist devices
As there are different stand assists on the market, it is only normal to wonder about the best features such devices might have. A good stand assist should have an adjustable height, so that you can use it without having to bend or strain your back. As you can adjust the height, it might be possible for both you and your spouse to use it. Moreover, such devices are designed to fit into narrow spaces, which allows for the easy storage. You should also pay attention to the weight capacity; most models support up to 250-300 lbs., but it is recommended to use it just for support. Full weight bearing is not advised.
Quality stand assists are made from lightweight, yet sturdy materials, such as aluminum. Some models might also you to walk around the house, serving a similar purpose as a cane or walker. Regardless of the preferred model, you should make sure it has a non-slip foam grip, as this guarantees the comfortable use. If you are looking for easy storage, you might consider choosing one with foldable legs. Keep in mind that the stand assist might be used to get out of the car, increasing your level of independence outside the home.
An ergonomic model will offer both the necessary balance and support to change positions effortlessly. The swiveling tray table is an interesting feature, as you use it to serve meals, use various devices such as the laptop or tablet, and store various objects. Many stand assists feature built-in cup holders and storage compartments, so as to guarantee added functionality. When the tray table is not used, it can be pivoted out of the way. Aside from the height, you might also want to ensure that the depth of the device can be adjusted. Fortunately, most models are easy to assemble, without any tools being necessary.
If you are looking for a sturdier stand assist, you should choose a model made from steel. Some models allow for various maneuvers, including sitting-to-standing and vice-versa. They are stable enough for seniors to change positions, offering optimal safety. Lightweight models are also available, these being easier to maneuver but not that stable. You might opt for a model where the base fits underneath the sofa or chair, with a handle or grip to facilitate the desired transfer. Quality models can withstand the common wear and tear process, regardless of how often they are used.
The handle is one of the most important elements to pay attention to, as it contributes to both the ease of use and comfort. It is recommended to choose a stand assist with a large handle, preferably with an ergonomic design. Such models can be used by seniors who have limited mobility and strength in their arm or hand. The grip should be padded, as this will ensure the safe use, with a low risk of slipping and falling.
As already mentioned, a stand assist with an adjustable height is a good option. This is because such a device can accommodate more than one senior, not to mention it allows for different maneuvers. Keep in mind that there are models that don't come with height adjustability, so make sure that yours has this feature. The height might have to be adjusted manually or with the help of buttons/levers. You should also do your best to choose a model that can be used with both the chair and sofa, especially if you are looking to be active around the home.
Many seniors are worried that the device will damage the floors or represent a tripping hazard. Rest assured, as these issues are never the case with quality models. You can choose a model that a lower profile, which means that the risk of tripping will be virtually eliminated. As for the floor damage, it might interest you to know that most models feature rubber pads, which ensure that the stand assist does not slide or shift, not to mention it protects your floors from any kind of device. You can place the device on either side of the sofa or chair, adjusting it as desired. The low profile is also one of the reasons for which transfers are facilitated.
Types of stand assist
There are several types of stand assists, each with its benefits to offer. As you will see for yourself, these are either manual or mechanized; the differences between them lie in the available feature, the support offered, and the mode in which they can be operated.
Manual stand assists are devices that have to be operated manually, as there is no mechanical assistance involved. Also known as transfer aids, they allow one to go from sitting or standing. With the help of these devices, seniors can also perform rotations, despite lacking the necessary strength to achieve such actions on their own. The device might be equipped with straps or a belt, which will help the senior keep his/her hips extended. As a result, standing will be facilitated.
On the other hand, the mechanized stand assist functions automatically. Slings are attached to the device, in order to help the senior in question achieve and maintain the standing position. These devices are also known as powered standing aids, featuring a battery for the lifting mechanism. Seniors might operate the stand assist device without assistance from a caregiver, which is another benefit to consider. Generally speaking, the mechanized stand assist is recommended for seniors who are able to bear weight for a bit, but lack the necessary strength to transition into the standing position.
Cost of a stand assist
The cost of a stand assist varies on average between $25 and $250, depending on the model and the available features. It is worth mentioning that mechanized versions are more expensive, given the integrated lifting system. Also, the more features a stand assist has, the more you will have to pay for the respective device. In choosing a particular product, you should consider both your needs and available budget. Some models can go as high as $1,000, but you need to make sure that you really need such an expensive device.
What are the benefits of stand assists?
There are countless benefits that come with using a stand assist, starting with the fact that you will be able to go from sitting to standing without the assistance of a caregiver. This newfound independence is beneficial for one's mental health, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety. You will no longer have to fear completing this task, being able to complete the daily routine more easily.
Weakness and muscle atrophy are often encountered in seniors, particularly as they might spend a lot of time in a clinical setting. The more time is spent lying in a bed, the higher the risk of such issues becoming chronic. A standing aid can help them get accustomed to standing again and even work on their standing stamina. Upon changing the position, the risk of pressure ulcers is reduced, and this is quite a significant benefit to consider. You should also think about the fact that a stand assist can reduce the risk of injuries; the more one is able to stand on his/her own, the better the chances of moving around without losing balance and falling.
The ability to switch from a sitting position to standing matters tremendously. Dealing with mobility impairment, a senior might be prevented from completing the tasks of daily living, relying on a caregiver for assistance. The stand assist makes life easier and safer, reducing the risk of injuries. Did you know that most emergency calls involving seniors regard accidents that have occurred inside the home, often due to balance or mobility issues? With the stand assist, you are taking action, preventing unnecessary complications that might impair your health even further.
Who should use a stand assist?
A stand assist is recommended for all the seniors who might need help changing positions. The device in itself increases mobility, helping those who are dealing with loss of strength, bone frailty, or lack of balance. It might be a great assistive tool for those who have spent a lot of time in a hospital bed, needing time to regain the strength in their legs. The same goes for those who are undergoing rehabilitation for major joint surgery, such as the hip replacement.
Given that the stand assist can be operated by the senior, without additional assistance, it also means one can work on his/her recovery at the desired pace. From a different perspective, it is worth mentioning that the stand assist has an empowering effect. As one becomes more independent, the confidence in his/her ability to recover will grow as well. Such devices can contribute to a better quality of life for those who are suffering from degenerative conditions, such as ALS, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson's disease, joint disease, arthritis, etc. They give the gift of freedom, relieving caregivers from physical tasks at the same time.
How to choose a stand assist
Returning to the weight capacity, there is one specific issue to be on the lookout for. If the stand assist is going to be used by more than one person, you should take into account the weight difference. Choose a model that has a higher weight capacity, so that it can accommodate both seniors, without any risk of injury during use. Keep in mind that some models are mechanized, being equipped with a battery that has to be changed at regular intervals. It is recommended to choose a model with a portable battery, as this will allow you to replace the empty battery with a full one on the spot. Also, if you are looking to move or travel, be sure to verify the ease of transport before making an actual purchase. The best options are the stand assists that can be folded and disassembled within minutes, with little or not tools.
In choosing a particular model, one that is mechanized, you should inquire about the noise level. Ideally, the respective model should guarantee a smooth and quiet functioning, otherwise they will only add to the stress of having to move. Poor-quality stand assists are not only noisy, but they also make abnormal movements, causing seniors to be reluctant when it comes to actually using these. As a result, the whole rehabilitation process might be impaired. If you are looking to support someone with transfers, you need a stand assist that is far from noisy, with smooth movements. The comfort of the user should represent a top priority.
Here is a short overview of the aspects you should consider:
Note: if you are not certain whether you would benefit from a stand assist or not, it might be a good idea to have a visit from a certified occupational therapist. The specialist can assess your need for such assistive devices and make recommendations on the intended uses.
- Price - choose a product that matches your price range and personal requirements (keep in mind that a more expensive product is not necessarily a better one)
- Features - choose features that guarantee usability and comfort, such as the adjustable height and depth, swiveling storage tray, built-in cup holder, storage compartment, etc. (always think of the features that matter the most to you)
- Portability - this is essential for someone who plans on using the device not only to stand but also to move around the home; on the other hand, a stationary model is a good option for those who are interested in going from sitting to standing
- Functionality - a stand assist should deliver the expected level of functionality, being easy to use; if you are not going with a mechanized model, you can at least choose one with comfortable grips, levers, or push buttons
- Adjustability - make sure that the chosen model can be adjusted, both in terms of height and depth; choose a model that can be customized, rather than one that promises to match all users
- Weight capacity - choose a model with a high weight capacity, preferably between 250 and 300 lbs. If you have a heavier frame, redirect your attention towards bariatric models, as these are sturdier
In most the cases, caregivers are the first to notice that their senior might need help with transfers, suggesting the possibility of a stand assist. As a result, before any purchase is made, they might request the help of a specialist to offer what is known as a risk assessment. Seniors will be asked to attempt transfers, with the specialist observing their ability to stand and how much weight they are able to bear. They might bring different stand assists for the seniors to try, so as to find the best match.
As part of the assessment process, they will pay attention to the environment. It is essential to determine where the stand assist is going to be used, and what are the senior's needs with regard to transfers. The functional gain is established during the assessment, with the therapist suggesting a model that matches both the senior's needs and his/her environment. Among the aspects considered, there are: intended use, ability to bear weight during standing, floor surface, available space, etc. Sometimes, carers might be trained to provide assistance with the stand assist, especially for the initial use period.
Installation and looking after the stand assist
Some stand assists can be installed without any tools whatsoever. However, for most models, you will need just one tool, more specifically the Allen wrench. Most parts are lightweight, which means that one can assemble the device without support. However, if you feel uncertain or lack the necessary strength to handle the installation, you might consider asking a relative or friend for help.
The stand assist should be cleaned with mild cleaning products. Most manufacturers offer warranty for this device, especially with regard to the common wear and tear process. If you are opting for a more advanced model, one which includes a mechanized function, you should make sure that the warranty covers it. You might also inquire about replacement parts, should that be necessary.
Caregiver's point of view
As a caregiver, you might be torn between continuing to offer your assistance and encouraging your senior to use a stand assist. Well, it is worth mentioning that one does not have to exclude the other. This assistive device will not only benefit your senior, but it will reduce the physical and emotional caregiving burden. Looking after someone with limited mobility, you might be aware that safety is a primary goal. However, you should also try to look at things from the senior's perspective and understand that independence is equally important. Imagine how amazing it must feel to be able to go from sitting to standing on your own, without needing someone to assist you. The achievement in itself must be quite liberating.
Frequently asked questions about stand assist
Should I purchase a manual or automated version?
In choosing a particular stand assist, you should consider both your needs and the available budget. While the manual version might be less expensive, it has a lower functionality than the mechanized stand assist. The latter, on the other hand, has a higher cost, but comes with enhanced usability. You might test both in order to determine which one works the best for your own individual situation.
Should I rely on the stand assist permanently?
This depends on your health and the associated level of strength. Some seniors might rely on the stand assist only temporarily, while they recover from surgery or other acute conditions. On the other hand, if you are dealing with a chronic, deteriorating condition, you might benefit from using the stand assist on a long-term basis. This is particularly true for those diagnosed with conditions such as ALS or Parkinson's disease.
How does the stand assist promote independence?
First and foremost, it will allow you to go from sitting to standing on your own, without a caregiver involved in the respective task. As you become comfortable with the device, you might attempt moving around the house, taking part to various activities or completing certain tasks yourself. All of these translate into independence, guaranteed to improve your mindset as well. As a result, the risk of anxiety and depression is reduced.
A stand assist can help you achieve transfers on your own, without the assistance of a caregiver. The independence is offered cannot be underestimated, especially in this particular age. As you have seen, you can choose between manual and automatic version, with more or less complex features. In choosing a particular model, you will have to consider both your needs and the available budget. A stand assist will help you rise from the chair, sofa, or recliner with easy, so the investment is definitely worth it.
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