Scenarios - A 69-year-old man with rheumatoid arthritis was finding it increasingly difficult to get up from his seat at the restaurant. What equipment might help?
A 69-year-old man with rheumatoid arthritis had always really enjoyed going out with his family and friends to restaurants to experience new foods from around the world.
Unfortunately, in recent months his mobility had deteriorated and, in particular, he was finding it very difficult to get up from his seat. He had bought himself a riser recliner chair for home, but obviously this wouldn’t help when he was out.
He could manage to get to the table and sit himself down reasonably easily but at the end of the meal he had great difficulty getting up again. His friends and family tried to help but he was a heavy man and they struggled. This was very embarrassing, but worse he was worried that it might be dangerous. The last time someone had tried to pull him up by his arm and the pain had made him shout out so that his helpers had let go and he’d nearly fallen on the floor.
Is there any equipment that might help?
- The simplest thing would be to take 2 or 3 deep cushions as rising from a higher starting point is obviously easier. However, there are number of potential drawbacks:
- he still has to get himself up, albeit not so far
- the cushions might be unstable on a small restaurant seat base
- he would end up sitting far higher than the table and his companions.
- Putting Furniture Raisers on the chair might help, assuming that the chairs are compatible, that the restaurant doesn’t object and that there is someone with him who knows how to fit the furniture raisers. However, like the cushions he still has to get himself up and he would end up sitting far higher than the table
- An alternative might be to use a wheelchair and remain in it during the meal. If there is good wheelchair access to the restaurant then this is, initially, a relatively straight-forward option. However, in practice it is really postponing the problem until he has to get up from his wheelchair when he reaches the car.
- Standing Aids or Patient Turners like the Atlas Advance or TOPRO Taurus E Walker - can also be used to aid standing. In theory this might be a good solution, however in practice this is not likely to be right for him. The equipment can be quite bulky and there would need to space in the car and then it would have to be wheeled into the restaurant. He would also be likely be be embarrassed by the whole process occurring in a public place.
- The SitnStand might prove to be the best solution for this man. He could carry it into the restaurant in its neat carrier bag but sit at the table in the normal way so no one would know that there was any issue. At the end of the meal all he would need to do would be to press a button and he would be raised up to a near standing position and then put it back into its bag