Parkinson’s, Caregivers, and Mealtime:
Why dining chairs need to swivel…turn…roll…and lock for safety
Caring for a loved one living with Parkinson’s can be a daunting challenge for both family members and caregivers.
Mealtimes can be especially challenging for persons living with Parkinson’s, as they are at risk of falling due to the neurological disorder which causes uncontrolled movements including shaking, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Caregivers, experience increased levels of stress and anxiety when monitoring a loved one’s actions. Any attempt by their loved one to get seated without their support could result in a fall or injury.
A. The Challenge at Mealtime
While the process of being seated at the table is routine for many of us, the process of a person with Parkinson’s getting seated at the table has two (2) distinct challenges which need to be fully understood by the caregivers.
Use of an office/task chair is deemed unsafe as this style of chair is designed to roll easily, putting the seated person at risk of falling should the chair move away unexpectantly.
Challenge #2: Being moved safely up-to and away-from the table
Once seated, the physical demands required of the care provider to move a seated person up to the table can be exhausting. Any activity which involves pushing, pulling, shoving and twisting of a seated person also increases the care providers risk of incurring an injury/fall.
The use of a standard dining chair is also deemed unsafe as it is designed not to move, putting the care provider at risk of incurring a personal injury as a result of overexertion.
Challenge #1: Getting seated safely in a chair
It is not uncommon for a person with Parkinson’s to bump into furniture while attempting to get seated in a chair. This can have disastrous results as any unintended contact with the chair can cause the chair to move unexpectantly, many times resulting in a fall/injury!
An office/task chair is deemed unsafe as this style of chair rolls too easily, putting the seated person at risk of falling should the chair move unexpectantly.
Challenge #2: Once seated, getting moved safely up-to and away-from the table
The physical demands required of the spouse/caregiver to move a seated person up to the table can be exhausting. Any activity which involves pushing-pulling-shoving-twisting when assisting a seated person increases the caregiver’s risk of incurring an injury/fall.
A standard dining chair is deemed unsafe as it is does not move easily, putting the care provider at risk of incurring a personal injury.
B. Addressing Mealtime Challenges
Dining chairs designed to address these concerns should have ARMS and include mobility features enabling the chair to SWIVEL-LOCK…TURN…ROLL…and BRAKE for safety!.
Chairs that SWIVEL-LOCK enable the seat of the chair to rotate 90 degrees away from the table. With the seat locked in place, the person being seated is able to rely on the arms of the chair for support and has full access to the seat of the chair as any interference with the table has been eliminated. Once seated, they can release the swivel-lock and swivel themselves towards the table.
Additionally, chairs that SWIVEL-LOCK…ROLL…and BRAKE can be moved further away from the table providing increased table clearance should a second caregiver be required to provide assistance or if the person relies on a walker/rollator for stability.
Chairs that TURN…ROLL…and BRAKE for safety offer another unique option for caregivers as the undercarriage attached to the base of the chair enables the caregiver to move the chair to the location where the person requiring assistance is standing. In this position with the brakes applied, the person can be seated into the chair and then moved up-to the dining table with ease and grace.
Exiting the table: With the seat of the chair
turned (90 degrees) away from the table, the seated person is
also able to rise from the chair and walk directly away from
This eliminates the need for the person to lean on the table and shuffle/pivot his/her feet as they reach for their walker.
My husband has Parkinson’s Disease and has broken 2 chairs trying to get close enough to the table to eat. This mobility chair is the best. So easy to sit him at the table now.
Swivel & Roll - Merriville, IN
This chair has been a lifesaver. My husband has
progressive Parkinson's Disease and needs 24-hour
assistance. We could not find a chair that would fit his
needs. An office chair with wheels was not an option
because it flew off whenever he was rising or sitting
down. To turn a regular chair away from the table, it
had to be lifted with him in it.
With the stiffness caused by his illness, he could not help, thus the chair was dragged and quite a number of chairs got broken (along with the floor being damaged.) After days of online research, I came across your chair. It has been life-altering. I have recommended this chair to so many people who are afflicted the same way he is.