What Else Do I Need to Know Before Buying Quality Furniture for My Facility?
Part Four: Flex-ability
Flex-ability – After decades of having to make furniture designed for residential use work in group living environments, manufacturers have finally begun to show their understanding of the needs of staff, clients and consumers.
Consider the following design enhancements that can ease the challenges of group living:
- “Crate Style” lounge furniture has solid wood frames and replaceable cushions that are easy to repair and maintain, and will last almost indefinitely.
- Consider all possible uses for a given area, and identify individual furniture items than can perform multiple duties. For example, a storage chest can double as bench seating or as a coffee table.
- -Seniors and others with limited mobility benefit from specialized seating for comfort, ease of use and safety. Consider the following design enhancements:
- -Arms on chairs are a necessity for those with limited mobility as they provide extra support for transitioning from sitting to standing and vice versa.
- Seniors and others with limited mobility often suffer from reduced muscle tone. In these cases, seat height must be higher to enable the extension of the knee from the sitting to standing position. Seat Height should range from 20” to 22”.
- A shorter seat depth also aids in the transition from sitting to standing. Seat depth should range from 20” to 22”.
- All seating pieces intended for use by individuals with limited mobility should have a cushion since the person tends to stay seated for extended periods of time. A cushion should not be so soft that it creates an obstacle for standing but should not be so hard that it is uncomfortable for extended use.
- Fabric and other design enhancements can add to the comfort and function of seating for those with limited mobility. Limited mobility and incontinence tend to go hand in hand. Fabrics such as Crypton© offer a high-degree of fluid-resistance and can protect upholstered furniture from odor and staining. In addition, pop-out and clean out seat designs encourage fluids away from the client and the furniture. Caregivers and staff can easily access fluid clean-ups which are forced to the floor.
This is the third blog in a series that offers further advice on How to Buy Affordable, Durable Furniture!