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My mom's circulation isn't great. She's also been having balance problems. What she has been doing is dumping herself into her recliner, reclining, and not coming out of it. She goes kind of into a stupor for hours and hours.

When she's not in the recliner, it's easier to get her to be active.

A couple thoughts I'm having:
1. I think that once she reclines that she mentally shuts-off. I notice her memory is worse, her balance is worse, everything is worse. For this, I'm not sure it's the recliner's "fault" but think that once she reclines that she kind of gives up on life. I think she is then unmotivated to come out of it and do things, again. When she sits upright, she might close her eyes for awhile and stop doing things, but she eventually starts her activities on her own.
2. I wonder if the recliner is bad for her circulation. Partly, it seems to discourage her from any movement. Partly, though, am not sure if reclining with her legs up and totally stationary for long periods of time is especially bad for her.

Anyone happen to know whether a recliner can actually be a bad thing?

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Recliners do provide some benefits but should not be overused because of damage that can be done (pressure sores, back damage, muscle weakness, etc.). We have received hundreds of calls from people with Parkinsons- because of their bed mobility problems many have resorted to sleeping in recliners. They are now having medical problems (and really want to sleep in a bed again) which prompts them to call for help. Sleeping in bed (and repositioning for comfort anytime you want) can provide better quality sleep- and for many people being able to remain sleeping with one's spouse is their #1 goal.
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Two words: Rocking Chair
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Stiver488824, do you have back problems? Any mobility problems? Is the recliner comfortable? Does it fit you well? (Not too narrow, not too long or short in the seat -- it ends where your legs bend.)
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I have a basic recliner is it good for my back
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I have a basic recliner us it good for mt bad vacj
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Lilacalani, no recliners in this house, either. There's a reason they are called "lazyboy" :P

My Dad [93] has a recliner and so does Mom [97] but rarely does Mom use her recliner... she rather sit in her straight back wing chair. Mom is definitely more mobile than Dad is :)
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I saw my husband morphing into his recliner. It was scary. He became more and more lethargic, saying it was to hard to get out of it, and therefore he stayed in it. I finally convinced him to get rid of the darn thing. He's now walking more, his posture is getting better, and I think his mind is better. So I say, "No more recliners!"
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Zombie- my prayers are with you- it doesn't sound like there is much you are able to do. Lots of good info- recliners have some good benefits but "living in them" is a very bad idea. Movement and "use it or lose it" mentality is key for anyone's health. Bed mobility problems (getting in/out of bed and repositioning) can be an underlying issue of the recliner question. Lots of calls of people sleeping in recliners because they can't use the bed- or people giving up and staying in bed all day because of transfer problems. There are many assistive products available to help them but often people don't know where to look.
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I know this is an old post, 15 months to be exact. My mother died over 18 months ago, and my father has lived in his recliner (when not in bed) all that time. He's getting weaker and weaker. I've always thought the inactivity would kill him but he goes on. He looks and smells dead but never actually dies. I hate waiting for death. I would much rather that he decide to live and get up before he can't any longer. It takes him a few minutes to get out of the recliner these days while he rocks back and forth. He is diabetic too and won't see a doctor. He (and my brother) thinks he is fine, and life is just fine to live in a pseudo-vegetative state.
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We bought my father a lift chair because he wouldn't get out of bed. After he had the chair, he would at least get a little exercise walking to the chair, to the bathroom, to meals, a little therapy and then back to bed. He was at the point where he was unable to walk unassisted. Also being able to put his feet up helped with the edema in his legs.
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Thanks for all the suggestions. It gives me a lot to think about.
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i took a chance and bought my aunt a used recliner and she loves it -- slept in it last night. before now she either sat in a wheelchair or sat on a delapidated couch with her feet up in the wheelchair.
anyone who doesnt like their recliner, ill trade you a camaro bucket seat and 2 concrete blocks for it..
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My dad has poor circulation, and the recliner helps keep his legs elevated. His legs are less purple now. His is electric, and I have cut gel foam from an old mattress topper I had, to fit his back and butt. We also use a donut (they come in two sizes, I didn't know that before) for him to sit on, to prevent sores. He has to go to the bathroom alot (his prostate cancer) so gets some degree of exersize. There also becomes a point where the person may be nearing the end, and just can't move.
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I’d also like to add that if someone has edema and/or really poor circulation, it helps to elevate the legs above the level of the heart everyday. This position can be attained while lying in bed with pillows cushions put under the feet while lying our one’s back. You can can not elevate the legs to a level above the heart in a seated position. I think recliners are good for some people, if used in an informed way.
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My husband "lived" in his recliner for about 2 years, while in his late 60's. Although the recliner felt comfortable to him, it threw off the curvature of his spine, to the point that his spine no longer curves. I finally convinced him to donate the recliner to charity. He's now doing exercises to try to help his spine.
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My father in his early nineties slept at least 18 hours a day but at least he would switch from bed to recliner and back. He used my prototype for repositioning himself so he never had bedsores. Sleeping only in a recliner is bad for the back. One of my early calls was from a woman with Parkinsons- she had been sleeping in a recliner for years and was crying (with happiness) that there finally was a way for her to sleep in bed again. Everyone's body needs movement otherwise it is a one way trip to losing all your strength.
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My mom was in a recliner for 2 years. Caused huge wound issues, now she has an air mattress bed and no wound issues to speak of other than the lasting effects of that two years.
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The object of life is to remain as active as one can be. A recliner does not allow activity and therefore will breakdown one's muscles and one will not burn calories (thus gaining weight). If she has an edema problem with her ankles swelling, then elevating them is a good thing, but you didn't indicate she has that problem. Get her up moving and being active as much as possible, and with exercise she will be more motivated to stay active. Remember, the heart is a muscle and needs regular exercise in order to function optimally. Again, the more active she (and all of us) can be the better! Try moving the recliner away from the t.v. so she won't be inclined to recline!
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If it were for a trade I would suggest something like an adjustable home care bed.

This way she will be able to have all the adjustments one could possible need for comfort as well as for care.
One could see it as a long term solution, as the older she gets the less mobile she will become naturally.
So this will be a benefit at a later stage for both your mom and the people caring for her, like yourself.

I agree totally that she should be as active as she possibly can be...
Perhaps the adjustable home care bed would give her the same perception as getting out of bed when need be to be active, like most do in normal circumstances on a daily basis.

In my opinion it would be the next best thing , not only for her but also for you caring for her, as a replacement to the recliner chair.

Here is an example of a Home care bed:

Keep us posted on your thoughts and progress.
Hope this was useful for you.
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If it weren't for Mom's recliner, her feet would be on the floor 24/7. A few years ago her prosthetic hip deteriorated and the original surgeon advised against repair. Since then, Mom's muscles have compensated so she can stand and walk. But because of the original pain, she no longer lies down in bed to sleep. I'm happy when she uses the recliner and her feet are elevated, greatly improving circulation.
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I think it depends on where she's at mentally, emotionally and physically.
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My mother developed bed sores on her back side from spending too much time in the same seated position on her recliner. When examining the bed sores her PC physician told her how important it is to shift positions/weight while being seated for long periods of time; shifting one’s body weight from one side to the other. The design of recliners more-or-less encourage people to stay in one seated position.
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My mom does not really like the recliner - sometimes she will sit in it, sometimes sideways with her legs dangling over the edge. She tries to sleep every now and then in the living room in a Queen Anne chair. We do not let her do that. I totally agree with you, I know it is bad for her circulation. Motion is good. Follow your instincts. Maybe you could "trade" her the recliner for something else she might like - she might be willing to do it if it is a trade.
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i believe in creature comfort at all cost. im sitting in a camaro bucket seat right now but eventually ill move up to something with adjustable lumbar..
be a jellin then..
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i feel like the rest mother got in the comfortable recliner reenergised her to take a walk and do things. wish id have kept it, my triclops sis has it and edna needs it.
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Captain i agree about making them comfortable later on but my mum is only 76yrs old and will die alot sooner if she dosnt move her butt she goes from bed to settee to bed its not good for her body. Your mum was at the end stages and all we can do then is make them comfortable. Im afraid she may stop walking soon. Getting a bit couch potatoe myself lately just fed up and getting lazy better get out walking soon but the rain dosnt help!
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Staying in the same position and not moving around for long periods is not good, whether it is in a recliner, on the couch, in bed, in a special lift chair or anywhere else.

It is not the fault of the recliner, but if Mom is more apt to be a little more active if she uses some other seat, then changing seats MIGHT help.

I LOVE my recliner. We first bought one because it seemed to help my husband breath easier with his congestive heart failure. One night after he went to bed I sat in it. OMG! I went out the next week and spent a day picking out one for me. It makes me smile every time I sit in it. Why shouldn't someone who is sick have the most comfortable seat he or she can find? (Or someone who isn't sick, for that matter!) It is the lack of activity that is the problem. I'd try to work a little harder on that (which I know is exceedingly hard) rather than focus on the kind of seat.
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i dont totally agree. my mother bought an electrically controlled recliner 3 months before she died and it was her best source of comfort. a recliner lying back puts weight on the lumbar and spine and can actually relieve pressure points on the hip bones.
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geo my mum dosnt have a recliner but just sits on the settee all day and night? I too am very worried but have had the nurses up this week and they are now going to get a physio up to her.
So hard when they wont get active and then their circulation goes and they get cold.
The nurses are now going to send in a carer everyday to at least get her up and dressed as she will not listen to me but i know its not going to make any difference she just wont do as shes advised. i have to step back now and let the carers see how stubborn she is.
Can you ask her doc to get her physio of some sort? sometimes getting another person in to help this is better than family as they never listen to us!
So sad to see someone just sitting there all day my mum complains all the time of hip pains and legs its because she does nothing to move around im scared that she may lose the mobility in her legs soon.
I think i would get rid of the chair but try and speak to a physio and see what they say. Does she go to daycare? here they have physio for the elderly.
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This is what I'm seeing. Thanks, Eyerishlass. I'm having a hard time convincing her to get rid of it, though.
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