Manufacturers push safety as lift chair business booms

Monday, March 31, 2003

Manufacturers are listening to their providers’ feedback and investing in research and development as recent technology advancements and a new generation of consumers bring a surge to the seat lift chair market.

Although the industry took a hit years ago when Medicare reduced its coverage for seat lift chairs, causing clinical referrals to almost disappear, manufacturers say the industry has not suffered and, in fact, has seen an increase in sales due to the baby-boomer generation.

“Our lift chair line, right now, is at the top of its game,” said Mark Miller, vice president of marketing for Pride Mobility Products Corp. “There’s a great push.”

C.J. Copley, director of marketing at Golden Technologies, agreed. “There’s a huge need. We haven’t even dented the market.”

To meet the developing demand, manufacturers have taken provider feedback and started developing lift chairs that provide the needs consumers are asking for. A larger variety of product lines, improved designs, a wider range in prices, which includes economy and luxury lines, and more safety as well as specialty options are just a few.

Seat lift chairs range in price from the standard economy models, costing around $650, to the luxury ones, reaching approximately $1,500.

In fact, with all the options now available, purchasing a seat lift chair today is almost like walking into Brookstone or Sharper Image and sitting down in one of their luxury, state-of-the-art, massage chairs with optional heating.

And while massage and heating are actual options available, along with cup holders, manufacturers are putting their focus on safety. Almost all seat lift chairs now offer a battery back-up system to ensure consumers never get stuck if the power should ever go out. Some chairs even include a safety measure that interrupts the decline motion if an object obstructs its path.

“We’re making quality advancements,” said Miller. “These (chairs) are almost service free.”

Other safety features among the lift chair product lines include transfer chairs, which furnish removable arms for easy moving, and infinite chairs, which allows for full reclining to a bed position, and adjustable feet with a no slip bottom. All these features are available while maintaining the look and fabric design of a regular piece of furniture.

“Consumers need to be aware of the safest products out there and the efforts manufacturers go to, to make it safe,” Copley said. HME

Berkline Lift Chair

356 Lift Chair
- Three-way Wallaway Lift allows you to fully recline within 2 inches of a wall.

- Chaise seating provides head-to-toe support and comfort.

- Shares key features with all Berkline Lift products, including removable backs, battery back-up, safety ottomans and Tempur-Pedic seat option.
Golden Technologies

Signature Series: Best

- Infinite positions - operate head and foot independently and offers extended trendelenburg positioning.

- Full chaise pad lounger.

- Removable back and dual motor.
Med-Lift & Mobility

Signature Series: Best

- Lifetime warranty on frame, mechanism, and hardware.

- Kiln dried oak frame.

- Wallaway with battery backup system in

sizes petite, standard, and wide.
Pride Mobility Products

Signature Series: Best

- Three-position medium to large chaise lounger.

- All electric lift and recline with a weight capacity of 375 pounds.

- Delivers superb comfort and style.
Unicare Medical

Obusforme Lift chair
Signature Series: Best

- Early rise ottoman.

- Movable head rest.

- Ergonomic design with built in back and seat support.
Uplift Technologies

Uplift Power Seat
- Lifts 100 percent of the user’s weight up to 300 pounds.

- Transforms any chair into an automatic electric lift chair.

- Easy to transport.