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Hello and advice on chairs

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    Hello and advice on chairs

    Hello, my brother was diagnosed with MND last February. He's 48 and it started in his right leg. I've been on the forum a few times and picked up some really helpful advice over the past 12 months while getting my head around the diagnosis, so thank you to you all for all the posts. This is my first and was hoping to get some thoughts on chairs? He's able to get about a bit on two sticks, and some days are better than others. He has stair lift and has made other adaptations and is being amazingly strong, supported by his wife and his teenage children. He is seeing his OT this week to talk about getting a special chair and I wondered whether anyone had any advice on what to get? He's mentioned about it needing a dual motor and to have a removable seat cushion to enable pressure release. I get the impression that the OT suggested he did some research online but he's reluctant so I thought I'd ask here in case anyone had any insight. Thank you very much for your help.

    Hi Arabella

    A couple of thoughts from me.

    If space is tight ask the OT about a wall hugger chair. This type of chair needs less space to recline in although I don’t think they come with dual motors.

    Make sure your brother is properly measured so the correct seat width and depth along with the back height and arm length is supplied. Also talk to the OT about the various types of back, head and sides supports so he gets the ones that will provide the best support for him.

    I’m sure the OT will be aware of all these things but sometimes it helps to have a checklist.


      I wish I could help but I think I haven't got the time! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„x
      Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ˜xx


        Hello Arabella,

        As was said by Bowler it is important to match the chair to the person. One thing to consider is where the power source is since you don’t want cable trailing. Since your brother is ambulant I would suggest he visits a disability store where they have numerous chairs to try.
        I’m going to do this even if it kills me!


          Thank you very much for these thoughts/recommendations, really grateful. I'll feedback to him. Thanks again!


            A warm welcome to the Forum, Arabella.

            Your brother is correct, dual motor chairs are much better - they are more expensive obvs, but the OT shouldn't try to fob him off with a cheap chair, the functionality that comes with a dual motor is more suited to problems associated with MND, e.g. needing to elevate the legs to ease swelling or to redistribute weight. (For those who don't know the difference, A single motor Riser Recliner will lower the backrest whilst simultaneously raising the footrest, putting you into a laying position. With a dual motor riser recliner there are two motors which raise and lower the back and footrests independently. A dual motor riser recliner is suitable if you need to be able to sit up vertically but also keep your legs raised)

            The pressure relief cushion need not be integral to the chair - an OT can supply this separately. As Bowler said, chair width and length are important.

            If your brother finds that a riser-recliner won't be provided to him, he should contact the MNDA for the loan of a chair or a grant to buy one.

            Lastly, that OT doesn't sound great πŸ™„ It should be his/her job to give professional advice, and not to ask the client to do the research...

            Love Ellie.
            ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
            Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.



              Thank you, Ellie! This is so helpful, esp the bit about the dual motor and why it's important. Feel much more knowledgeable now. And hope I haven't done a disservice to the OT, either. The research request came from my brother to my mother to me so things might have been lost in translation...thank you very much again for your help


                Ellie is our Stephen Hawkings πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„πŸ‘x
                Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ˜xx


                  Hi Arabella, I agree that dual motors are definitely needed for people with MND. I get fluid in my ankles if don’t put my feet up for most of the day.

                  I had a chair given to me initially very kindly by the wife of a person who’d died. It didn’t suit me, caused me severe back pain. So we gave it to our local hospice. This shows how people need to have chairs made to measure. I got a specialist company to come out. I don’t like salesmen but needs must. I now have a very comfy (and nice looking) chair but it cost me approximately Β£3400. I received Β£750 from an MNDA Grant towards it, which I was very grateful for. It was just as well that I’d saved up for a deposit on my next teaching car (I was a driving instructor), or I’d have struggled to find this ridiculous amount.

                  I wish your brother good luck with his dual motor chair search. Love Lynne x
                  Last edited by Lynne K; 22 March 2021, 16:08.
                  ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my balance.

                  I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.


                    Well I'm hoping to be back on the road in time for early June. Race on then! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„πŸ˜x
                    Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ˜xx


                      Thank you, Lynne. Happy to hear that you found a chair you like, albeit at a price. I've seen that some companies are offering virtual assessments, sounds like a good place to start. Thanks again to everyone for your responses and super helpful advice.


                        A warm welcome to the forum Arabella,

                        As others have said a duel motor chair is best. There's alot of choice but i would have thought it shouldnt be up to you to research chairs. I was measured for mine and then later I was recommended for a second one that rises horizontally and has pressure relieving cushions. Your OTis the expert and mine said it is fine to have a new one as needs change.

                        It sounds like your brother has a positive attitude and strong family support. He is fortunate to have such a caring sister.

                        Love Debbie x


                          My chair was provided for me after measurements were taken. I believe mine was in the region of Β£750. (dual motors).
                          Diagnosed 2nd Jan 2020
                          Both arms/shoulders affected, left worse than right.
                          Progressive Muscular Atrophy suspected


                            We originally were given a 'bog standard' rise and recline lounge chair however like others have mentioned, we've had this for a year and its no longer comfortable for him.

                            We had an assessment from the OT and were super lucky to be given a brand new special chair called the 'Smart Seat Pro' from Careflex. If not given this I would definately look to invest or raise funds for one. My partner finds this super comfy now. Back recline, leg recline with foot rest and even a pivot function which has come in handy! Pretty much every aspect of this chair is adaptable from width, shoulder pads etc and high dependancy for long periods of time if needed (or if you've got the Titanic or Lord of the rings on and can't leave for a while). It's on wheels with breaks too, but with our routine for now we just keep it in the lounge as part of the furniture. (Just re read my description and realising I sound like one of the sales team. Maybe they should be paying me haha.)

                            Will attach a pic for reference. I'd say to be cost effective thinking ahead as much as it's not a fun task, is the best thing to do. Hope this helps. Comfort really is everything. If my partner is comfortable and happy, then I'm happy!

                            ​​​​​​​(It won't let me upload the one picture, maybe coz I blabbed on here, so will try in seperate post)


                              Picture wouldn't upload but here's a link for anyone looking