How to Keep Elderly from Sliding out of Recliner

How to Keep Elderly from Sliding out of Recliner- 8 Effective Ways

Are you familiar with the cozy scene of your elderly loved one, settling into their favorite recliner, only to find them inching perilously close to the edge?

This seemingly harmless situation poses significant risks, leading to discomfort, injuries, and falls.

It’s a sight that triggers concern among caregivers and family members on how to keep elderly from sliding out of recliners.

In this article, we delve into the reasons behind this common problem, explore the potential consequences, and provide practical solutions to ensure the well-being of seniors while using recliners.

Why Do Elderly Individuals Slide Out of Recliners?

It is common to find your older adult nestled in her favorite recliner but somehow inching toward the edge. A number of factors are attributed to this predicament, each playing a role in causing elderly individuals to slide out of their recliners.

Muscle Weakness and Balance Issues

As the aging process unfolds, our muscles gradually lose strength, leading to a heightened vulnerability in maintaining balance. The simple act of shifting positions in a once effortless recliner may now require a concerted effort. Muscle weakness can lead to unintentional sliding, making it necessary to provide additional support and stability.

Reduced Mobility

Reduced mobility further complicates matters. When flexibility and range of motion diminish, transitioning from sitting to standing becomes challenging. It can result in unintended sliding as the elderly struggle to regain equilibrium.

Recliner Design and Mechanics

The design and mechanics of recliners can also contribute to this issue. While modern recliners offer a range of luxurious features, such as adjustable angles and footrests, these conveniences can inadvertently lead to sliding.

As an individual reclines, their weight distribution changes, often causing them to slide downwards gradually.

Possible Effects of Elderly Slipping from the Recliner

The effects of an elderly sliding out of a recliner can extend far beyond a minor inconvenience. Falls, even from a seemingly low height, can result in serious injuries.

A few potential outcomes are broken bones, bruises, and head injuries. In certain instances, these injuries may result in diminished independence and reduced quality of life.

How to Keep Elderly from Sliding Out of Recliner

Elderly on a Recliner Seat

Now that we understand the factors at play, let’s explore practical strategies to help prevent seniors from sliding out of their recliners.

Choosing the Right Recliner and Evaluating the Recliner’s Fit

Selecting an appropriate recliner is the first step toward ensuring safety and comfort. Opt for a recliner featuring a sturdy seat cushion that offers ample support.

Test the recliner’s fit by having the elderly individual sit in it. Their feet should touch the ground, and their back should rest fully against the backrest.

A recliner that fits properly, reduces the risk of sliding.

Utilizing Proper Seating Techniques

It is vital to educate your elderly about proper seating techniques. Encourage them to sit all the way back in the chair, with their back firmly against the backrest.

Plant the feet firmly on the ground and ensure even weight distribution. When getting up, advise your seniors to push themselves up using their legs and armrests for support.

Implementing Supportive Aids

Supportive Aid

Introducing assistive devices such as chair lifts or risers greatly aids in facilitating seamless transitions in and out of the recliner.

The design of these devices provides extra support and elevation, making it easier for elderly individuals to sit down and stand up comfortably. They essentially bridge the gap between the challenges posed by reduced mobility and the desire for independence.

Chair lifts or risers operate by gently lifting the recliner to a higher position, allowing the user to transition with minimal effort. The innovative solution reduces the risk of sliding and empowers seniors to maintain their autonomy.

By minimizing the physical strain associated with recliner use, these aids contribute to an enhanced sense of safety and comfort.

Adding Supportive Cushions and Pillows

Strategically placed cushions and pillows provide much-needed support and comfort. A small cushion under the knees helps maintain a proper seated posture and reduces the risk of sliding.

Cushions placed on either side of the individual can act as barriers, preventing sideways movement.

Non-Slip Accessories to Prevent the Recliner from Sliding

To prevent the recliner itself from moving, consider using non-slip accessories. Place rubberized grips or mats beneath the recliner’s legs to anchor it securely to the floor. This simple solution creates a significant impact on upholding stability.

See also: What helps an elderly person increase appetite?

Using a Belt and Harness

A belt or harness system is invaluable for seniors requiring extra support. These accessories fasten around the individual’s waist and the back of the recliner, providing a secure connection.

This added restraint prevents sliding and enhances overall safety.

Use of Footplates

Recliner Footrest

Some recliners come equipped with footplates that extend when the chair reclines. These footplates can serve as an additional anchor, preventing the person from sliding down.

If the recliner does not have built-in footplates, consider attaching a separate footrest or footplate to provide that extra support.

Regular Maintenance and Checkups for Recliner

Proper maintenance of the recliner is essential to ensure its functionality and safety.

Regularly inspect the chair’s mechanical parts including hinges, to determine their condition and enhance its functionality. Lubricate moving parts as needed, and replace any worn-out components promptly.


In your quest to provide the utmost comfort and safety for your elderly loved one, addressing the issue of sliding out of recliners is paramount. By understanding the contributing factors, consequences, and practical solutions, you can help your senior enjoy the recliner without fear of falling or discomfort.

Whether it’s choosing the right recliner, implementing supportive aids, or using non-slip accessories, these strategies make a difference in maintaining their well-being and quality of life. Additionally, evaluate the recliner, educate your loved one, and make the necessary adjustments to enhance cozy and secure moments spent in a favorite recliner.

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