Monday, February 14, 2011

Tip: Raise The Height Of Your Recliner

This Tip illustrates how I raised the height of our recliner sofa to make it easier for me to stand up and sit down.  This Tip was prompted by a discussion at a meeting of the Palmetto ALS Support Group (Lancaster, SC).

I have had trouble getting up from low chairs ever since my bout of Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome.  I have always assumed that most chairs are designed for people much shorter than my 6’ height.  I assumed that shorter people could stand up from a low chair easier than I could.  I was one of the taller people at the Support Group; the ladies were much shorter than I am.  Somehow, the topic of getting up from chairs came up.  I mentioned what I had done to raise our recliner couch and everybody seemed excited about the idea.  Apparently a lot of ALS patients must have recliners and also have trouble standing up from them.

The following is a step-by-step description of what I did to the couch.

1.     My recliner has a leveling screw on the bottom of each corner.  I got someone to help me tip the couch so that one of the leveling screws was several inches off the floor.  I put something under the front frame to hold the couch off the ground.
2.     I unscrewed one of the leveling screws.
3.     I took the leveling screw to my local hardware store.  I searched for a nut that would fit the leveling screw.  Then I used the nut to find four 4 inch bolts that matched the leveling screw.  I also purchased four flathead washers that fit the bolts.
4.     Next I went to my local lumberyard and had a 4” X 4” board sawed into four blocks about six inches long.  Most lumberyards will make these cuts for free.
5.     Next I found a local machine shop with a drill press and had a hole drilled in each block.  The hole is just large enough for the bolt to slip through.
6.     I went home and painted each block to match the color of the recliner; or you could match the carpet.
7.     I got somebody to help me tilt the couch back farther.  Again I propped it up for safety.  Then I took a bolt with a spacer nut and inserted it in the hole in the block.  I screwed the bolt into the hole for the leveling screw.  Then I repeated the process for the other three corners.

Everything has worked for at least three years; and our couch takes a lot of punishment.

This picture shows the block under the rear corner of the recliner couch.







Esther, my beautiful wife, demonstrating that the recliner with blocks is still as comfortable as ever.





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