Finding the right chair for someone with Parkinson's Disease

Seating someone with Parkinson’s Disease can be very challenging and comfort and safety are key considerations in selecting the right chair.

Those suffering from Parkinson’s disease can suffer from arm and leg tremors, rigidity of the muscles, as well as pain in the back, neck shoulders and chest, which need to be considered in seating and selecting the correct chair.

The severity of these tremors can also mean the person slides out of their chair and falls onto the floor. This leads to family members needing to lift their loved one back into their chair and the person is unable to be left unattended for more than a few minutes at a time.  This can be very distressing for the person and their family members.

Some of the symptoms that need to be considered when choosing the correct chair for a person with Parkinson’s Disease include:
  • Low mobility.
  • Postural instability.
  • Involuntary movements.
  • Loss of voluntary movement.
  • Low/high muscle tone.
  • Rigidity.
  • Muscle degeneration.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Confusion / altered mental state.
  • Agitation.

In addition to the above, it needs to be remembered that Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive condition and future symptoms and abilities must be considered. What suits a person today may not be suitable in 6 or 12 month’s time.

Typically, a person with Parkinson’s will experience a decline in mobility. What this means for their seating is they need to have a chair which they can independently sit into when they can but will also accommodate a standing machine or hoist if required in the later stages of their disease.

Tips for Families and Caregivers
  • Get a proper seating assessment – An Occupational Therapist can help you trial and choose the most appropriate chair based on current and future needs. They can also assist in accessing funding such as the NDIS.
  • Make sure the patient is comfortable. This goes without saying, if the patient is not comfortable in the chair, the other functions are rendered virtually worthless.
  • Know your requirements.  Opt for multi–adjustable seating. Know which features are required to accommodate the needs of the person, and ensure they come as standard on your chair.  Postural support which can be adjusted is important to help the person maintain an upright and correct sitting posture.
  • Consider the level of pressure care. Ensure that the chair provides adequate pressure management properties. People with Parkinson’s are often sitting for long periods throughout the day and can be at risk of pressure injuries which can be debilitating.  Seating Matters chairs are made with memory foam in the back, seat and calf pad as standard. Tilt in space and back angle recline can also aid in pressure management and loading the body.
  • Consider Chair Materials and Fabrics. As a lot of people with Parkinson’s can also move a lot in their chair they are exposed to further risks of skin tears from shear and friction which can ultimately lead to pressure injuries.  All the weight bearing areas on our chairs are covered with Dartex material which is multi stretch, breathable and durable to reduce moisture, increase circulation and reduce the effects of friction and shear.
  • Patient dignity. Can the person sit at the table to dine or join others in the family room?  To encourage dignity and independence of patients these are very important factors to consider when choosing your seating.  Seating Matters chairs are very mobile throughout a home or care facility.

Spotlight on the Milano chair by Seating Matters

The Milano is a tilt in space pressure care chair which can support posture and provide comfort for people with Parkinson’s.

The Milano can be used by people of all transfer abilities. This means someone with Parkinson’s who can transfer independently can stand from or sit into the Milano. The Milano can also be used with a stand up lifter or hoist.

The Milano can be tilted for pressure care and has pressure management materials throughout the seating area including a high risk memory foam cushion.

The Milano has the options of lateral supports to help the user maintain posture and upright sitting.

The Milano leg rest, tilt and recline can all be electrically operated, giving independence to the user and removing manual handling risk for the carers. 

The Atlanta and Sorrento may also be appropriate for someone with Parkinson’s. See our blogs below for case studies on these two chairs and people with Parkinson’s.




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Parkinson’s Disease Chairs

Many people require a specialist chair to help improve their quality of life when they suffer from Parkinson’s disease. At Seating Matters, we can provide the best Parkinson’s disease chair that is high-quality and clinically tested. When it comes to choosing a chair for those suffering from parkinsons, there is a lot to consider. Here, we are taking you through our top tips for choosing the right chair and the variety of chairs that we offer at Seating Matters.  

Choosing A Parkinson’s Chair 

With so many different chairs to choose from, it can be difficult knowing which one is the best for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s causes damage to the brain which leads to uncontrollable tremors and shaking in the body. In can also cause slow movement, decrease mobility and stiff muscles. When looking for a Parkinson’s disease chair, consider the following. 

  • Different Lifting Options – For some people, it can be handy to have a range of different lifting options as part of the chair. This is usually categorised at the regular rise and lift, a middle setting offering less tilt to provide extra support for the feet when standing up, and finally, a vertical rise movement that does not provide the tilting of the seat at all. Having these different options is a great way to help prevent falls. 
  • Tilt-In-Space – This is also something to consider as it can help to maintain a healthy posture. Patients can be tilted backwards but also maintain their hip angle which means less pressure on the posterior and sacrum. So, even if they are shaking from Parkinson’s disease, this feature on the chair will help them to keep their position. 

Find The Best Parkinsons Disease Chair At Seating Matters 

At Seating Matters, we have a variety of different chair models for you to choose from and our team will be able to help you choose the one best suited. The chair models that we offer are: 

  • Bariatric Sorrento
  • Atlanta
  • Sorrento
  • Monaco
  • Phoenix 
  • Milano

Our chairs are all designed to be very easy to use and we have over three decades worth of research that has gone into creating our products. When testing our products, we do so with real patient feedback and evaluation from our clinical team. This is all to ensure that we are providing you with the absolute best chair possible. 

Ask Our Team Your Queries

We understand that you may have some questions for our team before you purchase a Parkinson’s disease chair online, and we are more than happy to answer them for you. Our knowledgeable team can provide you with all the information you need to help you make the right decision as to which chair is best. We can also send you our handy guide free of charge to help with your decision making. Get in touch today and we will send you out a copy.

Seating Matters provides clinical healthcare seating chairs for Disabled & Elderly people in Australia. We sell bariatric chairs, pressure relief chairs, cerebral palsy chairs, occupational therapy chairs, tub aged care chairs, fall prevention chairs, huntington’s disease chairs, multiple sclerosis chairs, brain injury chairs, chairs for demantia patients & other seating range in Australia. Browse our website for more information or contact us for more details.

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Each day I realise more and more the impact of seating on people's lives. For these people, the quality of their chair determines the quality of their life.
Martina Tierney
Founder and Clinical Director
Seating Matters