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 getting to the table? 
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:41 pm
Posts: 8
Post getting to the table?
my dad can't slide his chair into the table and mom has been trying to push him in, this is going to get her back. We thought of an office chair on wheels but she is afraid he would try to get in without her there and fall. So what would work? A wheelchair perhaps where you could lock the wheels? Dad has a lift chair now but he can't remember how to operate it. If mom isn't in the room when he tries to get up he will climb over the side. If he is sitting in a regular chair he falls. Ack what to do with these problems?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:50 am

Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: getting to the table?
A wheel chair might work, although I don't think they necessarily pull up close enough to all tables for comfortable eating.

I confess that we no longer eat together regularly at the dining table. Most meals Coy eats in his chair, with a great pull-up table. Coy often takes extremely long to eat and he is self-conscous about it if he is eating with others. I bring him his food on a tray and I eat and go about my business, checking on him once in a while. We go out to eat once or twice a week, and we enjoy each other's company and the experience, but he really doesn't eat much in that setting. We take most of the meal home and he eats it later, when he can take as much time as he likes.

My mother also eats her meals in her recliner (upright, of course) which is a very comfortable fit for her petite frame and easier on her arthritis. She also has a table that pulls up to the chair. It is much easier for my husband and mother to pull a light table up to their chairs than to pull a dining chair up to the table while they are sitting in it.

I bought a nice one-piece stretchy slip cover for my husband's recliner (and mine too). I brush it off with a whisk broom now and then and wash it as needed. My sisters vacuum my mother's chair regualrly with a hand-held vacuum. Naturally if people with impairments eat in an upholstered chair regularly it is going to need some cleaning attention! :shock:

These chair-tables are also great for doing crosswords, spreading out a newspaper, serving snacks -- I don't know what either my husband or mother would do without them!

If your father has a lift chair, there may be an optional table for it.

If your mom wants to continue eating with your father, perhaps she could have a similar table and pull it up next to his at meal time.

Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012

Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:15 am

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: getting to the table?
Laurie, We have an office chair with wheel, but you're right, Frank did try to sit a couple times and fell. I put it against the wall when we didn't need it so if he sat it didn't move, it's very easy to push into place with him in it.

Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.

Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:00 am

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
Posts: 276
Location: Washington State
Post Re: getting to the table?

Is it possible for your Mom to get an occupational therapist into her home, perhaps through medicare? If you check out there may be an organization that can help you with this and other questions on caring for seniors. We have something called the Northwest Regional Council in our corner of the State. Anyway, although my loved one (LO) lives in assisted living we have been able to get an occupational therapist in several times to give us tips on how to make her room work and it has really helped. Come to think of it, her Dr. requested the services. Good luck to you. Annie (in WA)

Annie, daughter of brave Marie, dx 2007 and in ALF

Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:44 am

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: getting to the table?
Getting an OT in is a great idea.

There are lots of wheelchairs that are designed to have the arms slide under tables. Or, the arms can be removed entirely if need be. Most (all?) wheelchairs do lock. Some have anti-tip devices in the back.

A couple of other ideas....

* Is it possible for your father to be in the lift chair when he eats?

* Is it possible for the table to be moved over your father's chair, rather than the reverse?

* Is it possible to get a new, smaller table that is on wheels that can easily be moved over to your father's chair?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:49 am

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: getting to the table?
You can find an OT trained in LSVT BIG therapy (which was designed for those with Parkinson's and other neurologic disorders) on the LSVT website at Click on "Find a Clinician." Then select OT for LSVT BIG.

Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:50 am
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