Case Study - Difficulty Getting Up From an Armchair
Mary lives with her husband in a 3 bedroom house; she has suffered with ‘aches and pains’ for years but finds that lately she is becoming more dependent on her husband to assist her with everyday activities. One of the difficulties is getting in and out of the armchair; her husband was now assisting her after she had become stuck in the chair.
Mary and her husband showed me how he has been helping her, putting his arm under her left shoulder and pulling her into a standing position from the armchair. I then asked Mary to try to stand herself and she was very reluctant to even try.
I talked them through the correct technique for getting in and out of the armchair. I checked that her feet were flat on the floor meaning that the chair was a good height for her to stand from. I asked her to sit upright in the chair and then shuffle her bottom to the front of the seat; to place her hands either side of her on the arm rests, lean forward as she stood making sure that her feet provided a stable base. Mary was amazed that she was able to stand because over time she had become reliant on her husband to assist her and just accepted this. To sit back in the chair, I advised her to feel for the chair seat with the backs of her legs and hold onto the armrests as she sat down. I recommended that they practice this technique for chair transfers with her husband standing by her for reassurance and confidence initially.
I telephoned Mary for an update a few days later, she reported that they had practised the new technique since my visit and she realised that she had lost her confidence and become dependent on her husband. She reported that she was now getting in and out of the armchair independently and her husband was able to relax more following her new-found confidence.