Thursday, June 30, 2011

G'ma and the Electric Chair

She rolled off the couch, for crying out loud.  I can't keep her safer than that, now, can I?  

Since she was the only person there when it happened, we will never know for sure what caused her to fall off the pillows and hit her head on something with a squared-off corner.  Our best guess is that her feet became entangled in the Horace Mann blanket she keeps on the couch.  When napping is your primary form of amusement, having a coverlet nearby is a necessity.

I'd been whining about this to anyone who would listen and all I heard were rueful laughs.  Nope, there wasn't anything else that I could have done.  Nothing at all.

That is, until I sat at the lunch table with Fran and her family.  They had had the same issue and had solved the problem through shopping.  I was intrigued.

They removed the couch that Fran had brought from home, the couch from which she rolled onto the floor and on which she spent most of her days sleeping.  They replaced it with a reclining chair which fit her like a glove.  No lolling to one side and two conveniently placed armrests from which to elevate herself to a standing position.  Sleeping now happened in the bed.  

I received familial confirmation that this might be a good idea and so Brother and Niece, the Younger and I took G'ma to the Lazy Boy store last Sunday.  We started with the inexpensive  recliners, the ones with the wooden arm on the side.  Low tech, low price, and much too much for G'ma to maneuver.  She just doesn't have the arm strength or the power in her shoulders to operate the lever.  The effort required was too big.  

The next group of chairs were twice the price and they were motorized.  A round button on the outer edge of the seat was pressed to raise and lower the feet.  When she pressed it further and the head began to dip she screeched and stopped pushing and we stepped in and righted her and got her out of there as fast as possible.  She was just too small to be safe.  

That left us with the most expensive option, three times the price of the first option, and, of course the one that put a smile on our mother's face. 

First of all, it was blue, just like her eyes.  She likes blue.  When she sat down the headrest fit perfectly behind her neck and her knees bent just at the end of the seat.  As the "Aaaahhhhh" escaped her lips, her family smiled as her son said "My mother has just bought a chair."  

It is a very clever piece of machinery, with a remote control attached by a self-fabric rope to the pouch on the side of the seat.  The remote contains a toggle switch with two choices - up and down.  Up brings the feet up and the head down, down puts the feet down and the head up.  It's counter-intuitive to G'ma but she was enjoying the ride she was taking as she figured it out so I'm not worried.  

When it came time to stand up our saleswoman instructed our mother to continue pressing the switch down.  The seat back continued to move forward, and the lumbar support began to join it on the journey.  G'ma was gently propelled to an almost standing position, her walker within easy reach of her hands.  

No more pressing on her damaged shoulders as she tries to rise from her couch.  No more tangled tootsies as she tries to stand up.  We will velcro the chair control right next to the tv remote control and she'll have everything she needs right there.  Nothing sharp on which to fall lurking right next to her perch.  She'll have the end table from her living room on Long Island right next to her chair, and her puzzles and deck of cards within easy reach.

I'm almost ready to forgive my sibling for spending the last two days of his time with me regaling friends and strangers with the amusing (to him) fact that he had bought his mother an electric chair.  

G'ma got it the first time he said it; "Are you trying to get rid of me?!" was her immediate response.  

There's no doubt whose son he is.   Good thing I love them both.


  1. Those chairs are amazing, aren't they? My MIL has problems with her back and sits in a Lazy Boy, but thinking she might have to get one of the new electric ones---and you've just given me an idea for Christmas.

    Hope G'ma likes her new toy. :)

    Megan xxx

  2. Perfection, sometimes, comes at a high price... they say...the chair is priceless...

  3. Hoorah!!! I saw one of those chairs recently. Wizardly things. Where did I hear that Medicare would pay for one?

    My mother, who had terrible insomnia, took her catnaps in her chair and, eventually, just couldn't abide a bed (so to speak). Now, why on earth would I think that a bad thing? "What's actually wrong with it?", I wonder today. Oh, brother.

  4. Humor helps in so many ways. What do people without a sense of it do? :-)

  5. I want one of those!

  6. These comments are so perfect I'm posting on them tomorrow. THANKS for the prompt, denizens!


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