Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Chair to enable washing up without standing

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by redrachel76, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I have often wondered if there was some sort of chair that would enable a person to do the washing up in a comfortable sitting position, without standing.

    It would be brilliant for POTS patients or ME patients with painful weak legs like me.
    Someone suggested I get a bar stool for washing up but I don't think that would be comfortable.

    I've tried just kneeling on a normal chair while doing the washing up but it is not as comfortable.

    Anyone hear of something, or see something on the net, please let me know. I don't even know what search terms to use.
     
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  2. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    People who are disabled often use something designed for this called a 'perching stool'. If you google it you will see some designs - they are higher than a normal chair, and have splayed legs. The only slight issue is that you cannot tuck your legs underneath a kitchen sink easily, though I sometimes open the cupboard and put my feet inside. Otherwise you have to put your legs slightly to one side.

    I have one which is a folding one that seems to be called an ironing/perching stool. Unfortunately the folding one I bought is too heavy to move around easily, but I have recently seen one in a catalogue that sounds a lot lighter.
     
  3. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    @redrachel76 - I use a bar stool in the kitchen. It its not all that great but anything is better for me than standing.

    Due to my NMH (type of Orthostatic Intolerance) standing is bad. My blood pressure drops and I get dizzy, nauseated, etc. I have to keep moving or sit down. So whenever I do pretty much any task I have to do it sitting down. I have chair in the bathroom for brushing my teeth, for example.

    My bar stool does not have wheels or casters. But I put sliders on the feet (magic sliders is one brand, small round/oval/square pads that attach to the feet) so that it moves more easily across the vinyl floor. That helps when I need to move it to different places in the kitchen. It has a back rest so I can lean back and rest when I need to take a break, the seat swivels, and it has a place where I can rest my feet. It doesn't have arm rests because those would make it harder to pull close to the counter (and even then it does not really get close enough at times).

    Again, for me, sitting on this bar stool beats trying to kneel on a chair. That would take a lot more muscle strength.

    But the bar stool can be awkward and it's not all that comfortable. My arms get tired and it's never really the right height for a lot of tasks. So I use it for short periods of time and make sure to take lots of breaks. Still, it has helped me to do a certain amount of cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen that I would not have been able to do at all without a seat.

    If you do decide to try a bar stool then my advice is to look for one that is lightweight enough to move around. Or else find one that is on wheels. You'd be surprised how heavy some of these bar stools can be!
     
  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I have a shower chair with a back that I use to sit in bathroom for all tasks from brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc, and then when I actually take a shower someone lifts it into the shower for me. It is very light weight but too heavy for me b/c I can't really lift much of anything. You can cover the seat with a towel if more comfortable and to keep it cleaner.
     
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  5. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    A bar stool with castor wheels would be great to scoot across the kitchen, may not be safe though.
     
  6. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    The leaning forwards dues to not being able to tuck your legs under would make it worse for me.

    I sometimes have mixed success wearing a lumber support to do the dishes.
     
  7. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I use a dishwasher! And unload it in stages.
     
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  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I use a bar stool too, with a low back to lean against. Usually I just sit a bit sideways to get up close to the kitchen counter or sink. It's pretty comfortable, and I can at least put my feet on the higher rungs to help with OI a bit more.
     
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  9. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    I use a tall stool in the kitchen that is nice for everything except doing dishes. I find that cooking invariably involves a lot of standing around, waiting and stirring and so on, and having a place to sit while still being right at the counter has proven to be a great help.

    I suppose a dishwasher is the correct answer.
     
  10. JohnCB

    JohnCB Immoderate

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    My kitchen chair is an ex office chair with a gas lift. It has standard 5 wheel star arrangement and adjusts from relatively low, which is useful for cupboards to relatively high, compared to a standard dining chair height. It is moderately practical for washing up but my sleeves get very wet, compared to doing the job standing. I think wheels are very important. Being able to push off with my hand against the counter to get to the fridge perhaps is ideal. Also my chair doesn't have arms, which for me would get in the way for kitchen chores, although I can see that others might prefer the extra support. I would opt for arms if I was sitting on it beyond the time I spend on kitchen tasks.

    I have at times thought about the chairs that were used in the drawing office at my old place of work. They were a similar design to an office chair but with a longer stem between the wheeled base and lift mechanism. The range of height adjustment was similar but strting from a higher bottom position and adjusting to a higher top position. Broadly it was like an adjustable bar stool. I imagine you could get something like this from an office supply company rather than a mobility company. I did think about it but never got around to it.

    I did try my NHS wheelchair in the kitchen for a couple of days, but really it was hopeless. It was too unwieldy and the arms and handles got in the way. During that couple of days I used it, it did a lot of damage to the kitchen paintwork.
     
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  11. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I have a dishwasher, too. But I still need to sit on a chair even for those few minutes of scraping food off the dishes before I can load them into dishwasher.

    And certain foods such as oatmeal need more than just a casual scrape. Oatmeal will not come off in my dishwasher even if it is fresh and not dried on. I fill dishes with cold water and leave in the sink so it's soft - no elbow grease needed. But the dishes still require careful wiping with plastic scrubber before they go in the dishwasher. And in a few, rare cases an item needs hand washing.

    I use the bar stool for other kitchen taskss such as sitting at the sink to wash berries in a colander. Or when something on the stove needs to be stirred. Even when a dish does not need constant stirring I just leave the chair in place near the stove. Then it's available to sit on whenever I have to come back and stir the pot.
    Exactly! I don't cook a lot, I only make simple things, and I do a lot of things in stages (chop veggies, rest, measure spices, rest). And some of this is done at the kitchen table in a regular chair, not a bar stool. But the bar stool is handy for a lot of little tasks where you want to be at counter level. And even minor tasks like reading the recipe in between steps means sitting down so that I can think!

    Not to mention having the problem of having to re-read the recipe over and over! (e.g., Okay, the recipe says I need 2 teaspoons of cumin ... get bottle from spice cabinet ... forget how much ... read recipe again ... get teaspoon from drawer ... forget how many ... read recipe again ... repeat)
     
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  12. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Yes! Your quote reminded me that I also turn the seat sideways at times.

    I have a certain position that is comfortable for stirring oatmeal - chair seat turned so my legs are parallel to the counter with the counter is to my right, leaning back against the back rest, right elbow resting on counter, pot on the burner to my right and slightly in front of me. This way most muscles are resting (just using my forearm a bit), everything is in line, my body is not twisted with my torso pointing one way and hips/legs pointing a different way. (hope this makes sense)

    I think it's amazing all the accommodations and modifications we come up with so that we can still do things rather than just giving up! :star: We deserve some gold stars! :star:
     
  13. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I too do the sideways-barstool-dishwashing thing. Not super-comfy, but it beats standing by a lot.
    I lucked out and got two really lightweight barstools at a thrift store for really cheap. They weigh so little but are surprisingly sturdy.
     
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  14. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I generally don't do the dishwashing, unless I'm feeling good and it's something that will only take a couple minutes. Otherwise I always soak dishes, then come back and rinse them out an hour or two later.

    I almost never load them in the dishwasher (bending = bad + trying to figure out where to put things), but stack the rinsed dishes on the counter for my fiance to load later.
     
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  15. KitCat

    KitCat be yourself. everyone else is already taken.

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  16. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

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    Valentijn, Jennifer J and KitCat like this.

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