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Perching Stools

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Wonko, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    I got offered a perching stool (amongst other things) by an occupational therapist sent by social services today but am not sure how useful it would actually be.

    I do have long periods were standing in the kitchen is a major issue but it's not generally my legs that are the problem, it's core and lower back fatigue/pain that limits me, and I'm not sure how a stool would help this more than my existign system of do a bit, rest, do a bit more etc.

    Does anyone else have such a device and if so does it help, how do you deal with moving it etc (in short is it more agrivation than its worth or is it useful)

    I dont particulaly want to accept one, find it's not helpful and have wasted what are scarce resources (ie if I take it someone else cant have it or the equivalent)
  2. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    I used a bar stool in front of the stove for about two years when I was at the worst of my OI. It was the only way I could make healthy meals for myself because I just couldn't stand there for more than a minute or two. I rarely moved it, just left it in place. It was really helpful. I was able to discontinue it a couple months ago but still have it nearby for something that needs a lot of stirring.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    Getting light-headed can have a huge impact on ability to do things in the kitchen and such, so a perching stool could help quite a bit with that aspect.
  4. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I need a collapsible one for travel and haven't found what I want yet. Most of them look too flimsy. I'm getting POTS lightheaded attacks again from having a poor diet. For me, that is the biggest problem, needing to sit alot. And I'm not quite ready for a wheelchair, I'm sort of stuck in between. I just need to be able to sit when I have to sit.
  5. Cfswombat

    Cfswombat

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    Rockhampton, QLD Aust
    Hi, I use a wheely walker in the kitchen. Its a second hand one, and i put a woolskin on the seat to help cushon my back. its good because it move back and forth with me to turn to the sink etc. I can't stand and stir white sauce or anything either, so chair moves over to stove as well. i also use office chairs at my dining table, to make it possible to move in and out easily and can also wheel it to the fridg or pantry to look in the lower selves. I get dizzy and headaches as soon as i bend over, and that with out having my sore knee.
  6. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    If you don't have some type of OI (orthostatic intolerance, where standing in and of itself causes problems) then it's hard to say how helpful a perching stool would be. But perhaps anyone with an illness that causes low energy and fatigue might be helped by sitting down?

    But if you do have OI then I think it could be helpful. I have a chair in every room in the house, and a seat in the shower, due to my problems with OI (specifically, Neurally Mediated Hypotension). Even though I am able to stand for a minute or two before my symptoms start, and it took a full 20-30 minutes of standing still before I passed out on the tilt table test, I have found that sitting down when doing any task at all helps me quite a bit. This sitting down is in addition to breaking tasks down into small units (few minutes of tasks, few minutes of rest). So, for me, it's not an either/or situation.

    Like you, when I get symptoms from standing it's not my legs that are the problem. But my symptoms are dizziness, nausea, muscle twitching, increased heart rate, feeling foggy headed, sometimes a clammy cold sweat, and an urgent feeling that "I have to sit down right now." It was years before I recognized these are all symptoms of pre-syncope (the period right before fainting) because I never actually faint, I only get the pre-syncopal symptoms.

    I put "sliders" (here's one brand - http://www.magicsliders.com/ ) on the feet of my kitchen bar stool and the chair in my bathroom (I sit down to brush teeth, fix hair, etc.). They make it easy to slide the chairs from place to place. If I had to lift that heavy bar stool then, yes, it would be more trouble than it was worth! Sliding it across the vinyl floor works well.

    Another thing to consider is where to put your feet. My kitchen counter is obviously too high for my feet to reach the ground while sitting on a bar stool. Dangling feet is bad for OI so anyone with OI needs a seat that has a place to brace your feet. I've also found that a back rest is helpful (to lean back rest for a bit in between doing some small tasks).

    It suddenly occurs to me that I'm not sure what a perching stool looks like. Maybe "perching" means you're just resting on the edge of a seat and not really fully sitting down? Hmmm, now I wonder whether any of my input has been helpful since I have no idea what this thing is!

    Okay, I just did a google search and found an example - http://www.elderdepot.com/customer/product.php?productid=1994

    For me, at least, a regular bar stool, with a place to put my feet, would be a lot more helpful/restful than what is in the photo. Not only can I slide my bar stool around (it looks like you do have to lift this perching stool to move it) a regular bar stool looks much nicer. And the perching stool doesn't look high enough to do any actual work on the counter. I'd have to lift my arms up to get them high enough and trying to do work while lifting my arms up higher is not a good thing.
  7. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Carrigon, I have two folding seats. One is a cane seat and the other is much safter. It is a shower seat that folds. I take it to sit very safely when I need to when out. It is very sturdy.
  8. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Hi Carrigon,

    Here's a link to the portable seat that I've been using for about 15 years - http://www.magellans.com/store/Health___Hygiene___Walking_AidsWA222

    The little white plastic covers on the bottom of the feet have long since worn out and been replaced several times. I replaced them with standard cane tips that can be found in most pharmacies (and I like it better with cane tips than the original white plastic covers - it's a bit more stable). But other than replacing the feet this thing is still in good shape.

    Other online stores make versions that are similar to this one (in other words, I have no financial connection to Magellan's!). I like this one because it weighs less than other portable seats that may be more comfortable. Weight makes a big difference when you're walking along and having to carry it by yourself (if someone else can carry your portable seat then it might not matter). I use this folding cane/seat not as a comfortable place to sit (in that case I'll look for a bench or chair with a back rest) but as a way to manage those situations where I have to stand in line, e.g., picking up my prescription, getting a few groceries, etc.

    This seat is supposedly rated to 300 pounds so should be sturdy enough to hold most people. It fits in the overhead compartment on airplanes when I travel (which is not very often).

    I keep mine in my car so that it's always there when I need it. I take it with me any time I go into a store (you never know when there's going to be a line), or in the library (to sit down to look at the bookshelves), or even the doctor (there might be a line at the counter when I check in for my appointment).

    Edit - one thing to note with this seat is that you should always sit on it while straddling the handle. If you sit on it the other way, with the handle at the back, it is unstable. For those who wear skirts/dresses (unless they are long and flowing) you might not like this restriction. I only wear trousers (mostly jeans), so it's not an issue for me, but I thought I'd mention it.
  9. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    The little ones are good if you are not too lightheaded like the one above. I didn't like my little seat, easy to fall, but good to use if just resting.
  10. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your responses, it looks like what Ive been offered may not be the ideal solution.

    My symptoms relevant to this are lower back/core pain, loss of power and fine motor control in lower arms/hands (ie it's hard not to drop things, slicing things safely is no longer possible a lot of the time), excessive sweating (this seems to be postural, any activity that means I am tipped forward focused on something in front of me results in this), tendence to hunch to left side (response to pain I assume) and tip forward, urgency/panicky feelings, I end up almost at right angles with a lot of my weight supported on my lower arms/elbows.

    As far as I am aware I dont meet the diagnostic criteria for OI.
  11. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I hope you find what helps you. I use a wheelchair in my kitchen sometimes. I get up and down if my POTS is bad.
  12. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Hi Sallysblooms,

    It's interesting to see how different we all are. Getting dizzy and lightheaded is absolutely one of my main symptoms. This folding cane/seat is what I use when this happens! ( although mostly I use the seat to prevent getting lightheaded in the first place)

    You mention that you fell off the seat - were you sitting on it by straddling the handle, like sitting on a horse? Or was the handle at the back? This three-legged folding cane/seat will definitely tip over if you try to sit on it backwards, with the handle at the back. It is only stable if you sit on it with the handle between your legs. Only then will your feet brace you correctly.

    It's hard to see in the photo on the web site but she is sitting on it with the handle between her legs. On the other hand, the model shown is sitting in a very strange way, with her legs crossed at the ankles, which is not a very stable way to sit. But this thing is sold a lot to healthy people who just want a place to sit down for a while (e.g., at a golf course) and not for those of us who have medical conditions that require a place to sit (I can't tell you how many times I had to sit down on the floor or sidewalk before I got this seat).
  13. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Southern USA
    Ahimsa, I do not have that chair. It never looked like it would be right for me. I have the sling driver seat. But still, it is a bit narrow to feel secure when lightheaded. I have never fallen, and I want to keep it that way, ha! I like the folding shower seat I use now. Bigger, not cute, but very stable.
  14. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Thanks for clarifying, Sallysblooms. I read your earlier message that it was "easy to fall" as though you had actually fallen off once. I'm so happy that I misread that!

    How heavy is the folding shower seat that you have? A slightly wider seat would indeed be more comfortable and more stable. For me, the trade-off of having an extra light seat is worth it being less comfortable. I would have trouble carrying around any seat that's heavier than my current seat. Also, since this one folds into a cane, I just have to walk along with it in my hand and resting on the ground in between steps. I don't have to carry the full weight of it and actually keep it lifted off the ground (e.g., in my hands or slung over my shoulder).

    I do agree that it is not very comfortable for sitting. It's main use is for the checkout lines at the pharmacy or grocery store. I sometimes even use it in the grocery store aisles if I need to sit down to rest, or maybe go over my grocery list. But if I'm going to be sitting down for more than 5 minutes then I find a chair or a bench or go back to my car (one of the many reasons why I can't use mass transit - need a reliable place to sit).
  15. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    I finally got a stool for my kitchen awhile back. It's wonderful! I didn't realize how much energy I used just standing for 5 minutes. I bought a drafting stool with great casters. It's so easy to roll over to the refrigerator, or pull myself around the counter. In the kitchen, I intermix walking around to get things with sitting down. I'm getting better at assembling needed items before I sit down. The whole cooking process is a lot easier. This is the one that I have - I suspect the casters might be better on a drafting stool than a barstool, and the seat height is easily adjusted. You have to be careful while getting on it the first few times. If you don't center your weight right, it could scoot. It only took a few times for me to get comfortable with it.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0038W0LVA

    I just looked at the sport seat - at less than 2 pounds, it sounds great! And at $40, it's affordable.

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