As of 2019, there were about 14.3 million baby boomers [born 1947 – 64] living in the UK. With UK average life expectancy at just under 80 years old, this means that many of the younger baby boomers [in their 50s/60s] will have at least one parent still alive. Many of our elderly parents and loved ones will want to maintain independence by staying in their homes. And we don’t want to worry about their well-being. We want to make sure that our elders’ golden years are of the best quality for as long as possible.
Backcare is often overlooked – even though it is so important to ensuring our mobility throughout life. It might seem counter-intuitive that when seated our back is most at risk – because we are often slouching and not sitting properly. This is a particular problem as we grow older as many elderly people spend quite a lot of the day sitting. Poor posture is one of the main causes of back problems.
The right chair…and cushion!
It is important not to slouch when seated, which many of us are inclined to do. In thinking about suitable chairs consider a chair with a back that offers support and is sufficiently high to enable feet to be placed flat on the ground and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. The chair should also have armrests to avoid the struggle of getting up. In fact, chairs fulfil a dual function as they can also be used to encourage exercise. A daily exercise routine can be built around the chair through getting up and sitting down building up to 10 reps!
Whilst an upright chair helps – it still might not be enough to ensure a good posture is maintained. Further support might be required at the base of the chair – on the seating area. Cushions are often used as a comfort aide and to provide extra padding. As we grow older the bones that make up our coccyx can become more tightly fused together and this can cause coccydynia [pain in the coccyx]. This makes seating uncomfortable. A coccyx seat cushion with its U shape and contoured memory foam can assist in providing extra support – protecting the tailbone but also encouraging a good posture.
As we age – it is the little things that can become big things as our world shrinks in many ways. Something as simple as sitting comfortably can make all the difference to the quality of our loved ones’ life.