My first ever wheelchair accessible sofa!
Yes that’s right I’m nearly 30 years old and I’ve never properly sat on my own sofa…
Obviously when I was a young child I was carried about a lot and my parents would plonk me on the sofa but as I got older it was much harder for me to be lifted. It was also something that made me feel a little vulnerable knowing that I was “stuck” there not knowing fully when I would be back in my chair and relying on other people.
As time past I would hang out with friends, and want to sit on a sofa but think – I better not – I might not be able to get back into my chair again. But finally I found one that suits me enough to transfer on and off! It feels amazing to be able to get cosy and as simple as it is, it’s really overwhelming to have access to this as and when I want. So, I thought I’d give you the run down of what I looked for when searching for a wheelchair accessible sofa (side note: obviously access means something different to everyone)
Height of Sofa
For me the height of the sofa was the main deal breaker. There’s no way for me to put any weight on my legs so transferring needs to be at the height I’m sitting at. Sofas are usually very low which can mean I could potentially jump on but I’d be stuck there forever. So I knew the height of comfortably transferring for me was 50cms. The sofa I found was at 45cms – after buying some foot risers from Amazon, this was perfect!
Firm Sofa Cushioning
Another access element of the sofa was the firmness of the cushion. For me, if something is too squishy, it’s harder to transfer. I sink in and slowly loose my balance which isn’t ideal when wanting to safely transfer. It also helps my hips to be sat on a firm cushion and to feel supported in my back. So I opted for a firm velvet sofa which is easy to slide over. I avoided leather because we’ve all sat on leather on a hot day and – well no one needs that on ya bum.
The Cost and Aesthetic
And finally, the usual points are still something that’s important. The colour, does it suit the room? Unfortunately, when anything is labelled “accessible” or for disabled people, prices are ramped up. So I was determined to find something myself and make it work rather than having to pay more for a basic piece of furniture. And I think I found her! Here she is in all her glory with her lil foot risers. This isn’t sponsored by the way I just wanted to share my life update – but for the deets, she’s from Wayfair! 👀
I honestly can’t wait for cosy evenings with a blanket and a brew on mi new sofa. Let me know in the comments if you’ve struggled to find a sofa – I definitely think retailers could do more to cater to the disabled community… maybe that’s a future blog ey 🤔
Totally agree, Gemma, re sofas. I’ve bought several over the years and none have been ideal. Now I need a new one that will work for me for the same reasons as you. It’s frustrating, exhausting and painful to try more than a very few a day. The right height is crucial and, if it’s too low will the legs take height extenders (and will they look cripified?), firm (but comfy) cushions, armrest that’s solid enough to push up on….oh yes, and it looks to look good too!!!! Happy Christmas Gemma x