Motorized Lift Chairs: A History Of Good And Bad
Let us once again look at all the good and the bad in the history of lift chairs.
A few years back, the lift chair was almost about to be labeled as one of the new emerging killers of toddlers. It was in 1994 when a 1-year and 3-month old boy from Oklahoma was reported to have died from being trapped in a lift chair after his sister accidentally lowered the chair through the use of a remote.
Six years after, a similar scenario occurred in United Kingdom. This time however, the victim was an 8-year old boy who played with the controls of his grandfather's motorized chair while under it, and had himself choked and killed.
And just last year (2009), another child from Indiana was found dead on a recliner by his nanny just as the parents were about to leave for work. The boy's head was trapped and suffocated due to the recliner while sleeping.
If there ever is anything good with these tragic events, it's the fact that safety standards are finally being observed in the manufacture of lift chairs. Many thanks to La-Z-Boy for being the first to do this in the United States � which is way earlier before other American furniture companies did. But sincerest thanks go to United Kingdom for pioneering this major change in each lift chair.
Another bad news involves the issue of Medicare. The country's leading social insurance for the elderly with ages 65 and above has found out that many of its beneficiaries are requesting for too many motorized lift chairs � including those who may not really be in need of the equipment. The culprit cited for the unreasonable demands were the aggressive national marketing by lift chair suppliers.
Fortunately, this problem was solved in 1989 by imposing certain requirements on who may become eligible for lift chair reimbursements. The coverage was also limited to the lifting mechanism instead of the entire chair. The result: expenses for lift chairs massively dropped from $122 million to $14 million from 1988 to 1991 (please note that the new eligibility and coverage policies were made in effect by the Congress in 1989).
But there's no doubt that motorized lift chairs did more good than bad during the previous years. Aside from being invaluable tools for the elderly and disabled, many lift chairs are now promoted as basic part of furniture that can lead a healthy lifestyle even for those whose physical conditions are not limited. From health, to comfort, to style, lift chairs will continue to make a history worth truly remembering.
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