Free chair assessment scheme helps support independent living

St John Healthcare is helping islanders who want to stay in their own home for longer with the introduction of a free home assessment service, which looks specifically at providing comfortable chairs and specialist seating.

Ellie Shepherd, Client Relationship Manager said: “There are a number of simple and cost-effective ways to help people enjoy their own surroundings. We know that having a practical and correctly designed chair can make all the difference when people want to stay in their own home. Not only can a chair provide comfort but it can also prevent aches and pains and other complications.”

St John is working with UK manufacturer Repose, which provides specialist seating solutions for the home and healthcare settings. The range of rise and recline options are designed to support active and independent living. The made to measure chairs are handcrafted and come in a selection of fabrics which can be matched to existing décor.

The free home assessment takes around half an hour, during which time Ellie looks at the customer’s current situation and assesses their mobility and other daily living needs. As part of the assessment, measurements are taken which are then used in the design of the bespoke chairs. If appropriate Ellie can also consult with an occupational therapist to ensure the design will be suitable for anyone with complex needs.

“We often find people don’t have the correct back support, so we can look at using cushioning designed for an individual’s body shape which can help provide the correct lateral support to meet their specific needs,” commented Ellie.

The free home assessment scheme started during the Covid-19 lockdown and customer feedback was really positive. As more people got to hear about the service and requested home assessments, St John Healthcare decided to make the service permanent.

Beryl Le Feuvre who recently got a new chair from St John Healthcare said: “The chair is brilliant, the rise and recline feature has made all the difference. It really has made my life easier.”

Ellie added “I see a lot of people, of all ages who are restricted by mobility problems, so by offering this unique service in their own home, without the need to visit the St John Healthcare Shop, we can help islanders enjoy independent living with maximum comfort.”

Kenneth Rogers-Davis, who lives with arthritis and experiences reduced mobility following a stroke, had a bespoke chair delivered in time for Christmas. He said: “My new chair is excellent, it is made to measure and the remote controls make it easy to use.

“I can put my feet up and watch television and it helps me get up almost to a standing position. It gives me much better support than my old one, which I’d had for many years and wasn’t very comfortable. The service from St John was very good, I’d give them 10/10.”

St John Healthcare not only provides practical home solutions, but also supports the wider work of the St John Ambulance Guernsey in the community, with proceeds from sales being put back into the charity.

To arrange a free home assessment contact shop@stjohn.gg or call 729268.