To examine the ability of activity of daily living (ADL)-impaired older adults to successfully rise, and, when successful, the time taken to rise, from a bed and chair under varying rise task demands.
Seven congregate housing facilities
Congregate housing residents (n = 116, mean age 82) who admitted to requiring assistance (such as from a person, equipment, or device) in performing at least one of the following mobility-related ADLs: transferring, walking, bathing, and toileting.
Subjects performed a series of bed and chair rise tasks where the rise task demand varied according to the head of bed (HOB) height, chair seat height, and use of hands. Bed rise tasks included supine to sit-to-edge, sit up in bed with hand use, and sit up in bed without hands, all performed from a bed where the HOB was adjusted to 0, 30, and 45 degrees elevations; roll to side-lying then rise (HOB 0 degrees); and supine to stand (HOB 0 degrees). Chair seat heights were adjusted according to the percent of the distance between the floor and the knee (% FK), and included rises (1) with hands and then without hands at 140, 120, 100, and 80% FK; (2) from a reclining (105 degrees at chair back) and tilting (seat tilted 10 degrees posteriorly) chair (100% FK); and (3) from a 80% FK seat height with a 4-inch cushion added, with and then without hands. Logistic regression for repeated measures was used to test for differences between tasks in the ability to rise. After log transformation of rise time, a linear effects model was used to compare rise time between tasks.
The median total number of tasks successfully completed was 18 (range, 3-21). Nearly all subjects were able to rise from positions where the starting surface was elevated as long as hand use was unlimited. With the HOB at 30 or 45 degrees essentially all subjects could complete supine to sit-to-edge and sit up with hands. Essentially all subjects could rise from a seat height at 140, 120, and 100% FK as long as hand use was allowed. A small group (8-10%) of subjects was dependent upon hand use to perform the least challenging tasks, such as 140% FK without hands chair rise and 45 degrees sit up without hands. This dependency upon hand use increased significantly as the demand of the task increased, that is, as the HOB or seat height was lowered. Approximately three-quarters of the sample could not rise from a flat (0 degrees HOB elevation) bed or low (80% FK) chair when hand use was not allowed. Similar trends were seen in rise performance time, that is, performance times tended to increase as the HOB or chair seat elevation declined and as hand use was limited. Total self-reported ADL disability, compared to the single ADL transferring item, was a stronger predictor of rise ability and timed rise performance, particularly for chair rise tasks.
Lowering HOB height and seat height increased bed and chair rise task difficulty, particularly when hand use was restricted. Restricting hand use in low HOB height or lowered seat height conditions may help to identify older adults with declining rise ability. Yet, many of those who could not rise under "without hands" conditions could rise under "with hands" conditions, suggesting that dependency on hand use may be a marker of progressive rise impairment but may not predict day-to-day natural milieu rise performance. Intertask differences in performance time may be statistically significant but are clinically small. Given the relationship between self-reported ADL disability and rise performance, impaired rise performance may be considered a marker for ADL disability. These bed and chair rise tasks can serve as outcomes for an intervention to improve bed and chair rise ability and might also be used in future studies to quantify improvements or declines in function over time, to refine physical therapy protocols, and to examine the effect of bed and chair design modifications on bed and chai