Nursing Home Help

A friend asked me if i could build support arms for the chairs at this elderly home. I’m game to try it but i am not experienced enough to do something like that. Is anyone available to guide me into doing this?

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Unfortunately it’s extremely rare to be able to modify a side chair to be a safe arm chair.

The feet need to be farther apart on the rear legs, the back needs to have the available strength to secure the arms which can be subjected to the entire weight of a person. The seat needs wider structure to attach the vertical support for the arms without encroaching on the useable seat width.

A successful chair requires careful design to be strong enough without excessive weight or materials. Modifying a chair, except a one off customization of a carefully selected chair would potentially be a liability risk and is much more likely to be done wrong than right. And doing it wrong can result in injury and/or fragility.


Here’s the nearest to what you could be trying to achieve that I found from the same store.

Look carefully at the difference in structure to see what I tried to describe in my reply.


I would be very careful about helping a friend modify chairs used in any state or federally licensed and certified nursing facility. You may be assuming liability for any injuries.

I am not aware of a regulations prohibiting the practice, but insurance companies and angry families are a different story.

My observation after working in nursing care facilities for 30 years.



If they recently bought them from FOC, I bet they would work something out for exchanging them for some proper chairs if you explain the situation. The family that owns that store is very generous.
Ashley loves a good PR opportunity. Mightt be worth a phone call.
Very nice of you to help, but I hope if I end up in a care home that the chairs have arms.


Yeah you guys are right. Thank you for replies.