Assist Chair helps seniors regain their footing

Bob Deane
(Tim Stahl)

At age 92, Bob Deane, an entrepreneur with a San Marcos-based company, is still almost as self-reliant as anyone.

“I still get around pretty much by myself and do the things I want to,” he said.

But as he got older, some tasks, including putting on his compression stockings, posed a bit of a challenge.

“For years I’ve been putting them on, and they’re a pain in the butt to put on,” Deane said. “So I’d sit on the stairs to put the stockings on because you can get down to your foot a lot easier if you’re sitting on a stair, and putting my shoes on afterward.”

He also started getting his shinebox so he could prop up one foot at a time to more easily reach them. But, having spent decades in manufacturing, he knew he could design a better way to make certain types of tasks a little easier for senior citizens.

That led to Deane’s invention last year of the Assist Chair, which is a chair with a lever on the side that can be pulled to slide a square-shaped footrest out from underneath it. The person in the chair can then place a foot on the footrest to make it easier to put on their shoes, shine their shoes, polish their toenails or perform a variety of other tasks that would normally involve movements that are difficult for them.

“It’s actually very convenient if you’re trying to trim your toenails,” said Dean, noting that the footrest has an incline that faces the seat to make the foot as easy to reach as possible. “It’s a lot easier to get to your toes.”

For many seniors who experience loss of flexibility and balance as they age, the Assist Chair can help them avoid potentially uncomfortable movements that could lead to injury. The design of the chair is also versatile enough to fit in with any home decor.

Upon pulling the side lever, the footrest on the chair is designed to glide across any type of floor. There is also an optional booster block, which allows the person sitting in the chair to elevate the footrest to their preferred level. Once they’re finished using it, the lever can be pulled to slide the footrest back under the chair.

The chair includes a small optional tray that can be used on either the right or left arm. The user can place a mirror if they want to sit and shave, put in their contact lenses, apply makeup or perform any number of other tasks.

The chair also accommodates a cushion, which can be replaced to best fit the user’s preference. The chair is light-weight, but also sturdy enough that it won’t shake while in use. The arms can also be used to help the user sit down or stand up.

“It doesn’t rock or wobble or anything when you put pressure on it,” Deane said.

Assist Chair is patent pending. For more information and to inquire about placing an order, visit assistchair.com.

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