Cheap, Safe Couch Options for the Elderly?

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Q: I live in D.C. and my elderly, disabled mother lives in Northwest Ohio. We have begun the process of moving her, and consequently getting rid of her 20-year-old La-Z-Boy sleeper sofa and recliner, as they are both in disrepair (though were really well-made back in the day to last so long with the abuse we gave them). We are finding replacing them with something within our budget that will be safe and comfortable for her (e.g., a full-size sofa with a seat height of 19"+, firm cushions, shorter arms, a really sturdy frame that won't break beneath her sometime within the next 8 yrs or so, and in the sub-$1k range) basically impossible.

We have tried the usual tricks of Craigslist (bad in her city, decent in ours), discount chains, outlet store/floor sample sales, holiday sales, consignment shops, and Ikea, but nothing ever seems to ever fit all these parameters:

Seat height seems to be the biggest obstacle, as most everything these days seems to sit around 17." We have considered hacking an Ikea sofa with longer legs to make it sit higher (at least 3" higher), but have no idea if this would adversely affect the structural integrity of the frame (will raising it a lot make it more likely to crack in the middle?).

We've been looking for almost an entire year with no luck, and moving day is looming. A sofa-less life is really not an option for her, repairing the old sofa is over the budget (as were upholstery classes), and the budget is unfortunately firm.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as we are at our wit's end!

Sent by LC

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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