Fitform ZEN Care Chair: more peace of mind for patients and caregivers

The Fitform ZEN Care Chair with an electrically powered ‘Slow Motion’ rocking movement, has been carefully developed as a medical device to reduce restlessness, based on applied research and pilot projects in nursing home institutions. The Fitform ZEN Care Chair is a solution to regulate behavioural problems and therefore creates a huge impact on the daily lives of all involved. 

You can read more about caregivers' experiences with the ZEN Care Chair here.

From restlessness to calmness in the ZEN Care Chair

Persons with a neurological condition, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, often feel restless. This can lead to agitation. This is not pleasant for the person involved: it has a negative effect on their well-being. For family and professional caregivers, this restlessness can also take its toll.

The ZEN Care Chair has been specially developed for persons who experience restlessness as a result of their condition. The unique and adjustable rocking motion* ensures relaxation and reduced restlessness. This rocking motion can often cause the user to fall asleep. This improves the degree of restfulness.

The electrically operated functions of the ZEN Care Chair are set in motion by using a simple hand control. 

We invite you to watch the video; click on the button in the picture.

*ZEN Care Chair rocking motion is protected by a patent.

Research: rocking works!

With an expected growth in the number of people with dementia, the agitation and behavioural problems associated with this will only increase. Examples of these problems include restlessness, constant wandering around, tapping on the table, shouting, calling out and scratching. At the same time, the health care sector is trying to mitigate measures restricting the personal freedoms of patients. Over the coming years therefore, we will be faced with considerable challenges.

In the meantime, various studies have shown that a rocking motion can make a positive contribution to reducing agitation. Applied research with the ZEN Care Chair and in pilot projects has confirmed this. Various health-care providers who have been working with the chair have since been witnessing its favourable effects. If you would like more information on these studies and the pilot projects, click on ‘Read more’.

Scientific research

• As early as 1998 studies were being carried out at the University of Rochester into the effects of a rocking motion with persons with dementia. Over a period of six weeks, trials were carried out on 25 subjects seated in traditional rocking chairs. The longer they rocked, the better the effect on their well-being. In addition, the group which regularly used the rocking chairs, required less medication than the control group.

• Another research study, carried out by Pieper et al. in the Netherlands in 2013, revealed that interventions aimed at reducing pain, as well as influencing behaviour, were most effective in combating agitation, depression and restlessness in persons with dementia. Rocking therapy was reported as being one of these interventions.

Applied research and pilot projects

The ZEN Care Chair with an electrically-powered Slow Motion rocking motion underwent meticulous development on the basis of applied research and pilot projects conducted in nursing homes in the Netherlands and Germany. The research was carried out in 2019 and the pilots took place in 2020 and 2021.

The research at Tante Louise health-care facility, location Hof van Nassau (Steenbergen)

Amongst all subjects an objective reduction in agitation was observed:

• Less physical and verbal agitation
• Behaviour such as wandering, roaming and searching ceased
• Residents became calm enough to take part in a group activity

The researcher concluded that the Fitform armchair could be successfully used in care institutions as part of an individual intervention plan. The simple act of rocking in the care chair, even in the home setting, was enough to put an agitated patient at ease. The intervention is particularly useful if the agitation has a disruptive effect on the rest of the group and staffing capacity does not allow for one-to-one support.

The pilots at De Zorggroep (Helden), Floravita Zorgpartners (Moordrecht) in the Netherlands and Residenz am Wiesenkamp (Hamburg) in Germany

Examples of feedback from the care homes following the pilot studies:

  • More than half fall asleep during the rocking motion, allowing them to rest. If the rocking mechanism is not activated, patients relax, but do not fall asleep, which means the degree to which they are able to relax is reduced.

  • Agitated residents are more quickly put at ease in the ZEN Care Chair than by a carer who tries to soothe that person by sitting next to them in their bed or chair.

  • The ZEN Care Chair helps at night-time when patients get restless or those that start to wander around because they can’t get to sleep in their bed. Patients then often fall asleep in the chair as a result of the rocking motion.

  • The ZEN Care Chair works very well in preventing perplexing behaviour through overstimulation later in the day, by allowing patients to rest more easily, rock in the chair and fall asleep.

  • When a restless resident is rocking or sleeping in the chair, the care worker is able to give their attention to other residents.

Multiple positive effects

The ZEN Care Chair not only gives more rest and relaxation, it also has a favourable effect on behaviour and well-being. The following positive effects are now also understood:

  • Reduced workload for family and health-care professionals (physical and mental).
  • Proven positive effect on fluid in the legs (oedema).
  • Proven positive effect on tissue irritation (decubitus).
  • Reduction of painkilling and sedative medication with some people.

The Fitform 564 ZEN Care Chair meets the requirements set by the EU MDR (Medical Device Regulation) 2017/745 with respect to Class 1 medical devices.

Click on the image and watch the animation video

Features and functions

The Fitform 564 ZEN Care Chair is a special model of the Fitform 574 Vario armchair. The key features of the care chair are: 

  • The Slow Motion rocking motion; variable at two speeds.
  • Four pre-programmed user profiles (see illustration); as a result, the chair movements safely match the wants and needs of the user.
  • Simple, easy-to-use hand controls; three buttons with clear illustrations.
  • Safe locking; the chair can be easily locked and unlocked.
  • Variable seat support; the chair can be adjusted to the physique of the user: seat height, seat depth, armrest height, lumber support, head/neck support. The way the chair can be adjusted is very similar to the Vario 574 care chair. Here you can watch the video on how to adjust these.
  • Safe riser-recliner mechanism.

How the ZEN Care Chair works

Click on the image and watch the user video. 
You can see how the ZEN Care Chair functions and which user possibilities the armchair has.

 For example:

  • Using the hand controls
  • Setting user profiles (chair movements)
  • Varying the speed of the rocking motion
  • Locking and unlocking the armchair
  • Transferring the chair, occupied or unoccupied
  • Cleaning the armchair

Upholstery and options

Various hard-wearing (synthetic) fabrics with a modern appearance; if required, these can be made incontinence-resistant. A deluxe leather upholstery is likewise available.

Wheel system
A wheel system enables the ZEN Care Chair to be transferred, simply and safely, with the armchair either occupied or unoccupied.

Cushions for the head/neck
For additional comfort there are various cushions available for the head and neck. The armchair is fitted with a variable ‘Topswing’ headrest as a standard item.

Revolving platform
If the user wants to turn in the armchair in a seated position, it can be fitted with a revolving platform.

Fold-away side panel
The chair has a fold-away, swivel side panel (on one or both sides) which enables a wheelchair user to make a safe and simple transfer.

We use cookies to facilitate logging into our website and to save your preferences. By visiting our website you agree to our cookie policy.
More information