Bruce’s Booster Seat

When we have infants or toddlers with us – perhaps our kids or our grandkids – and we enter a restaurant, one of the first things we do is ask if they have a highchair.

Thank goodness for highchairs. I don’t know who invented them or created them, but they sure serve a valuable purpose.

Highchairs have an important safety role, but they also have a role to elevate the toddler to a height that will be in line with the top of the table in the restaurant.

As the kids get a little bit older, we often ask for child booster seats.  Consumer Reports and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that kids use booster seats until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and 8 to 12 years old.

The other day I had an unusual experience that sparked this blog.  I was having lunch with my good friend Bruce at Keedy’sKeedy’s has been around for 67 years.  It is a blast from the past restaurant, keeping its classic soda fountain, where you can still order a cherry coke.

Bruce and I are sitting in a booth, about to order off the menu, when Bruce says that the tabletop is a little high for him.

“A little high?” I ask Bruce.   “Yes, a little high,” retorts Bruce who just recently celebrated his 86th birthday. “I feel that the tabletop is a little too high,” he repeats.

“What do you mean that the tabletop is a little too high?” I ask.  Bruce stretches his arms into the air, and then flops down his elbows on the restaurant’s table in our booth, while at the same time grimacing, his face showing his distaste.  He adds, “My arms are too high up.  I don’t feel totally comfortable.”

At this point, I look Bruce directly in his eyes and mutter quietly “Bruce, you need a booster.”

Almost at the same time, our waitress comes by to take our food order.  Before we say a word about what food we want, I blurt out to the waitress “My friend, Bruce, needs a booster.  Do you have one?”

Whereupon the waitress is a little taken aback.  But, to her credit, she treats the request as a serious one and one that is not that unusual.  Nevertheless, she responds with “I am so sorry, but I don’t believe that we have a booster for you.”

To see Bruce’s face at this point is to see a disappointed, dejected man.

Immediately, my natural instincts to be helpful to a good friend kick in.  so, I ask the waitress if these tabletops are a little high.  Or is the height of the table normal.  She says that as far as she knows the table heights are normal.

Then I ask if she could possibly get us a booster so that the next time we come in, there will be one available.  She says “let me get the manager.”

The manager comes over and she could not have been nicer.  She quickly understands the situation and puts her arms around Bruce and says that she will get a booster so that the next time he comes into Keedy’s he will have a booster seat available for him.  A smile comes across Bruce’s face!

I had never thought about it before, but an elderly gentleman or woman could use a cushion or seat that would raise them up a little to be able to be at the same level as the rest of us.

Why not?  Why shouldn’t an elderly person get the same attention and devices that infants and toddlers get so that they can be at the same level to the table in the restaurant as the rest of us.  Why not?

I have never heard of such a thing as a senior booster in restaurants, but, hey, maybe I am just not aware.  So, when I got home, my curiosity took over and I did some research.

It turns out that highchairs and booster seats for infants, toddlers and children have to meet certain regulatory requirements for safety and quality reasons.  These include stability and structural integrity, safety straps and restraints, materials and construction, height and size requirements, cleaning and maintenance, warning labels and instructions, and compliance with standards.

While booster seats for children are quite common in restaurants, booster seats specifically designed for the elderly are less common but do exist. These seats are typically referred to as “booster cushions” or “seat cushions” for seniors. They serve a similar purpose to booster seats for children by providing additional height and support, making it easier for elderly individuals to sit comfortably at a table.

I was surprised when I went to Amazon online and searched for booster seats for adults and found that there are as many as a hundred different options available for sale.  Booster seats for the elderly come in various designs and materials. Some are foam cushions that can be placed on top of existing chairs, while others are more structured and may have handles or straps for stability. The design often emphasizes comfort and support, with features like contoured shapes and padding.

Holy cow!  Where have I been?

Apparently you can purchase a light weight and portable booster seat and bring it with you to a restaurant.  Overall, booster seats for the elderly can be a valuable addition to restaurants that prioritize inclusivity and accessibility. They offer a simple yet effective solution to help seniors dine out comfortably and independently.

Several companies that produce such booster seats include Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, Pride Mobility Products, Golden Technologies, Stander, and AliMed.

What I have learned from this experience is that it is just as important to have an age-friendly restaurant as a child-friendly restaurant.  I have also learned that there are such assists as a booster seat or cushion for the elderly.  And I have learned that not only should restaurants have them available, but also that an elderly person can purchase a portable one on Amazon or elsewhere and bring it with them to any restaurant they frequent.

Thank you, Bruce, for opening my eyes to:

  • The need for booster seats for some of our seniors in restaurants
  • The availability of booster seats and cushions for the elderly


6 thoughts on “Bruce’s Booster Seat”

  1. Nice to see your smilin’ face Bruce. Also nice to see you up on your hind legs and taking some nourishment (not much left of those there pancakes on that plate) eh! Nearly did not recognize you without yer lucky Tuesday nite shirt.
    Never give up eh! May God grant you AA’s in the hole and many more happy years drawing to an inside straight.

  2. In Neil, we have found a knowledgable and caring friend. Looking forward to more fellowship. Regards Bruce

    1. Great research Neil! Thanks for the education! Love all the pictures. Bruce me will miss your lunches.

      Keep up the great blogging! You have a knack!

  3. Great observation, Neil. What a practical way to help people, especially seniors, not feel small when out and about. You also found a caring store manager. She has me looking for a Keedy’s now!

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