If you’re caring for an older loved one, mobility may be a concern for both you and your family member. Balance can be tricky as one gets older, especially in bad weather and one in four older adults falls every year in the United States. About two million senior citizens wind up in the emergency room due to injuries from falling and are treated every 11 seconds for these injuries. Unsteadiness and dizziness while walking or standing up account for the majority of these falls and over half actually take place in the home, not out in public. There is an easy solution when it comes to aiding balance and providing more stability in the form of canes and walkers. Some senior citizens may resist, feeling that it makes them “look old” or not wanting to admit that they need the extra assistance. However, canes can also be a fashion statement and there’s plenty to choose from — decorative canes, wooden canes, classy canes, and more!
There is the argument to be made that a cane can actually help the elderly increase their mobility, with the extra assistance. It makes them a little more steady on their feet and allows them to get around without relying too much on the help of others. Almost seven million Americans use canes or other assistive devices to help increase their mobility. Five million of these Americans use a cane specifically and it’s the most well used mobility device in the United States. Just under 40% of Americans who are over the age of 85 will use a mobility device to get around.
If you want to make your cane reflect a bit more of your personality, there’s always the possibility of turning your practical standard-issue canes into decorative canes with a little help. Others may choose to turn to canes that have been in the family or will order custom walking canes.
How Do I Pick a Cane?
The main two types of canes are single-tipped canes and quad canes. As the name suggests, the quad cane has four tips, which offers a bit more support, but can be a little more difficult to maneuver with. You want to be sure you pick a cane that has the right grip and fit for you (much like with crutches) or it can end up being an impediment or even a hazard.
To size your cane, stand up straight with your arms at your sides. The top of the cane should match up with your wrist. Your elbow should be bent at about a 15 degree angle and feel comfortable.
Picking a type of grip is much like looking at decorative canes for style — it’s a lot of personal preference. Foam and rubber grips tend to be the most common. If you have difficulty closing your fingers around objects, a larger grip might be a good idea.
If you’re looking for decorative canes that are still functional as well, you should check online for a wide variety of options of canes for sale.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Your cane should be held on your strongest side and move in tandem with the side that’s weaker. Steps can be tricky and you’ll probably want to have a hand on the railing as well as using the cane. Your stronger side should step up first and then the other side and cane should follow.
If there are problems with the cane’s fit, grip, or you’re having trouble adjusting, talk to your doctor, who may be able to help you resize the cane or work with you until you feel comfortable using the cane by yourself. Like anything, walking with a cane can take some getting used to, so don’t get frustrated. In the long run, using a cane has many positive benefits and can help you from taking a nasty tumble. Links like this.