Feb 09 2018

When Choosing a Cane, Don’t Forget to Check For Confidence

Folding canes

As many as one in four adults in the U.S. experience a fall or slip of some sort each year. While many of these falls are purely accidents, a solid portion of them are caused by problems with the adult’s mobility. Issues with mobility manifest as an unsteadiness when walking; dizziness when standing from a sitting position; or a problem with balancing.

To combat this issue, roughly 6.8 million Americans use an assistive device to help them stay mobile, such as walking canes. But choosing a cane is not as simply as going to the nearest store and picking one up off of the shelf. A person must be assigned the correct type, find a perfect fit, and choose one that makes them feel confident.

Finding the Right Cane Can Make a Person’s Life Steadier.

It’s not always easy to convince someone that a cane would be a good addition to their life. Canes are often viewed as a sign that someone is getting older, and canes are a very visible reminder to the world that you need help simply standing. That is a very uncomfortable feeling for many people. There is no need to feel self-conscious when using canes. It would be a terrible thing to avoid moving around independently and confidently due to being self-conscious.

What’s Your Type? Choosing a Cane That Offer Enough Support.

Canes are not created with equal support levels. There are canes for stability, folding canes, walking sticks, and bariatric canes. Each offers a different degree of stability for their user. To know which is best for you, it is helpful to go to your doctor and discuss your options. Your doctor will ask you a few questions, such as how long you have noticed the problem, when you experience the unsteadiness, and any other factors that might compound the issue.

Find Your Fit: How to Find the Correct Measurement.

It is imperative to find the correct height in any cane you choose. An incorrect fit, such as a cane that is too short or too tall, will cause physical discomfort and not provide the right amount of stability for the user. A cane that is too short causes the user to hunch down, further compromising their stability. A cane that is too tall does not allow the user to walk normally, and can cause discomfort in the elbow of their cane arm. The correct cane height will have the handle rest just at the break of the wrist, so that the elbow is at a 30 degree flexion when the palm rests on the handle.

Will You Use It? Choosing a Mobility Device Based on Style.

A cane is of no use if it is not used. Where one person may love the look of a carved wooden one, another person would feel it was ostentatious. Once a person knows the level of stability they need, and have found one with a great fit, it is a good idea to consider the appearance of it. Choose one that fits with your general style, and that makes you feel good using it. The goal is to find a cane that becomes such a part of your life that you don’t even think about needing to use it, you just do.

Just over 10% of Americans 65 years and older find that they need to use a cane. These simple assistive mobility devices work best when they fit with the needs of the user. This means providing the correct amount of support, the proper fit, and does so in a style that appeals to the user. The goal is always to help the user seamlessly integrate the cane into their life so that their independence never suffers.

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