How to Hold and Use Canes

How to Hold and Use Canes

As age advances, every elderly person faces difficulty in walking, climbing stairs and moving around. If left unnoticed, this walking disability might leads to falls, fractures and total immobility. Elderly citizens are always fearful of tripping and falling. This is due to many reasons- obesity, infirmity and senior medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, orthopaedic issues etc. The best way to reassure them is by preventing falls as much as possible. This can be done by encouraging them to use walking canes.

Reasons for using walking canes in preventing falls

Walking canes are not just for the crippled or the wounded. Elders must use walking canes to

  • Maintain body balance while moving
  • Get a grip on the floor area where they need to walk
  • Adjust or shift body weight while walking or climbing stairs
  • Support themselves as they advance in steps
  • Move independently without the aid of another person.
  • Recover quickly from leg injuries

Seniors who are conscious of their image can be convinced to use custom walking canes which are specially designed to suit their personality.

Custom Walking Canes

Waling Canes were a status symbol and part of men's fashion in the Victorian Era. Many English novels including Arthur Conan Doyle's' Sherlock Holmes make a mention of fashionable canes. Custom walking canes have their shaft handles designed in various styles such as a

  • Ivory handle shaped liked like an eagle or lion
  • Brass Jaguar, Lion or Skull handles
  • Brass or Chrome Plated knob
  • Nickel Plated Wolf, Labrador, Horse or Great White Shark handles
  • Acrylic Handles with bubbles inside
  • Carved wooden Handles

Choosing the right Walking Cane

Walking Canes come in 3 types

  1. Single Point- Ideal for arthritis-affected elders
  2. Quad or 3 Point Canes - for those with neurological impairment to help them apply their weight on it.

Buying the cane of the right height is very crucial as a short one makes the user slump while a tall one does not give the right support. To get the cane fitted at the right height, seniors should stand erect wearing their shoes with their arms at the sides so that the top of the cane will match the crease at the wrist. The right cane will not be of a height 6 inches more than your mid-section and will allow your arm to be at a 45˚ while holding its handle.

Using the cane rightly

When used rightly, the walking cane reduces the risk of falls by offering a wide support at the base and improves balance. It also decreases weight on the lower joints and thus enables free movement.

Holding a walking stick rightly while walking on a level surface

  • Hold the cane on your good or stronger side to give you a better balance due to shifting of weight
  • Move your weak or affected leg forward while swinging the cane simultaneously ahead so as to share the load of your weight.
  • While walking, move the cane 2 inches to the front or the side but never more than that.
  • Moving the cane in pace with your steps will give the right walking gait.
  • Lean on to the cane whenever necessary to support yourself.

Holding a walking stick rightly while using stairs

  • Move your strong leg first to ascend the stair.
  • Follow with the weak leg using the cane simultaneously
  • Similarly while descending, start by placing the cane first and follow it with your weak leg and then the stronger one.

The cane is the staff of support for most seniors and their walking companion too. Encourage elders to use canes by educating them about their benefits in helping them have an active retirement age.

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