Any way you slice it, your chances of taking a bad spill drastically increase as you get older. Despite all the precautions you may take, there’s no telling when you might take a spill.
One in four older adults falls every year in the United States and among that same group, more than half of those falls happens at home. Statistics show that falling among senior citizens has drastic consequences. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. In fact, more than two million senior citizens visit the ER every year for injuries caused by a fall.
So what can be done to keep senior citizens from falling? One easy solution is to use a mobility aid like a walking cane. Approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices like walking canes to aid their mobility. In addition, just under 40 percent of Americans aged 85 and over use mobility devices.
Why should you use a walking cane? There are many reasons, not the least of which is that 4.8 million Americans walk with a cane, making canes the most widely used mobility devices in the United States. If you’re in need of a mobility device, a walking cane is a great solution for many reasons:
- Provides support if you have poor balance or are unsteady on your feet
- Many models are adjustable to get them to just the perfect height
- Helps reduce knee stress
- Helps reduce stress from ankles, hips and spine
- Helps the upper body to put off stress in forearms, wrists, shoulders, hands and neck
- Walking canes are durable, strong and can be lightweight depending on what type is used
There are plenty of health benefits to using a walking cane, but beyond that, using a walking cane can be stylish and there are many types to choose from. If you’re a little skeptical of getting a walking cane for assistance, know there are many styles to choose from and you can find a can that’s stylish and helps you move around easier.
Common types of walking canes include:
- Crookneck walking cane
- Derby handle walking cane
- Palm anatomical handle walking cane
- Knob handle walking cane
- Folding walking cane
- Hiking sticks
For all the types of canes available, stylish or not, it’s important that you find the right one that fits your needs.
- Choose A Grip: It’s important to feel comfortable when you’re holding the cane and there are many types of grips available. There are foam grips and grips that can be shaped to fit a person’s hand. Getting the right grip eliminates unnecessary stress on joints and helps prevent joint deformities.
- Check The Fit: As mentioned above, certain types of canes are adjustable and it’s important to check the fit on the cane you might be interested in. Check the elbow bend by holding the cane in your hand and bending your elbow. Also be sure to check your wrist height. Let your arm hang at your side; the top of the cane should line up with your wrist.
- Mind Your Step: When it comes to walking, your walking cane should be held in the hand opposite of your affected leg. When you walk, the cane should move in step with your affected leg.
- Watch Your Step, Again: When using your cane on steps, there are rules for moving up and down them. When going up, step up with your unaffected leg first and then step with your other leg as you move the cane. To move down, put your cane on the lower step, then your affected leg followed by your unaffected leg.
- Check The Tip: The rubber tip at the end of your walking cane works like a tire tread; the better the grip, the better off you’ll be. The rubber tip provides traction and you need to make sure it’s in good shape.
If you’re having trouble getting around, a cane for walking could be just what the doctor ordered. Talk to your doctor about how a walking cane might improve your ability and find a cane that works best. There’s no shortage of canes and cane types available, but remember it’s all about finding the right fit.