If you are thinking about getting a cane to help you get around, you are in very good company. When it comes to using assistive devices, such as canes, to help with mobility, at least 6.million around the United States are using them. For people with issues with mobility, the majority who get some kind of mobility device, most get a cane. Some estimates have the number of cane users at about 4.8 million people. The most important thing about buying a cane is finding one that you will actually use. Over the years, more and more kinds of canes have been developed. If you are concerned with the look of your cane, decorative canes and stylish canes are out there. Here are some tips to picking the right cane for you.
- Look at the tip of the canes. There are a few options when it comes to canes. You should think about how much stability you need to look at what you actually need. There are decorative canes with different tips that help people with differing levels of needs. You can get a cane that has one point, three points or four points. If you are looking for a functional cane because you have developed arthritis that makes it hard to get around, the single pointed cane will probably help you as much as you need it to. If the issues that are driving you to get a cane are more neurological, you may need to put more weight on your cane and will need one with three or four points on it.
- Look at the height of the cane. When you go to look at different canes, you should wear the shoes you wear the most often. Keep your arms at your sides for the fitting. Your wrist should be comfortable with the position of the top of the cane (this is the area that is curved). If the cane does not reach the crease of your wrist, you will not be able to effectively use it. Also, if you vary the height of your shoes, you should look into an adjustable cabe, custom canes or you should get a few. Bring the different kinds of shoes that you wear with you to the fitting.
- Practice using your new cane. When you use canes for mobility, you need to use it the right way. Use it with your stronger side. You should move it with the weaker side of your body, This often feels counterintuitive to many people so it may take some getting used to but this is the best way for you to get the most stability from your cane. When you use it this way, you put the weight on the cane when you actually need the help when you need it.
- Learn how to use it on the stairs Many people who need canes stability struggle with going up and down the stairs. It can take some practice to getting used to using a cane on the stairs but it is possible. When you are walking down the stairs, lead with your cane. Put your cane down at the same time as you place your weaker foot. Follow your step with your stronger leg. When you are going up, reverse that. Put your strong leg forward and follow with your weaker leg and your cane.
- Look into extras. There are decorative canes to match your style but there are other kinds of canes that may be good for you. You can get canes that have a seat on them if you find you like to walk but need to sit down a lot or if you do a lot of things outdoors where they may not be a seat. You can look at seat sticks, umbrella canes and folding canes.
Falls threaten people as they get older. In the United States, a quarter of all older adults will experience a bad fall. Getting the right cane, that you will actually use can help. Even if you only use it at home (where half of all falls take place), that may be enough. Decorative canes look great and can keep you safe.