- Disabilities & the Disabled
Canes Need toFit Your Needs
Getting Around With A Cane
The goal for those of us who have become disabled is to try to retain as much mobility as possible. Your inability to move about freely should be to find a workable solution that can at least enable you with enough capability to move from point A to Point B without calling in the entire village.. This is especially true for folks with a temporary mobility problem-such s a broken ankle or a broken hip.
If that's your situation, you need to find ways to improve your mobility and gain at least a minimal amount of ability to move so you can get around a bit without too much assistance. That's important for your state of mind. The first step for many of us with such an \ issue is to obtain and learn to use the the first ever mobility aid, a cane. How well you do in finding and using the right equipment, including a cane can be the difference between living well, just getting by, or being shut in, as opposed to being able to get out and about. The first step towards independence for many of us with mobility issues is often a cane.
Once you accept your condition, you have a responsibility to yourself and those around you to do your best to be as self sufficient as possible. It's up to you to search for alternatives to being totally inactive. Granted, those of us who are so severely restricted that our options are limited have a more difficult time finding answers, but any simple steps you can take to improve your mobility is one less that your caretakers will have to deal with. It's a win for you and a win for your caretaker.
There are many physical restrictions and concerns that mobility challenged individuals must deal with. What many folks require is simply a tool that enables them to get from Point A to point B is a good place to start . The health care industry offers numerous walking aids to help achieve that goal. The most common of these is a cane, the oldest mobility tool in history
If you require minimal assistance to help with your balance and stride issues, the first logical assistive device that can help is a cane. But, it is important to select a cane that does what it is intended to do. You will need to give some thought to the cane that works best for you.
Canes are often the starting point for those of us whose walking has been compromised from any number of causes. Sprains, broken bones, neuropathy, arthritis and balance issues are common conditions that may prompt folks to use a cane. The tendency for many of us in need of a cane is to rummage through the attic and find grandpa's massive old wooden cane. The thinking is that canes are canes, and if this worked for gramps, it will certainly work for me. That's a wrong assumption.
If you choose a cane that is heavy and not easy to manage, you run the risk of incurring even more damage to your ailing body parts. Chances are the old cane is too long or too short or too heavy to do its job. The hand grip is not comfortable and the tip might be missing. It's an accident waiting to happen.
Grandpa's Heavy Old Cane
Tripod canes Safe? Not Necessarily
The right cane can make a huge difference
Don't balk at spending your dollars on a decent cane that can prove invaluable to you. Head on over to your neighborhood drug store. The national drugstore chains have a good selection of lightweight canes that can be adjusted to fit your height and grip. They also offer a large assortment of canes on their websites. Wherever you choose to buy your cane, select a lightweight model that feels balanced and comfortable in your hand. The lighter weight allows the cane to be easily maneuvered so that a person can easily plant the cane solidly for support and balance before taking a step. A well balanced cane will also allow handicapped people to take a swat at their smart aleck kids when they get out of line.
Three pointed tripod canes may not be the right choice for you. While they may look stable, they are more difficult to walk with and often catch the ground or your leg when you take a step.
Instead look for lightweight aluminum or similar metal or composite canes that can be easily self adjusted to your height. The ideal cane length allows the cane handle to fit into the palm of your hand with your arms hanging at your, side while you stand upright. Measure the distance from mid palm to the ground (with shoes on). That is the perfect length for your cane. See the chart below.
Canes that are too short or too long are dangerous.
If, for some reason you decide to purchase a wood or metal cane that is not adjustable, it should be cut down to fit as directed. Most new canes come complete with instructions on how to measure for the correct fit. It is not at all uncommon to see elderly folks, especially women using a cane six inches longer than recommended. They are not an accurate nor effective way to keep you safe while on your feet. It is extremely important to have acane that is the rightlength.
Learn to use the cane correctly. Use it on the side opposite the affected area or the side opposite the weak point. Place, set, step - place, set, step. If your left leg is the weak spot, carry and use the cane on the right side of your body. With a little practice, you can learn to maneuver yourself and keep your balance in virtually every situation.
When you feel tired, rest. As you build muscles, your gait will improve, as will your ability to move about the room. Your cane should keep you oin good stead until your condition warrants the next step, a walker which will be covered in a subsequent post.
Finally, don't be ashamed of using a cane. Be ashamed when hyou fail to use one because of vamity or some other inane reason.
Size Does Matter When Fitting Canes
orthopedic canes are better for your safety and support
All canes are not created equal. Canes are intended to give you the support and balance you need to function. Forget about using grandpa's heavy old cane. Buy one that works for you.
sure grip canes for arthritic hands
Don't Let Your Cane Slip Away
choices choices choices. Find a Cane best suited for you