What’s the difference between stylish walking canes and functional canes? It’s fairly simple actually: the difference lies in how the user feels when walking with it. A cane for walking is an assistive mobility device, and yet it doesn’t need to make the user feel frumpy. Just over 10% of Americans over the age of 65 use a cane of some type. Here’s how to make your choice from the stylish walking canes on the market, and one that makes you feel great no matter what your age.
Choosing a Cane Must Focus On Proper Fit First.
Stylish walking canes can be just as practical as canes with a more utilitarian design. The first consideration though is to always chose an assistive device based on what is necessary for balance. Some people only need a light cane to assist them, while others will require an offset quad cane. An improperly fitting cane will create problems with alignment of the body, and with balance. Finding the right fit is actually fairly simple. Once the fit is taken care of, the next step is to choose an attractive design.
How Much Extra Stability Is Required?
About one in four older adults experience a fall or slip of some sort each year. Nearly 50% of these occur at home, and two of the most commonly cited reasons for the fall were dizziness or unsteadiness. Feeling dizziness while standing might be due to a medical condition such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, POTS, or it could be caused by benign positional vertigo, BPV, but the risk of falling is the same. A simple walking stick could be a great device to help provide a measure of grounding during movement.
A heavier cane could be needed for those who need more support, but not more than 20% of their body weight (that would require a walker). A quad walking cane has four rubber-tipped legs at the base of the cane to provide more stability when walking. This is a great option for people who find themselves leaning on pieces of furniture or walls as they move around. While it certainly looks larger, it can still have a stylish look if the right details are added.
How to Choose a Cane For a Perfect Fit.
An improperly fitting cane will not only be uncomfortable, but over time it can cause back problems, wrist problems, and even fail to provide the stability that is its purpose. Even stylish walking canes can be practical, but no fashionable feature should ever get in the way of a perfect fit. A correctly fitting cane will come up just to the break of the wrist, and the palm of the hand can comfortably rest on the handle with the elbow at 30 degrees of flexion.
Measuring for a cane can and preferably will be done by a doctor, although it is not strictly necessary. A doctor will also recommend the level of stability needed from a cane, such as a simple walking cane or a quad walking cane. It is important to get both the right type of cane, and the right fit. Both components are needed to ensure the proper amount of stability will be provided.
Of course, you can still make your choice a stylish walking cane by choosing one with interesting carvings, paint designs, or colors. Style does not need to be compromised by functionality. It has been found that many people who find that they need the assistance of a cane feel some social discomfort. This makes it imperative to find a stylish walking cane that they do not mind using, because a cane must be used to provide any help at all. Type, fit, and style are the order in which to choose a good cane.