A cane may help you to live independently

Canes are not just for elderly people, they are for anyone who needs additional support. Canes help to improve balance when walking. They come in many colors, designs, styles and can be adjusted to your height to ensure a proper fit. As it takes weight off your leg and joints, your pain may decrease when walking with the cane. Consequently a cane may help you feel less tired.

Choosing a cane

  • Choose a cane considering its functionality, not only its appearance.
  • Choose a light one, if possible.
  • Select a cane that offers stability.
  • Choose an adjustable cane if you wear shoes of different styles.
  • The cane should have a good grip. It needs to be stable in your hand.
  • The tip of the cane has to be in good condition and that is replaceable.
  • Choose the proper walking aid with a therapist help.

Recommended cane accessories

  • A rubber tip:  fits onto the bottom of the cane to help prevent the cane from slipping on wet surfaces. They have to be replaced when worn.
  • Ice pick for canes: An ice pick clamps onto the bottom of the cane to help prevent the cane from slipping on snow-covered, slushy or icy surfaces.

Tips for using a cane safely

  • Hold it with the opposite hand of the side that needs support.
  • The tip of the cane should be at the level of your wrist. The cane should be adjusted to your height properly.
  • Do not use cane on the stairs, unless you have someone to assist you. Ask your caregiver to show you how to use it safely.
  • Stand for a moment before starting moving with your cane. Your body needs to be used to standing. Do not walk if you are dizzy.
  • Wear shoes with rubber sole. Do not wear slippers because they can slide off your feet and cause a fall.
  • Be sure the floor is safe for using a cane. It should be dry and free of clutter. Remove scatter rugs, anything that may cause you to fall.
  • Keep the things you need handy. If you need to carry anything, use a briefcase, a backpack or an apron.
  • When walking outside in the winter, an ice pick should be installed at the tip of the cane.
  • Always take the cane with you.

The above information is for educational purpose only. It is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor or health care professional to see if it is safe and suitable for you.

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