Canes for Mobility
Are canes just for the elderly? The fact is individuals of almost any age use canes as a way to compensate for the loss of mobility, disability caused by disease or obesity, or to overcome limited functionality. Canes help these individuals stand from a sitting position, walk with confidence and stability, and restore their sense of independence.
There are various reasons for using canes. The first would be an accident, like a broken leg or foot that affects the mobility of the lower leg. Surgery on the lower extremities, or a knee or hip joint replacement, may require a person to use an assistive device. Canes overcome balance problems and weak legs, and restore the person’s sense of security. A stroke, or a disease like diabetes or multiple sclerosis, may gradually decrease someone’s mobility level, making a cane a medical necessity. Finally, with the increase of obesity and weight issues, many individuals would not be able to stand or move without the use of a cane.
The canes of today are very different from the ones of the past. Individuals can choose from standard, folding, or quad canes. For the fashion conscious, there are Lucite canes available in many colors to coordinate with almost any outfit, and many people opt for several of these. Other manufacturers and suppliers have fashion canes with derby, dog, or even duck head handles in eclectic materials like simulated horn, shell, or ivory. The point is, while one may need a medical device like a cane, expressing one’s personality is simple with the wide variety of styles and options in the market.
For the more utilitarian minded, there are canes that double as seats, canes with stands, and heavy-duty canes for individuals with weight issues. Most canes today can accommodate weights ranging from zero to 700 pounds, and offer handle heights from 28 to 55 inches.
Heavy Duty Canes
Individuals with special needs like those suffering from Parkinson’s or gait-related issues can find specially designed canes that are perfectly suited to their needs, like a laser cane or lighted cane. Forearm designed canes are helpful for those with weak hands and wrists, as they reduce the burden of the weight on those areas.
Canes are available in materials like Lucite, wood, and aluminum, to mention a few of the more common types. They can be customized for right or left handed people, and many offer ergonomically designed grips or other assistive technology to reduce stress on hands and joints. This is especially beneficially for those with arthritis or weak hands.
Today’s technology provides individuals with many cane accessories to help them personalize a cane for their individual needs. For example, people who live in areas prone to ice and snow might be interested in an ice cane attachment, while someone who uses both a cane and wheelchair might benefit from a cane holder mounted on the wheelchair. The good news is, not only are there many canes from which to choose, but many vendors; a medical supply store, drugstore, or even an online store.
Remember, when shopping for canes to look for features like ease of operation when adjusting the height of the cane, and some sort of locking mechanism to hold it safely in place after the adjustment. These types of features assure canes are a safe option for those whose mobility is impaired. Canes are a good option because they furnish a means of mobility for individuals who might otherwise be limited in their daily activities. They provide stability and security for walking, and might prevent falls and other injuries.
It is important to use a cane safely to avoid the risk of injury or falls. A properly fitted and utilized cane could save a person from an otherwise disastrous fall. Individuals should seek the advice of qualified professionals to help them select and learn to use their cane to their best advantage.