Many seniors suffer from a loss of mobility in their later years, forcing them to rely heavily on various types of equipment to keep them mobile and active. One of the most common pieces of equipment which is used by people with reduced mobility is a walking cane. Surprisingly, there are many factors that one should consider when choosing a walking cane:
- Type of Cane: There are several distinct types of canes that are available in today’s marketplace. Crook canes have been around for the longest amount of time, and typically look like a shepherd’s cane in appearance. They provide balance for people who may have minor coordination problems. Offset canes are helpful for those who need to achieve greater stability because they suffer from hip or knee troubles due to arthritis or something similar. Quad canes provide the most stability out of the group, as they are able to bear the most weight. They have 4 ‘feet’ at the bottom of the cane, so they can remain upright on their own. This type of cane is best suited for someone who has one side of their body which is considerably weaker, such as a stroke victim. There are also different materials that the canes are comprised of such as wood, aluminum, or other metals.
- Proper fit: The effectiveness of a cane is heavily reliant upon its height. If the cane is not the proper height for the individual, the effectiveness of using the cane will be limited. The cane must also be made up of a material that can adequately shoulder the full weight of the user. The smartest way to ensure a proper fit is to discuss the decision with a doctor or physical therapist.
- Cost: There is a broad range of prices for canes, based on the type of cane which is being purchased. Fortunately for seniors, the cost of the cane may be partially covered by Medicare. In order to qualify, the cane must be deemed medically necessary for the user, and it may even require a prescription from the doctor. If the user qualifies for this benefit, the cane would need to be purchased from a medical supply company.
- Where to purchase: Canes are quite common, which makes them very easy to find and purchase. Major drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS carry them, as well as medical supply companies and online retailers like Amazon.
- Benefits of a cane: There are many key benefits which are gained through the utilization of a cane. The user enjoys improved mobility and balance. The user also enjoys the prospect of being able to move around faster, as the cane works by taking weight off of legs, hips and joints. This increased mobility allows the user to gain a measure of independence they would not be able to enjoy if they did not have a cane to assist them.
Here To Help Home Care employees are home care professionals that are knowledgeable regarding medical equipment and devices. We are able to assist our clients in the proper usage and selection of a cane so that they can get the most benefits from their device.