Every year, more than 47,000 older Americans experience dangerous falls.
Falls can be a significant health concern for older adults, especially those with poor mobility and other issues like osteoporosis. The fear of falling can be equally limiting for these people. Many feel forced to seek assisted living options before they’re mentally and emotionally ready.
Are you an older adult looking for a mobility aid to help you maintain independence? Do you know someone who could benefit from using a cane?
Check out this guide to the types of canes before you buy!
Popular Types of Canes
Starting to use a mobility aid can be a difficult decision for some people. Luckily, there are many types of canes available to choose from. Each style will have unique, helpful features, so consider all your options before selecting a cane or other walking aid!
When you first think about canes, a single-point or standard walking cane may come to mind. Single-point canes have a straight, curved, or J-shaped handle and a single point of contact with the floor. They are best for people who only need light assistance with their balance.
Multi-point canes look similar to single-point canes, with a long, straight body and curved handle. However, multi-point canes have a broader base with three or four rubber feet that contact the floor. These “quad canes” provide more stability than a single-point cane.
Folding canes are lightweight, single-point canes that you can take with you anywhere. If you don’t need to use a cane every day, a folding cane may be more practical for you. Folding canes are great for people with flaring conditions like arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
Because heavier individuals are 31% more likely to fall, they need to have a strong and supportive walking cane. Bariatric canes look the same as standard single-point and multi-point canes. The difference is that they are built with stronger materials to support people with heavier body weights.
Seat canes typically have a round or J-shaped handle, paddle seat, and tripod legs. When in use, the cane works like a standard single-point cane. If you need to sit down, you can quickly unfold the chair to rest!
Walker canes are sometimes referred to simply as “walkers.” Walkers have two handle grips and four widely spaced contact points with the floor. These can be wheels, rubber feet, or both.
Sometimes older people worry that walkers carry a greater social stigma than canes, but there is really no need for this. Walkers are just another form of walking cane. For those who don’t particularly care for a walking cane, walkers can provide much more stability and walking assistance.
Seated walkers provide the ultimate experience in comfort, mobility, and convenience. Like standard walker canes, seated walkers have four contact points and two handles. When you need to rest, you can easily fold down the seat and use the walker as a chair.
Some walkers may have additional special features like cupholders or baskets that really come in handy!
Go Forth with Confidence
Don’t let your mobility hold you back in life. With so many types of canes available on the market, you’re sure to find a mobility aid that suits your needs. Choose a pretty style or decorate your walking cane to show off some personality!
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