Walking canes for seniors. It's important to get a good one. But, how do we know which walking canes are good ones? This is a topic that may be a little confusing when we are looking for our first cane because there are so many different kinds to choose from.
Canes are used for different reasons:
For our intents and purposes, as seniors, we’re going to be talking about walking canes for the two major issues that many of us seniors have: Balance and Support.
You’ll need to know the difference between “Walking Canes” and “Walking sticks”.
There is a difference?
YES. A very important one. We need the one that offers a bit of support. One the that can hold up some of our weight if we need it to.
So, here’s the difference:
Walking Canes have to be strong. Yes, they are ideal for helping us balance. But, we also want them for those moments when we may need some extra support. They are usually made of wood, steel, or large aluminum tubing.
Walking Sticks are purely for balance and/or decoration. Usually very light weight. They can be very slim. They may be quite beautiful. And, often they are cheaply made. They will almost always break if you suddenly need them for support.
To add to our confusions in life: The English people often refer to their walking canes as their walking sticks.
Remember: Walking sticks are not trustworthy for support. They are purely for balance or fashion. We seniors want to be looking for Walking Canes.
There are also “walking sticks” for hikers. Again, these are not strong. Not for any kind of support. They are just for some light balance.
Do you need the little bit of support walking canes offer? You may if you slip or trip on something. Or, if you are rising from a chair. Or, if you just need a bit more certainty walking.
Now, let’s take a look at why we use walking canes:
Balance is the first reason the majority of senior citizens will start using walking canes.
Did you know, our balance mechanisms are located in our inner ear?
That was a real surprise to me.
You can learn all about how this system works for us in this article: “How Do Our Bodies Balance Themselves?”
Or, if you’d like a more detailed explanation, here’s a great VIDEO by Stephen Lisberger PhD, professor or neurobiology at Duke University. Here you’ll learn how all our internal balance equipment works.
When things are not working normally in there we can have balance problems. Sometimes very serious one. And, often these don't start to show up until our senior years.
This is the annoying answer you’re going to start getting for a number of items as time goes on: Age.
I hate when people tell me this. Don’t you? But, AGE is often the cause.
The simplest explanation is: Things wear out.
Have you ever had an old automobile? Little things go long before we trade it in right? But, that's OK. Right? It's still a great car!
We are also like that.
And, some things need a little fixing from time to time. Walking canes for seniors are similar. They help something that is a little faulty work better.
Just because our balance may get a little weak, does not mean that we have to stop going places and enjoying our lives. A lovely walking cane may be all you need to do that.
Yes. There are other causes. For sure.
For Example: If we have lost feeling in our feet, we can also have balance issues because we don’t know where we are touching the Earth exactly. Or, how hard.
Also: If we become very weak, it can be difficult to balance.
There are also be a number of other wellness concerns that can cause balance problems.
The thing is, we need to assess our specific condition and determine what we need for assistance.
If walking canes can get us from here to there and where ever else we want to go, let’s not be hesitant to get one. They help keep our world larger and more fun. And, you won't look "old" with a nice looking one.
Posture support canes may be nice for those seniors who require a bit more than balance. Those who may be a bit weaker when standing.
Postural support canes are not as supportive as crutches. And, they should not be used as such. But, postural support canes have a grip design that allows you to stand more upright so that you are not all hunches over while walking. And, often an arm rest to support more weight.
Walking canes are not for heavy duty use. They are really just for balance and minor additional support at unexpected moments.
However: When senior legs become too weak to depend on, a walking cane is no longer the answer. It was not designed to support your full weight on each step.
A walking cane can support only about 25% of your body weight at best. You'll nee a more substantial accessory.
Also, if you are a large person, you'll need a walking cane that can support you properly. Don't worry. There are specially made Bariatric Walking Canes.
There are two basic kinds of crutches:
1) Under the arms
2) Cradle the forearms
Forearm Crutches can normally support about 175 lbs of body weight. They are not as strong as the underarm type, but, the are usually much handier and easier to work with.
And, YES, they do come in some stylish colors!
Underarm Crutches are designed for supporting full body weight depending on the pair you get. Maximum 175 lbs - 650 lbs depending on the specific crutches themselves.
These are the ones we all know because of all the kids that broke their legs in school.
Again, you no longer have to get the extremely ugly functional grey. There are Colors!
There is no doubt that NONE of us want to feel old or be regarded as
OLD. Right? That demon taunts us regularly now. Far too often. We fight
it off daily.
Yes, we’ve accepted the words: “older”, “senior citizens”, “seniors”, etc…. Even the word “elderly” is something most of us don’t want to be known as before we’re really up there. Am I right? I don’t. Ugh…..
So, unfortunately (now that we’re senior citizens) we too often associate walking canes with,
The caregiver who tries to help seniors get a lovely walking cane often face this roadblock. Am I right?
And, many of these seniors who could use and really enjoy a nice walking cane, refuse to use one.
So, it's up to us caregivers to show our seniors just how Beautiful and Elegant a walking cane can make us look. We hope this article and these pictures will help you with that.
It’s a bit amusing when we find out we’re the same age as “old people”.
“Old” is usually at least 10 - 15 years older than we are. Isn’t it? Of
course! I refuse to believe anything else!
STILL: Sometimes these days, we could really use (and enjoy) a little help here and there. It’s no crime.
So, many seniors who could benefit greatly from a walking canes won’t use one because they think it makes them look old. Or, it will make them old.
A big part of the reason for that is the walking canes they see other seniors using are the hideously functional looking things that no one likes.
It doesn’t have to be that way if: you pick one with a little style and pizzazz!
Well, yeah. If you get one of the really super ugly functional looking
dull aluminum walking canes with a dirty dull grey bottom foot, and, you hunch over while
you shuffle along, you’re going to look nothing but old and decrepit.
Of course you are!
If all you can afford is the cheapest eight dollar grey cane, that's OK. We all do the best we can. So, put a nice ribbon bow up top. Tape on a flower. Real or fake. Jazz it up a bit! It makes a world of difference in how we feel and how others see us. Really. Try it! You’ll be amazed! It's fun!
ON THE OTHER HAND:
Even if you are hunched over, and you shuffle along slowly, etc… BUT,
you have a Beautiful Walking Cane, people are going to think you’re
They may say, “Wow. She’s an old one. But, look at that cool cane. That lady still has style!” Or, “He may be old, but he still is elegant.”
And, you’re going to feel cool too. And, more beautiful. Honestly.
For the senior who walks pretty normal, but can use a little help with balance, a Beautiful Walking Cane makes you look like an aristocrat. Honestly. Nobility itself!
And, you should learn to play with the cane a bit when you sit. So that everyone can admire it. Use it for emphasis when you speak. It gets attention. And, compliments.
A beautiful walking cane sometimes even has people starting up conversations with you. Park it noticeably on your chair or sofa where you sit. Let the world know you are an elegant person of the class! Beautiful Walking Canes give that impression!
The moral of the story:
Looks matter. Even if we're 100!
Not just to those looking at us, but, for our own self esteem. Our own sense of pride. We’re never ever too old to care about ourselves and how we look and feel.
And, if this new little fellow is going to be our new constant companion, there is absolutely no point in getting an ugly one. Right?
There are good looking walking canes that are every bit as strong and useful as the hideously ugly generic ones.
As seniors, we still dress ourselves nicely. We speak nicely. We keep our surrounding charming, neat and orderly. Why should our walking canes be any different?
Our walking canes should not look some piece of equipment from an auto supply store.
You can find a very nice simple colorful one for under twenty dollars on line.
You can even get a Beautiful plain Simple and Elegant all wood cane for under $30.
Our mother (Granny Annie) used to say if ever she needed a walking cane she was going to get a very elegant one and use it with pride. Like royalty. Like Maggie Smith in the TV series “Downton Abbey”. Did you watch that one?
Look at that lovely walking cane Maggie parades around with:
Doesn't she look elegant?
Yes, a different period in history.
But, doesn’t she look magnificent with that Beautiful sterling silver handle on an ebony wood walking cane?
A work of art!
And, when you get to be our age, having a walking cane like that makes us look very impressive. Did you know, you can get a great looking one (not real sterling silver like Maggie’s, but very very nice) for under fifty dollars.
When our Mom finally decided she needed some walking assistance and got her cane, it looked much like the one Maggie Smith has in that picture right above.
She paid only twenty eight dollars for it (she found it in a thrift store). And, she walked proud as the queen herself. Just because she had her Beautiful Walking Cane. Looking very good all the time.
You already know how so many seniors don’t want to use walking canes. Right?
Some seniors would rather just sit around all day and rot rather than feel like they “look old”.
So, we hope you will share this article with them. Show them the pictures of these Beautiful Walking Canes.
If they don’t want to get one of these beauties, at least tie a nice ribbon bow on top of the walking cane they have. Or attach a flower with a piece of tape. Fresh or artificial. Even for the men. They'll scoff. But, tell them you put it there because they are special.
Men (including myself) are real suckers for that! We LOVE it. Even though we may pretend not to. Sometimes that’s all it takes to put a little smile on their faces and change how they feel about using a cane.
We all need and love a little positive attention. Us seniors are no exception. A decorated walking cane can help us have that! Especially when someone decorates it for us.
There will come a time when a very many of us senior citizens can benefit greatly from the use of Walking Canes. We won’t need crutches. Or, full body support. Just a little balance assistance as we walk, or, maybe a little help standing up from our chair.
BUT, too many of us think it will make us “look old”.
You can forget about that “looking old” idea as soon as you get a Beautiful Walking Cane. It will enhance senior looks more than designer eyeglasses or a new hat or sports jacket. And, you can get a Great One for under fifty dollars. A very nice dressy one for under twenty five dollars.
BE SURE: To get a “Walking Cane” NOT a “Walking Stick”.
Remember: “Walking Canes” are strong. “Walking Sticks” are weak and usually more for decoration (and only very moderate balance) than support.
Get a nice
looking, even an elegant, Walking Cane when the time demands.
You won’t look “old”
You’ll look Elegant!
And, you'll enjoy going more places more easily
Enjoy Your New Friend! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte