When you begin to notice instability while walking, you may be prescribed a walking cane. A walking cane provides you with the steadiness that you require, helping you to avoid falling over. This is quite important as one of the most causes of injuries among the elderly is falls. This can lead to breaks, fractures, and sometimes can even prove to be fatal. The problem, however, is even when people are using walking canes, they tend to still fall down. This is usually because they are not using this assistive device properly. Here are some ways that you can avoid these type of accidents in the future:
Have the Right Type and Size of Cane
One of the most common mistakes that people make with walking canes is that they fail to choose the best walking canes for them. There are several different types of canes to select from. You will only be able to discern which one is ideal for you once you are more aware of your requirements. Do you have problems balancing or walking properly? Are one of your legs hurt? Do you need an assistive device to support your weight? If you are having trouble deciding which one will be most likely to aid you, you should speak with a medical expert. Either a doctor or a physiotherapist will be able to help you.
In addition to the type of cane, you also need to get one that is the right size for you. This particularly refers to the height of the cane. It should be long enough to touch the ground but not cause you to bend over or to drag the cane on the ground. Most aluminum canes can be adjusted. Therefore, you simply have to ensure that the adjustment range can accommodate your height.
Know How to Use It Properly
Contrary to popular belief, using a walking cane does not come naturally to you. Although you may feel that you are using the right technique, it is often the wrong assumption. Just because your posture feels natural to you, does not mean that you are doing it right. This is why it is always best to get some guidance about how to walk with a cane. This includes walking on regular surfaces, climbing up and down stairs and turning. By being able to execute the proper technique, you will be much less likely to fall over while using your walking cane.
Use a Properly Maintained Cane
Each aspect of a walking cane has been designed to ensure your safety. Therefore, if even just one part of it is compromised, you may resort to walking inappropriately with a cane. It is important to frequently give your walking cane a once-over. Make sure that you check all of the components from the very bottom to the top. The first you should check is your hand grip. If it is made of foam or gel, make sure that it is not split and is still intact. If the handle is made of wood, ensure that there are no cracks or chips in the material. The same goes for the shaft. Regardless of the type of material used, check that there are no cracks, dents, fissures, or any other deformities. Finally, check the base of the walking stick. The rubber tip should be undamaged and whole. In fact, it is a good idea to check on this part every time that you head outside.
In addition to these, there are plenty of other ways that you can stay safe while using a walking cane. First, make sure that you frequently get eye examinations. This way, you will be able to see and avoid any objects that may interfere with you walking with a cane. You should also avoid using a walking cane if you are taking medication with side effects that include dizziness, disorientation or vertigo.
By utilizing all of this advice, you will be able to be much safer with your walking cane in hand.