When my husband’s mother moved into her nineties, her doctor told her she needed either a “walker” or cane to aid her stability. Each time she went to the doctor’s office, he insisted she get one. Finally, to quiet her doctor, she purchased one and kept it in the garage until her next doctor’s visit.
The type of device you choose should depend on your needs. A cane provides less support than a walker, but if chosen correctly, may be all you need. Either purchase an adjustable cane or cut a cane to fit. If you choose a cane for stability, it can be carried in either hand. If you have a weak leg or painful hip, place the cane in the hand opposite the weak leg or hip. Let you arm hang to the side of your body, elbow slightly bent. Bend your wrist. The height of the cane should line up with your bent wrist. An overly long cane makes you work harder to lift and move. One too short can cause you to lean to the side. The cane should move in unison with the weak leg or hip, thus adding extra support to the weak limb.
Test the handle to be sure it comfortably fits your hand. An ill-fitting handle can cause the hand to cramp. The shaft should be sturdy, but light weight. Be sure the cane has a non-slip tip on the end.
My column title comes from the logo of a walking stick called Kandi Kane, a walking stick that not only provides all the attributes of an excellent cane including a light and panic button, but also looks great. Perhaps if my stylish mother-in-law had a Kandi Kane, she wouldn’t have left it in the garage.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 South Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive. 979 268 0608 www.fitzyou.com