As one gets older, the threat of falling becomes more serious. One in four seniors falls annually in the United States and over half of falls take place at home. If your loved one lives alone, falling at home can be serious, especially if they cannot get to a phone to call for help, or if no one regularly checks up on them. Unfortunately, over two million senior citizens will have to go to the emergency room for injuries related to a fall. However, using a walking stick or other type of custom walking canes can be beneficial for more than stability and balance purposes. With wooden canes, a horse head cane, or other types of decorative canes, you can even express your own unique flair or interests. That heirloom cane that’s been passed down in your family may finally get some use! Other seniors may enjoy carving their own wooden canes and be proud to use their handiwork.
How Many People Are Using Mobility Devices?
Just over 10% of Americans who are 65 years and older use a cane and almost seven million Americans use assistive devices such as canes or walkers to help their mobility. Just under 40% of Americans who are 85 or older use mobility devices. Canes are the most widely used of these devices in the United States (at 70%), with almost five million Americans using them.
However, it’s not just the elderly who use canes — those recovering from an injury or surgery may rely on a cane. For example, a little over one-fifth of cane users say that osteoarthritis is one of the reasons that they have limited mobility and rely on a cane. Many hikers may use walking sticks or canes to help them navigate difficult terrain.
Benefits of Using a Cane
A walking cane — whether it be a custom horse head cane or a simpler wooden cane — will help you get around better, meaning you’ll be walking more. Walking is a good physical activity, even if it’s just around your own place or yard, proven to keep you at a healthy weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and can boost your cardio fitness.
If a senior’s mobility is reduced, their ability to carry out everyday tasks is greatly reduced and in the long run, their muscles may atrophy, keeping them reliant on others for help. A cane offers the assurance of walking without fear, which keeps them active.
Better Balance and Stability
A cane can help stabilize your weight and provides you something to lean on if you become tired. It can help you navigate uneven ground and offer support. Quad canes are especially good for those a bit unsteady on their feet, with four feet in the shape of a square.
Improved Back Health
Using a cane can keep all your weight from being put on your back, knees, and hips, which for many seniors are already tender or sensitive. The symptoms of back problems and arthritis can be alleviated in part by using a cane and encourage proper posture.
Where Can I Find the Right Cane For Me?
Whether you want a classy horse head cane, a more practical cane with a palm grip or a quad cane, there are an abundance of canes out there for you to choose from. Your doctor may recommend a specific type of cane based on what you need, but you can also find canes at drug stores or many retail stores. There are also plenty of online retailers who offer custom canes like a horse head cane or more specialized types of canes for better support, grip, and height.
Ideally, you want the top of the cane to fall at your wrist when you’re standing up straight and let your hands fall at your sides naturally.
Gain better mobility, balance, and comfort when you look into walking canes. You may feel more comfortable moving around by yourself and going about your daily business independently. Find the cane that works best for you!