Walking Canes for Women

Womens walking canes

Womens walking canesWhile fashionable walking canes have mostly existed as an accessory for men, walking canes for women did enjoy a brief period of popularity during the 11th century, and then later again during the Victorian era in Europe.

In the 11th century, Marie Antoinette made the shepherd’s crook popular among French women, who also favored slender apple wood sticks as accessories around the same time.

Later, in Victorian England, women often carried short, supple sticks that were less walking canes, and more like very firm whips used to control horses.

History of Walking Canes for Women

Apples canes eighteenth century, vintage engraving.
Apples canes eighteenth century, vintage engraving.

While there is no other history of women using walking canes for fashion the way men did, canes have long been used for mobility and support by all genders. After all, injuries and growing older don’t just happen to men.

There are several styles of walking canes that can be used for mobility, but first, let’s look at the types of materials that walking canes for women were made of throughout history.

Historic Cane Materials

While today’s mobility aides are almost certainly made of wood or aluminum, canes have been made with a huge variety of materials in the past. Wood was by far the most popular choice. It combined the strength and durability necessary to support someone who needed assistance walking, and could be decorated with carving, painting, finishing, and embellishing.

While men’s walking sticks could frequently be very plain (especially in the case of the homogenous evening-wear canes), walking canes for women have always leaned towards the decorative.

Ladies canes

Wooden Walking Canes

Ash, holly, poplar, cherry, oak, beech, and blackthorn were all very popular wood for canes, but special attention was given to trees that had unique features, such as warty knobs or tortoise-shell coloring. These were coated in a lacquer that made them more weather-resistant, and often the designers used lithographs, or oil and water printings, to decorate the surface during the lacquering process.

Fancy Ladies Canes

Other materials commonly used with the wood in ladies canes included whalebone, rhinoceros’ horn, and ivory. These materials were reserved for the very wealthy, and offered a lady of means a way to flaunt her wealth around town. Walking canes for women were decorated with precious metals and jewels, as well as leather, silk, and even hair.

Modern Womens Walking Canes

These days, carved wood, painted aluminum, or bedazzled leather are much more common methods of decorating canes to make them more fashionable. Lacquered wood is still a frequent material, especially for handles.

Aluminum is far more weather resistant, so it’s very common to see an aluminum shaft with a wood handle, where the wood will be less likely to be disturbed by inclement weather.

Wcool canes for womenalking Cane Styles and Types

There are several types of womens walking canes that are designed for balance and therapeutic canes for extra support. The shaft of a cane can have a single rubber foot on the bottom, or it can have up to four, such as in the case of quad canes.

While most canes extend upward until they meet the handle, there are two notable exceptions.

  • The first is called the C-cane, crook cane, or tourist’s cane, which does not have a separate handle. Instead, the shaft of the cane extends up into a hook shape that the user grips.
  • The second is called an offset cane, which has a bent shaft that helps distribute the weight of the user evenly.

 

Cane Handles Personalize Your Walking Cane

For most standard walking canes, women can choose from a variety of handles to make the cane more personal and fashionable.

Ladies walking canes  98

Fritz style handle is very popular for a number of reasons.It is an ergonomic handle, meaning it won’t leave your hand in cramps after a long day of use, and it has an elegant scrolling shape that looks very feminine.

Many times, it is used on aluminum or carbon walking canes, which come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

You can even purchase patterned or colored aluminum canes with ornate hardwood handles, to make the handle more comfortable and elegant while retaining the lightweight ease of aluminum.

If your walking cane is less for mobility, and more for trekking through the outdoors, there are many sports canes, called “trekking poles”, that are available for women.

Adjustable and Collapsible Canes

adjustable canes for women 100It’s important to choose a cane that is the right height, especially when you are relying on it to keep you safe in rough terrain.

If your cane is too short or too tall, you run the risk of losing your footing on inclines or in soft ground. This can lead to injuries and weakened joints and bones.

Trekking poles are often adjustable, so that you can be sure to get the perfect height no matter what kind of ground you are traversing. They are also often collapsible, meaning that you can easily pack them in your hiking gear for storage.

Gadget Walking Canes for Women

 For a few years in the early 1900s, gadget walking canes were very popular. The most well-known gadget cane was the sword cane, which had a sharpened blade hidden inside the shaft of the cane. This was largely, perhaps even exclusively, designed for men; however, ladies were not without their own unique integrations.

For example, one manufacturer used the hollow area inside a knob handle to make a place to store cosmetics, which the lady about the town could use to discretely touch up her face. Other walking canes included compartments for alcohol and other illegal substances. One way in which gadget canes greatly affected women’s fashions was through the use of smuggling compartments that were used to transport silk worms to Europe, during a time when such a thing was illegal.

Eventually, the popularity of gadget walking canes faded away. Carrying a purse became more normal, so the need for a cane with storage compartments was eliminated. While the main use of a cane is now for health benefits, it’s clear to see that the history of walking canes for women is just as varied as their history as men’s accessories.

Sources:

http://www.geriwalton.com/index.php/2014/10/walking-sticks/

https://www.walkingcanes.net/collections/ladies-walking-canes

http://www.fashionablecanes.com/ABOUT-CANES.html

http://www.hmestore.net/5-types-of-canes-and-their-uses/

http://www.walking-canes.net/creamautunal.aspx

Walking Canes for Men

wooden canes for men

Throughout history, walking canes for men have been used as accessories. While originally they were used for simple mobility, to traverse uneven land and to keep older men mobile, they slowly became fashionable.

Mens Canes

For a time, particularly in the Edwardian and Victorian eras in Europe, a man of means would never have been seen without a cane, similar to the way he wouldn’t have been seen without a hat. While certain accessories like umbrellas were “carried”, canes were considered a part of a gentleman’s outfit; thus, they were “worn”. This simple verb distinction tells us everything we need to know about both the importance and the popularity of the walking canes for men.

Walking canes for men

Mens Canes and Fashion Statements

Status

During their heyday as the common accessory for upper class men, walking canes were separated by occasion and time of day. For example, brown canes were considered passé to use in town, and so were relegated to country estates and drives into the countryside.

Day Canes

Day canes were ornately carved affairs that showed the personality and wealth of the man who wore it, while night canes were all very uniform, similar to the way a tuxedo can be very uniform. These were made of ebony, and were much thinner and shorter than day canes.

Weapon Canes

mens walking sticks 90Gadget walking canes for men became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. “Sword canes” were made with a sharpened blade attached to the handle of a cane, which could be pulled free of the shaft and used as a weapon. It was not considered polite to carry these canes in public, but that didn’t stop many gentlemen from finding ways to do so discretely.

Creative Canes

As time passed the integration of unique gadgets into canes became almost a game for creative cane makers. While some transformed into pool sticks, or held secret compartments for alcohol, others had bizarre contraptions that transformed the handle into a seat, or allowed the wearer to play the cane like a flute.

 Fashion to Trekking Canes

As time went on, mens canes became less associated with men’s fashion. As the automobile became more popular, the need for walking support declined.

Eventually, symbols of power and wealth shifted to briefcases, leaving canes to be associated more with those who were elderly or injured.

These days, a fashionable (non-medical) cane are mainly seen at a fancy dress event, or in use as a sports aide for those who like to trek wild territory.

mens walking sticks

Styles of Walking Canes for Men

Cane Structure

For the most part, canes are made up of a shaft and a handle, which are connected by a ferrule or band. There may also be a ferrule at the tip to protect the cane where it touches the ground.

Various Styles of Canes

  • A simple cane is a vertical shaft that has a handle attached at the top. The handle can be a small knob, or it can be one of many other types.designer canes for men
  • A Derby handle, for example, is a curved handle that provides the wearer with an ergonomic grip. It cradles the fleshy area between the thumb and forefinger, and allows the wearer to guide the shaft with the forefinger, which rests down the side of the handle.
  • Similar walking canes for men include the Fritz handle and the palm grip handle.
  • The tourist handle is the style of walking cane that you are likely most familiar with. This type of cane was designed after the shepherd’s crook. It doesn’t have a separate handle and shaft; rather the shaft extends up and then curves into a hook that is gripped. While these aren’t the most comfortable for long-term use, they are very popular because of their classic style, and because the hook is large enough that a person can hang the cane over their arm when not in use.stability walking sticks
  • The offset handle is a type of cane that is used for medical purposes. This cane has a curved shaft that helps distribute weight evenly for more stability. The grip is usually made of soft rubber, as is the tip that grips the floor. These are the most common type of walking cane for men who have suffered injuries or age-related mobility issues.
  • Another type of therapeutic walking cane is the quad cane. These look just like the offset handle canes, but they have four feet at the bottom rather than one, for added stability.
  • Folding canes are used for many reasons. Those who like to explore the outdoors likely use a folding trekking cane, because they are easier to pack and lighter to carry. Those who suffer from mobility issues may wish to have a folding cane for packing as a backup when they travel. These canes are usually made with aluminum, and can be adjusted for shorter or taller people.

Common Cane Materials

Most canes on the market today are made with either aluminum or wood.

Wooden Canes

Wood is the classic material for canes that offers the most choice in terms of color and style. Ash, cherry, and oak wood are very strong woods that are commonly used in walking sticks for men who need a little bit of support. However, exotic woods like cocobolo and padauk can also be found, which are both strong and offer beautiful color options.

Aluminum Canes

Aluminum is not as strong as wood, but it is very lightweight. For those who are elderly, or who have recently been ill, this is an important factor. The walking cane does nothing if the person cannot move it. Non-slip rubber bottoms are common on aluminum walking canes.

Aluminum is very weather resistant as well, making it perfect for trekking canes. Both aluminum and wood can be decorated in a variety of ways, from carving to custom paint jobs.

Dress canes for menWalking Canes for Men

While the prevailing view of a cane as a tool for the injured isn’t going anywhere fast, the history of the walking cane still lives on today.

The wide variety of mens cane options available for handle styles and decorative elements, mean that walking canes for men can still be considered a beautiful part of a fashionable wardrobe.

Sources:

https://vivehealth.com/blogs/vive-blog/58899780-types-of-canes-which-style-of-walking-cane-is-best-for-you

http://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/fashion-accessories/canes-walking-sticks

http://www.fashionablecanes.com/CHOOSING-HANDLE.html

http://www.irishwalkingsticks.com/knowing-which-material-walking-stick-is-best-for-you.aspx

5 Top Tips on How to Choose the Best Walking Cane

stylish walking canes

The first solution that people with mobility issues seek are usually walking canes on account of their easy availability and low cost, but knowing the 5 top tips for on how to chose the best walking cane can prevent you from choosing the wrong cane and ending up with more problems than you had to begin with.

walking canes

The first solution that people with mobility issues seek are usually walking canes on account of their easy availability and low cost, but knowing the 5 top tips for best cane choice can prevent you from choosing the wrong cane and ending up with more problems than you had to begin with.

5 Top Tips on How to Chose the Best Walking Cane

#1. Walking Cane or Rollator Walker?

The two are not mutually exclusive. Many people use both a cane and a walker for different activities and indoor versus outdoor use. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, consider this:

Walking Canes:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Inexpensive and easily available
  • Easier to use on uneven terrain, narrow hallways, and stairs
  • Leave one hand free to carry something else
  • Quad canes offer considerable stability and support

Rollator Walkers:

  • Much greater support and stability compared to a walking cane
  • Recommended during surgical recovery for added safety
  • Accessories such as trays and baskets can be added to carry food or small items
  • Easier to use

#2. Types of Walking Canes

The many materials, styles, and designs of walking sticks can be confusing for the buyer. It helps to know the main types of walking canes and the different benefits they offer.

Design:

  • Standard: This single-tip walking cane is suitable for people who only need help with balance. This type oftheraputic cane cane is more agile and can be easily used in narrow spaces and stairways. It is smaller when folded down and convenient to carry.
  • Quad-Cane: This offset walking cane with four tips is appropriate if you need to bear weight on your mobility aid, such as following injury or surgery on a lower extremity. A quad cane offers more stability, but is also heavier than a single-tip cane (consider a carbon fiber cane if weight is an issue). Quad canes are more expensive than standard canes, so those on a tight budget may need to factor this in as well.
  • Seat Cane: These walking canes are popular for a reason – they’re practical and compact. Waiting in long lines is never going to be a problem again! Tripod seats feature two additional legs on the walking cane that unfold to support a platform for the user to sit on with the cane handle positioned between the legs to prevent tipping over backward. Sling seat canes are a tad bit more ladylike with a two-pronged base and two additional legs that can be released to reveal a fabric sling seat. If you want a comfortable ladylike seat, go for a sling seat cane. If you want a lightweight cane and don’t care if you can’t cross your legs, choose a tripod cane.

Material

  • Wooden: These are the most common type of walking canes and they come in a range of options.
  • Metal: Stronger than their wooden counterparts, these walking canes can be either fixed or adjustable height.
  • Carbon Fiber: This extremely strong material is ultra-lightweight and virtually unbreakable and suitable for rigorous use.

fashionable canes

Style:

  • Fixed: Most wooden walking canes are fixed height and care must be taken when purchasing this type of mobility aid because its height cannot be altered.
  • Folding: These lightweight walking canes have a metal shaft divided into sections that can be folded up for easy transportation and storage. Strong elastic connects the sections and maintains stability when the cane is in use.
  • Telescoping: These walking canes are fabricated from steel, carbon fiber, or aluminum, and offer height adjustment. They collapse into a compact state for storage and transport.

#3 Features of Walking Canes

The last thing you need is to end up with an aching wrist because you chose a walking cane with the wrong type of handle, and a cane that is the wrong height can leave you with more problems than you bargained for, which is why it’s important to carefully evaluate the features of a walking cane before you buy it.

  • Height: This is by far the most important feature to consider because a walking cane that is the wrong height can be a fall hazard or can result in aches and pains due to hunching over or can throw you off balance. Adjustable canes are best if you want to be able to fine tune your walking stick after you’ve bought it. To determine the size of your cane, have a friend or family member carefully measure the distance from your wrist to the ground while you stand up straight in your usual footwear.
  • Grip: This is where you’ll hold the cane, often for prolonged periods of time, so it’s important that the grip on your walking cane is comfortable. Consider the shape, material, and design of the cane’s grip. A smooth round grip may look the most elegant, but a contoured grip may be easier on your wrist. Foam grips are the softest, special gel grips are available, and arthritis sufferers may find larger grips more comfortable.
  • Tip: This is where your walking cane is subject to the maximum wear and tear, and durability is essential. Reinforced plastic tips are likely to last the longest. Rubber tips are more stable and offer a better grip on all types of terrain.

wooden canes #4. Cane Handle

Choosing the correct handle will prevent unnecessary stress on your joints or the development of numbness and tingling in the wrist with prolonged use. Here are the different types of walking cane handles and their features:

  • Derby: This thick handle has a gentle wave that conforms to the natural shape of the hand, making it especially suitable for people with arthritis.
  • Fritz: Similar to the Derby, but thinner, this hooked handle allows the user to hang the walking cane off a chair, for example.
  • Offset: This type of handle distributes the user’s weight along the length of the cane and is recommended by the medical community to reduce strain on the wrist.
  • Ergonomic: This type of handle is specially designed to reduce pain and stress even with prolonged use.
  • Contoured: Shaped to be used in either the right or left hand, this type of handle is extremely comfortable but cannot be switched between hands.
  • Round/Crook: Traditional and elegant, but not the most comfortable of handles.
  • Palm Grip: The wide grip of this handle is very comfortable because the whole hand can rest on it.
  • Knob/Ball: Graceful and stylish, these walking cane handles offer little support and poor grip and are mostly ornamental.

#5. Best Cane Choice: Accessories

Using a mobility device doesn’t have to mean you can’t let your sense of style shine through. There is an array of styles, designs, patterns and colors to choose from. In addition to being a fun accessory, you can make your life a lot easier with some of these add-ons:

  • Cane Clutch Bag: Attaches to your walking cane with Velcro straps and provides easy access to your cell phone, keys, medications, and other small items. Compartments, zippers, and a wrist strap add functionality.
  • Tripod or Quad Cane Tip: A three- or four-pronged tip with non-slip pads that allow your cane to stand upright on its own.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Cane Tip: Ideal for night time and poor light conditions.
  • Flexible Tip: Flexes and swivels for added stability.
  • Tip Stabilizer: Featuring sand and water vents, this cane tip makes it easier to walk on sand or gravel.
  • Ice Grip: Improves safety on snow, ice, grass, and sand.
  • Wrist Strap: Attaches easily to your walking cane for added security.
  • Mobility Light: Attaches to cane tubing and turns on automatically by sensing motion and low light.
  • Folding Storage Bag: Protects your cane during storage. Carry strap makes your walking cane easy to transport.
  • Removable Decorative Covers: Available in fashionable colors and patterns to showcase your personality.
  • Fleece Cane Grip: For those cold days when you want something warm to grip; machine washable.

5 Top Tips on How to Choose the Best Walking Cane

Today more than ever there are so many great colors, designs, shapes and styles of walking canes and sticks, from the functional look through to all sorts of cool and funky sticks. We hope our 5 top tips on how to chose the best walking cane will have you moving forward in your life with increased safety, confidence and some style with your new mobility aid.

Additional References:

http://www.indymobility.co.uk/walking-aids/walking-sticks/walking-stick-types.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/multimedia/canes/sls-20077060

When is it Time for a Walking Cane?

walker with seat

Whether you’ve just taken a spill trying to get out of bed or you suffered the embarrassment of falling while walking around outside or have a life long disability, or just want to get fit, you are likely to be asking the question when is it time for a walking cane or rollator walker. Looking and deciding the next step can be confronting, whether to accept the challenge of extra mobility support or deciding from the array of options of walking sticks, canes and walkers.

Even though you may not have suffered serious injuries during this event or any previous falls, the fact remains that you could at any time.

walking aid

The cold, hard truth is that as your body ages, or due to medical condition or illness, you can start to suffer from changes in balance and stability when walking. So this is often a good time to be thinking about if now is the time for a walking cane.

Deciding the Next Step

Instead of worrying whether others will start looking at you differently, or your own aversion to “looking old”, taking action now could prolong your mobility and independence, especially since it will help prevent additional falls in the future.

Before deciding the next step, look below and you’ll find out what you need to know about these mobility aids so you can make the choice that will help you keep moving for years.

The Real Importance of Mobility Aids

canes and sticksBefore you learn more about walking sticks, canes and walkers, it is important that you take a moment to understand just how important they can be for your health and well being. Everyone knows the adage “use it or lose it” and that definitely applies when growing older.

1. Regain Your Confidence

If you’ve fallen, you may be tempted to avoid walking too much so that it doesn’t happen again. However, doing so will only make your situation worse. Since you aren’t using the muscles required for walking, such as those in your legs, back and core, they will continue growing weaker. That means that when you do walk, it will be more difficult and your chances of falling are higher.

2. Health Benefits of Walking An Aid

It is time for a walking cane and deciding the next step of choosing to empower yourself with the appropriate walking and mobility aids can be daunting. However the health benefit will be keeping those muscles strong and will even help them grow stronger if you begin walking more.

3. Increased Social Activity

Additionally, those stronger muscles will make you more sure of yourself and your abilities to get out and enjoy everything life has to offer.

Feel Good And Take a Step Toward a Mobility Aid

Keeping that in mind, understanding why you need to decide to next step and choose an option that will keep you going is easy. Now you just need to choose the right one for your needs 🙂

Walking Sticks

While some may consider walking sticks and canes as the same thing, they really aren’t. A walking stick, which is walking sticksessentially a longer pole or stick, isn’t designed to handle your full weight while walking. Instead, you use it at your side to help you maintain your balance – especially when dealing with uneven ground or steps.

A walking stick is longer than a cane, and this can be especially helpful for those who need an extra bit of leverage when dealing with small hills or going from one surface to another that may throw off your balance. Often used for trekking or hiking

Walking sticks are often used for trekking and hiking with new sticks being light weight and adjustable. Walking sticks are becoming popular with nordic fitness walking exercise where cardiovascular levels are raised through using upper body and arms a bit like in cross country skiing.

Generally, if you don’t have an issue with an overly weak leg, or you’ve noticed that your balance just seems to be a bit off or you are asking yourself, when do you know it is time for a walking cane, a walking stick may be the right solution to help you keep moving.

Canes

walking caneMost people are familiar with canes. They are around waist height and have a curved or L-shaped handle. A cane is made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal and other strong materials.

It is used on the stronger side to provide support for your weaker or injured leg. When walking with it, you bring the cane forward at the same time you take a step with the weak leg, providing added balance and support.

For most people, the cane is one of the first walking aids that they use. Whether due to an injury, balance issues or a weak joint, a cane provides the support you need so you can avoid falling.

If you are someone who has already fallen, but you don’t want to use a cane due to it making you look old, there is only one response – you’ll look much younger walking with a cane than you will if one of your falls results in you needing a walker or wheelchair.

Need More Support With Walkers and Rollators

A walker offers the most support of all walking aids. It has four feet, or in some cases two feet and two wheels, and is used with both hands.

Reasons for Choosing A Walker

walking frameIn many cases, a community nurse, physiotherapist or your doctor will tell you that you should be using a walker, especially if you’ve just had hip surgery or are recovering from an injury that makes it difficult for one leg to support your weight.

However, there are many other reasons for choosing a walker.

Perhaps you have dizzy spells or shortness of breath.

Maybe you had a stroke or suffer from a condition like multiple sclerosis, arthritis or diabetic neuropathy.

Even slower reflexes can have a major impact on your ability to walk without falling. All of these situations may make a walker the right choice for you.

walker with seat and brakesSome people don’t want to use a walker due to its bulkiness or the fact that they have to use two hands. While these are valid points, walkers have come a long way from those stiff, metal options.

There are some that have a seat built in for dealing with longer walks, and most fold easily so they fit in the car.

There are also smaller, lightweight choices for using indoors, and heavy-duty walkers that can handle rough terrain.

No matter where you walk, there is a walker that will fit your needs and keep you up and moving around.

When is it Time for a Walking Cane?

Now that you understand the differences between walking sticks, canes and walkers, deciding when is it time for a walking cane or walker will be clearer. Then it is about deciding which one will work best for your needs.

If you are still unsure, you will be in a better position to ask questions, speak with your doctor, physiotherapist or health professional to see if he or she has recommendations on which one will provide the support and stability you need. It is also important that you follow any doctor’s orders if you’ve been injured so that you don’t make your situation any worse.

Aging is a natural process does cause some disability, and for some my include further weakness from a medical condition of short duration or life long.  This is a great time for a walking cane or stick especially when still active but just needing a little help with balance. If the mobility aid is needed for extra support then a walker or rollator will the device of choice. Choosing the right walking stick, cane or walker for you will make sure you keep your body strong to continue doing the things you love to do.

What is the Difference Between a Walking Stick and Cane?

Should I use a walking stick instead of a cane? Actually what is the difference between a walking stick and a cane and how long should my walking cane be? These important questions are best answered prior to purchase otherwise you could be putting yourself at risk of falls, strains, aches and pains.

Many people who use canes or walkers are using them incorrectly or are using the wrong cane or cane size. Transfer of pressure from a incorrectly sized cane can lead to neck and shoulder muscle tension and headaches.

Canes and Walking Sticks: Is There A Difference?walking sticks and canes

These terms are often used inter-changeably but essentially walking canes are for support and balance whereas walking sticks are mainly for balance.

Both are mobility devices and used in activities of daily living with increasing popularity in exercise walking activities and can be found in the article, walking sticks for hiking.

Here we look at the various styles of a walking stick and cane, when they are used and how long should a walking cane be.

Getting a Handle on Canes and Sticks

Canes and walking sticks are also often distinguished by the shape of the handle. Choices made on the type and shape of handle of the stick or cane will be for comfort for use or about style for a particular look or feel.

  • The handle can be J-shaped (commonly referred to as a tourist walking stick) or T-shaped (called a Derby or Melbourne cane).
  • A cane with a Fritz handle is especially suitable for people with arthritis due to its uneven T-shaped handle that provides a better grip.Walking canes
  • The Fischer cane has a molded grip that follows the contour of the palm and is comfortable for sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
  • Canes with ornamental knob handles or metallic cap-stick handles are less function, more fashion, often featuring elaborate designs and fine craftsmanship.
  • Thumb-stick canes with Y-shaped grooved handles are popular with hikers.

Purpose of Walking Canes and Sticks

A cane or walking stick is the least cumbersome of all mobility aids. It provides support and improves balance, but its weight-bearing capacity is limited. A quad cane has four small legs and offers the most stability. Collapsible canes are sturdy enough for daily use, but fold quickly for easy transportation and storage.

Understanding the function of a walking stick or cane and using it correctly will help you derive maximum benefit.

mens walking canes

Choosing the Right Cane and Walking Stick

1. Canes for balance

Selecting a cane based solely on your height is not sufficient. Many other factors should influence your decision, including your body weight, your arm and torso size, and the reason why you need the cane – support versus balance.

2. Cane for Support

If you are going to use a cane for balance, you will probably not require a heavy duty one as it does not need to support your entire body weight. On the other hand, if you have suffered an injury or disability that requires you to keep the weight off a limb, then the cane’s weight guidelines (petite, regular, or extra strength) should direct your choice.

The weight-bearing capacity of the cane is typically indicated on the product in pounds (lbs). To help with balance, single-point canes work well. To support weight, quad-tip canes are more appropriate.

3. Cane for Comfort of Use

Many people find they have to experiment with the grip of a cane before finding the right fit.

walking stick height

With experience, you may find that the most popular Derby handle offers you the maximum comfort.

As discussed above, the Fritz handle is designed for arthritis sufferers who find they can hold it with the least amount of pain in the hand and fingers.

Ergonomic handles are contoured for people with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Palm grip handles for the left or right hand offer a comfortable fit by conforming to the natural shape of the hand. Offset handles are used following injuries.

The tourist handle or shepherd’s hook style offers convenience in that the cane can be rested on the arm when not in use.

How Long Should a Walking Cane Be?

The correct length is easily measured in 5 easy steps:

  1. Find someone to help you with the measurements.
  2. Wear the footwear you most commonly use.
  3. Stand upright with a relaxed stance on a hard surface.
  4. Slightly bend the elbow of the hand in which you’ll hold the cane at a 15-20 degree angle.
  5. Find the base of your wrist where it joins your hand (just below the bony prominence on the outer aspect of your wrist), have someone measure from there to the floor.

A cane that is too long can be awkward and may place a strain on your muscles. A cane that is too short may have you listing to one side, putting you at risk for a fall. It is a good idea to order a cane that is 1-2 inches longer than your measured length to allow some adjustment leeway.

If you’re walking cane is a non-adjustable or a fixed length and the vendor does not offer customization, then you will need to cut the cane yourself remembering that canes can be shortened but not lengthened. It is wise to cut about 1/2 an inch longer than your measured length, check for comfort, and then make the final cut.

The other way around this is to purchase an adjustable cane, that is one where the length of the cane that can be lengthened or shortened without loss at any time. There are there many canes today that offer this option in one form or another.

Walking Correctly with a Walking stick or Cane

walking stick height 96

Consult your health care provider or physiotherapist to evaluate your individual situation and give you specific instructions on the correct way to hold and walk with a cane.

As a general guideline, however, a cane is held in the hand opposite to the injured side. This helps to reduce weight on the injured knee or hip, for example, while still exercising the recovering limb. To optimize your walking, ensure that the cane touches the ground at the same time as the foot of the injured side.

A cane can be held in either hand (typically the dominant hand) of an individual using it for balance. For best results, you should practice walking so that the cane and the opposite foot hit the ground together.

Professional Help Using Canes for Support

Consult your health care provider or physiotherapist to evaluate your individual situation and give you specific instructions on the correct way to hold and walk with a cane. Some conditions associated with nerve and muscle dysfunction, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), are examples when it is appropriate to hold the cane on the same side as the weakness. In these situations, the cane prevents falls by catching the person mid-step but here it is recommended to seek professional help and guidance in correct walking cane type and use. When the cane is held on the weaker side, it is essential to avoid hobbling in order to prevent undue stress on the shoulders and lower back.

What is the Difference Between a Walking Stick and Cane?

A walking aid increases independence, improves mobility, enhances safety, and strengthens stability, but only when it is sized, fitted, and used correctly. Understanding the purpose of the walking stick or cane and knowing what is the difference between a walking stick and cane, will help find the right one for you.

Rollator Walker Accessories

Rollator Walker Accessories

4 wheel rollator accessoriesOnce you’ve figured out the best mobility device for you, you’ll be happy to learn that there is a wide range of walker accessories available to personalize your rollator and make it as unique as you are.

These accessories offer both function and safety and allow you to make the best use of your new mobility aid. Some of these accessories are a standard feature with a particular type or brand of rollator, while others offer you some customization.

Without the necessary walker accessories, your rollator is essentially like a cake without sugar. Choosing the right accessories to personalize your rollator will accentuate its basic function and make life so much easier.

Rollator Walker Brakes

Rollator walkers come with the brake system in place best suited to the type and action of the rollator. There are a number of different types of brake systems, some will suit you better than the others. The brakes on your rollator help you stay in control and should be quick and easy to engage. We will go through some of the different brake types here to understand how the different types work.

1. Push-down brakes feature a spring-loaded frame and are engaged by the application of downward pressure. This type of brake is the easiest to operate because simply leaning on the frame interrupts rolling of the rear wheels and halts movement. However, push-down brakes may require enough strength such that frail or petite users cannot operate them.
2. Cable loop brakes resemble those on bicycles. These brakes engage when the brake levers are squeezed simultaneously with both hands. Although they are more stable, cable loop brakes must be used carefully in light of their instant braking action.
3. Locking brakes are a must have feature on any wheeled mobility device with a seat. These enable the brake to be locked so that constant pressure or grip does not need to be maintained to keep the rollator from sliding away when the user is seated.
4. Slow-down brakes are essential if you intend to use your rollator on hilly terrain. These brakes control the rollator on inclined surfaces by increasing the tension in the wheels to prevent the device from getting away or gathering too much speed.
5. Single-hand brakes are suitable for people with one side much stronger than the opposite (such as following a stroke), and they allow the user to engage the brake with one hand.

Rollator handle Gripsrollator with seat

The handles are where the user grips the rollator. Some models are adjustable and allow the user to select the height and angle of the handles.

Wedge-shaped hand grips are ergonomically designed to be gentle on your hands and wrists and accommodate all hand positions and hand sizes.

For people who are above-average height, some rollators feature tall handle models to prevent strain on the neck and back from leaning forward at an awkward angle. In general, it is always better to purchase a rollator with a handle and grip that is individually adaptable.

People with post-stroke weakness may find special hemiplegic handles permit them to better control their rollator. Anatomical handles are available to alleviate stress and strain on the wrist.

Pouches, Tote Bags, and Baskets

Whether you’re out and about or you’re using your rollator indoors, one essential walker accessory is a pouch, tote bag, or basket, to allow you carry things and remain hands-free. This is not only a convenient way to carry your belongings, but enhances your safety by allowing you to grip the rollator securely.

If you routinely need to fold your rollator for storage or transport, a tote bag might be the more appropriate accessory for you because a basket often needs to be removed from the device before it can be folded. If your needs are limited, a pouch or side caddy may suffice.

However, if you have substantial things to carry with you, an under-seat shopping bag or wired basket may just do the trick. Backpack-style front bags with zippers and pockets are also available to personalise your rollator and greatly increase storage space. Durable vinyl folding walker bags featuring Velcro straps can be easily attached and removed from your rollator frame.

When choosing the storage walker accessory for your rollator, assess your individual needs and choose the one that is easy to access, easy to clean, and fastens securely onto the device.

Cane, Fishing Pole, and Umbrella Holders

walkers for seniors with seat

It’s quite likely that you will need a cane to complement your rollator.

A cane holder allows you to take your cane wherever you go and keeps the stick in place, leaving you hands-free. If purchased separately, the cane holder kit should include brackets, screws, and clamps for easy installation and should give you easy access to your cane. The simplest accessories are snap-on cane holders that use two opposite-facing hooks to secure your cane in place.

Make sure the cane or fishing pole holder fits your rollator before you personalize your walker with one of these. Fishing pole holders are designed for easily insertion and removal of the rod and one-hand operation of the reel.

An umbrella holder can be very useful in inclement weather, but ensure that it fits the frame of your rollator snugly and does not rattle when you’re on the move.

Cup and Cell Phone Holders and Serving Trays

These are perhaps the most common walker accessories that people personalize their rollators wiRollator accessoriesth is a flip-up cup holder folds down when not in use. Before you buy a cup holder for your rollator, make sure it adjusts to hold cups of different sizes. If you like your coffee on-the-go, ensure that the cup holder has a cut out for the mug handle to fit through. A swivel cup holder swings out of the way while keeping beverage contents level.

You may choose a combination cell phone and drink holder if that suits your purpose. A reversible top ring is useful as it permits both left and right-handed use. Choose a cup holder that meets your needs and is made of durable material.

If you routinely transport food and drink around your home, a serving tray that fits on the rollator’s seat may be what you need.

Walker Seat Covers and Accessories

A great way to add personality to your rollator and improve comfort is by choosing seat covers and accessories.

A backrest for the seat can be very useful, as can a cushion set for both the seat and backrest. Available in a variety of patterns and designs, with these walker accessories you can showcase your style and also quickly identify your rollator walker in crowded places.

When selecting a seat cushion or backrest, make sure that it is adequately padded, made of a soft material, and that it can be easily removed and washed.

walker with seat

Miscellaneous Walker Accessories

There are several walker accessories that will allow you to personalize your walker and add to its functionality.

  • Forward-facing flashlights are useful for navigating dark spaces.
  • Kerb climbers on the wheels help with tilting the rollator to negotiate obstacles like street kerbs.
  • If you are oxygen-dependent, an oxygen tank holder will allow you to take your tank with you, but this may need to replace the basket on your rollator.
  • Wheel guards work like mud flaps and protect you from splatters.
  • Personal computer/tablet caddies, eyeglass cases, and phone cases can all be added to your rollator to easily carry these items when you’re out and about.
  • Height adjustable IV poles, ankle prompts for users with poor motor control, forearm attachments, and vertical hand grips are all specialize accessories that anticipate the needs of every user.
  • It is also possible to purchase replacement wheels, rubber grips, and brake levers for your device.

Rollator Walker Accessories

walker accessories
As you can see, there is are plenty of walker accessories available to personnalize your rollator walker so you have those important items to hand. It is up to you to choose the ones to fully equip yourself for the places you like to go and for what you need to do.

Additional References:

http://www.bindependent.com/hompg/bi/bindep/store/aisles/s-needs/mobility/walkers.htm

http://www.invacare.ca/doc_files/InvacareWalkersCat_05-430C.pdf

Nine Top Tips For Best Walker Rollator

Nine Top Tips For Best Walker Rollator

You need a rollator walker and you’re after some information how to find the best frame, handle and wheel combination Top tips for best walker rollatorto keep safely active and getting on with life. You are in a good place to find that solution with our 9 top tips for best walker rollator for you.

All walker rollators have a  frame, handles and wheels in a variety of styles, combinations and options to suit your mobility and support needs.

Before we present the 9 top tips for best walker rollator, it’s important to understand that some walker rollators offer more support but less mobility while others focus on mobility and flexibility, allowing more diversity for use.

So your decision will be based on how active you are and where you wish to use the walker rollator.

With that in mind look read on through the following 9 top tips for best rollator walker to inform yourself of how to choose a walker knowing what to look for and know the options to consider before buying a mobility device.

How is a walker different from a rollator walker?

A walker is simply a metal frame (typically aluminum or steel) with a handle and legs, and sometiwalking frame with 2 wheels mes have 2 small wheels at the front.

A rollator is a walker with three or four wheels, a handle, and often with hand-operated brakes. On account of the wheels, rollators are more agile than walkers, making them suitable for people who can walk well but have impaired balance and stability.

Rollators with seats are great for active walkers as they offer the user an option to sit when tired when out and about.  Also they often feature other other useful options including a storage area to put those items one would normally carry.

On the other hand, for people who cannot bear weight on one or both lower extremities (for example, following hip surgery or injury); a walker may be more appropriate.  To help assess the question, have a look through our article, Do I need  a walking stick, cane or walker, which has some questions to ask yourself which may might help with your decision.

Sometimes it may be necessary for a person to use a combination of both, a rollator outdoors and a walker or cane within the home and a therapist can assist with these decisions.

9 Top Tips For Best Rollator Walker

1. Place of Use: Indoors vs. Outdoors

Rollators have wheels and this makes them particularly useful for long trips and for use outdoors on uneven terrain where a walker is a slower device, more for support and not a mobile. Indoors, a rollator walker may be too wide to fit through doorways or navigate narrow halls.

So our first important tip in the 9 top tips for best walker rollator is to decide where the walker will be mainly used and for what sort of activities.

2. Rollator Type (3 or 4 Wheels): Mobility vs. Stability

This section is about what you need most from your mobility aid, is it predominately support or mobility and where you want to use it.

3 Wheel Rollator Walker

Three-wheeled rollators, which are shaped like a tricycle, offer better mobility on account of being lighter, narrower, and having a tighter turning radius. These models usually fold easily for transport and are easy to maneuver.

4 wheeled Rollator Walker

3 wheel rollator walker

Four-wheeled rollators offer superior stability and may come equipped with a seat. These models feature higher weight capacities for bariatric users. If you weigh more than is considered normal or your major concern is a lack of stability when you walk, go for a four-wheeled model.

However, if you feel your balance is good and you simply need a safety net when you’re out and about, or if you will use the rollator indoors, a three-wheeled model may be perfect for you.

3. Frame Size Considerations: Width vs. Weight Support

Your body body build and constitution will also determine your choice of rollator. Lightweight aluminum frames may not offer enough stability or have the weight capacity to support people weighing more than 250 lbs, for whom a heavy-duty steel rollator with four wheels may be more appropriate.walker rollator with seat

In addition to the recommended user weight capacity, the rollator’s own weight is important if you will need to routinely transport it in a car or carry it up a flight of stairs.

The rollator walker frame size will also be a consideration in relation to where this device is to used. If indoors, some four-wheeled rollators tend to be wider than 22 inches, the width of a standard bathroom door, great for outdoors but their use indoors in small spaces may be limited.

4. Wheel Size Options: Large vs. Small

Wheels come in a varity of styles and sizes. Wheels with a diameter of 8 inches or more are considered large, and these allow the rollator to be pushed easily over uneven surfaces and more sturdy for this type of activity.

Smaller wheels are more suitable if you plan to predominantly use the rollator indoors as they are much easier to maneuver in tight spaces. If your are frail you will want something light and easy to move about your home.

5. Frame Structure and Size: Adjustable vs. Fixed

Every walker and rollator comes with a manufacturer recommended height range. For optimum comfort, it’s a good idea to purchase a device for which you fall somewhere in the middle of the suggested range. A rollator with an adjustable height will allow you to fine tune your mobility device based on your footwear and the surface you’re walking on.

6. Seat Type: Adjustable vs. Fixed and Padded vs. Plain

Our next tip in the list of 9 top tips for best walker rollator is considering the type of seat in four-wheeled rollators. An adjustable seat height can mean the difference between comfort and discomfort, as can the contour and material of the seat. Padded seats that are ergonomically shaped offer far superior comfort than plain hard plastic seats.

7. Handles and Brake Types: Cable Loop vs. Push Down

When you are choosing a mobility device, ensure that the height of the handlebar is approximately the same as thefour wheel walker with brakes and seat 43 distance from the crease of your wrist to the ground. The handle should offer a firm grip for safety and be comfortable in your hand.

Rollators have wheels and will feature handle brakes, the most common of which are the cable loop and push down types.

Cable Loop Brake System

The cable loop system is similar to bicycles, and the brakes are engaged by the user squeezing the levers against the handles.

Push Down Brake System

Push down spring-loaded brakes engage when the user bears down on the frame and release when pressure is taken off, so these may be unsuitable for petite or frail users who do not have the strength to engage the push down breaks.

Rollators with seats always have a brake lock to prevent the device from rolling away while the user is seated.

8. Frame Storage and Transportation: Weight vs. Ease of Folding?

If you are wondering how to choose a walker rollator, the next tip is to evaluate the weight and ease of folding.

  • A foldable rollator can fit through narrow doorways and be flattened for transport.
  • A lightweight rollator with an easy fold mechanism will make your device suitable for transport by train, plane, and automobile.
  • Non-folding versions are more suitable for people who rarely travel and will use the device within the confines of their home.

9. Appearance of Device: Cost vs. Features

Rollators are more complex devices with wheels, brakes, seats, and accessories, and are, therefore, usually more expensive than walkers. Heavy duty rollators can cost considerably more than their lighter counterparts.

It’s important to carefully evaluate your individual needs and choose a walker rollator with features you will use. There’s no point paying extra for a rollator which folds completely flat when you’re only ever going to use it around the house, and a $50 non-folding rollator may serve your purpose. On the other hand, investing $500 hybrid rollator/transport chair may be more cost effective if your needs dictate the occasional use of a wheelchair.

Choose the Best Rollator Walker That Will Take You Where You Need To Go

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Deciding what you want the rollator walker for, mobility or support, and then where you wish to use it whether indoors or outdoors will be the first couple of decisions to make. From there it will be about looking at the various options that can individualise the mobility devise to you, ensuring an unrivalled user comfort and experience.

We hope these 9 top tips for best walker rollator will help you make an informed decision, enable you to choose the best rollator walker that will take you where you need to go in your life safely and with ease.