For anyone about to dive into the cane market in search of the perfect assistive device, there are some key things to know about picking out the perfect cane. Whether you're looking at designer walking canes or natural wood canes, you need it to fit your stature and your needs as precisely as possible. After all, over 50% of all falls among older adults take place at home. A cane is the device that can prevent those falls, but you need it to be tailored to you. Know these different cane characteristics and how to pick out the best one.
- Height: The surest way to make your mobility worse is to use a cane that is too short or too tall. Before you purchase a cane, have a friend or family member measure you. During the measuring, you should wear your normal walking shoes, stand up as straight as you can, and let your arms fall naturally at your sides. The person measuring should take the distance between your wrist and the ground for the cane height.
- Handle and Grip: A cane's handle and grip is key to making it comfortable for your personal use. There are standard cane handles that work for many people, but an offset handle can help distribute your weight along the cane if you need more stability. A palm grip handle is a good alternative for those who have trouble gripping slim handles. You can also have the grips made out of different materials, like foam or gel, for a more comfortable experience.
- Color: While the practical characteristics of a cane are important, having one that fits your style and aesthetic is essential. With a wide array of designer walking canes on the market, you never need to have a boring cane. For those who don't want a cane that is too colorful, hand carved wooden canes make for a sophisticated accessory that has plenty of personality. Whether you choose from one of these or designer walking canes, you'll have a perfectly customized accessory that also aids your mobility.
- Tip: The cane tip is what is going to be receiving the majority of the wear and tear over a cane's lifetime. If you only use your cane once in a while, you will likely be fine without a reinforced tip. However, those who use their canes every day may want a tip with reinforced rubber or plastic grip to add stability and prolong the cane's life. For added balance and stability, you can get a tri-pod cane tip with three points of contact with the ground or a quad cane with four.
For many people, a cane becomes an accessory that is as essential as glasses. Like glasses, your cane needs to fit your style while also assisting you in the way that you need it to. Consider each of these characteristics as you choose a cane, and you'll have the perfect one in the end.