The right walking cane can make the difference between a person's independence and their reliance on the help of others. Knowing how to properly use the cane is essential in making that difference. Whether you're dealing with the aftermath of surgery or want to improve your mobility overall, learn how to use your fashionable cane while going up and down stairs with these tips.
The first rule of walking anywhere with a cane is to identify your good leg. When you're facing a staircase, take the first step with this leg. Then, place your cane on the step and gently bring up your weaker leg. Continue ascending the staircase by taking each step one at a time in this way. Take care to not turn sideways or attempt to go up the stairs at an angle. Though it may seem easier at the time, both of these methods can compromise your ability to safely climb stairs.
Going down stairs can be an even more daunting task than going up. Unlike ascending stairs, you will want to lead with the leg that doesn't perform quite as well. Take a deep breath, get a good grip on your fashionable cane, and place the cane on the first step. Then, you will put your weaker leg forward first. This method allows gravity to move the leg for you while your cane and good leg take on the force of descending. When going down stairs, you still want to be sure that you face the staircase head-on rather than angling your body.
Handling A Handrail
A staircase with a handrail will be your new best friend. This sturdy support is going to make your journey up or down a set of stairs much more simple. When you have a handrail at your disposal, hold your cane on the side of your body opposite the handrail. Even if this side isn't the one you would typically use your cane with, making a temporary switch will allow you to hold both stabilizers at the same time.
When there is not a handrail on the staircase, you'll need to move carefully. Use the same techniques as outlined above when ascending or descending a staircase. Rely fully on your fashionable cane and take as much time as you need. If you're concerned about tackling a handrail-less staircase, practice on one with a handrail beforehand. This will allow you to simulate the experience, but still have the stability if you need it.
Over two million senior citizens visit the emergency room every year for injuries resulting from a fall. Avoid these accidents by knowing how to handle walking canes in tricky situations such as stairs.