There’s nothing wrong with using a cane, especially if it keeps you healthy and active. In fact, a cane can add a certain distinguished quality, especially if you embrace using it and make it part of your look. You can even choose some colorful canes with attractive patterns and have different canes that go with different outfits. Let’s look at how to use a cane properly, which can help you maintain independence and stay safe.
- First, make sure your cane is in good working order. Purchase a high-quality walking cane from a reputable provider like Easy Comforts. Make sure there are grooved rubber tips on the bottom of each leg of the cane (if there are multiple legs).
- Fit your cane properly. There’s no use having a cane if it doesn’t fit you. When standing up straight, make sure the top of your cane reaches to the crease in your wrist. This enables your elbow to be slightly bent when holding the cane. Most canes are height adjustable.
- Wear low-heeled, supportive shoes that provide good support. This isn’t to say you can’t break out some stylish boots or high heels once-in-a-while. Just make sure you’re careful and wear good walking shoes most of the time, especially if you’re venturing out somewhere unfamiliar.
- Stand up. When it comes to using a cane properly to stand up, you want to hold the handle in one hand as you push up from the armrest of a chair.
- Use your cane in the hand opposite your injured leg. This allows you to use the cane to support your weaker leg. Place your cane forward a short distance. Then move your weaker leg forward, leaning on the cane as you do so. Then step forward with your stronger leg. Make sure you look up periodically to see where you’re going.
- Go up and down stairs one at a time. Push down on the cane and step up with your stronger leg. Then step onto the same step with your weaker leg and bring the cane up. To go down, place your cane down one step, and then step down with your stronger leg. Then step onto the same step with your weaker leg. If there’s a railing, hold onto it with the hand that’s not holding the cane.
- Sit down by backing up to the chair. Back up until you feel the edge of the chair or couch. Hold the cane in one hand and the armrest in the other. Ease down into the chair or couch.
- Don’t tempt fate. Prevent falls by removing throw rugs from your home that might trip you, making sure furniture is easy to move around and removing any clutter from floors. Keep stairs clear of clutter as well, and add treads if necessary. Also, make sure you have a sturdy handrail on the stairs. Use non-slip mats in the bathroom. Make sure rooms are well-lit, and place items you use often within easy reaching distance.
- Use hands-free carrying methods. Use a backpack, basket, fanny pack, pockets or an apron to ensure you have both hands free for walking.