Canes Help Prevent Loved One from Falling. Do They Have the Right One? Are They Using It?

Read Time: 5:49
Published: Sep 17th, 2021
Canes Help Prevent Loved One from Falling

If you or someone you know uses a cane regularly, they most likely need it for fall prevention. It is one of the simplest and most common ways to help prevent an older person from falling. Canes provide the necessary stability that seniors or those with mobility issues need to increase their balance. When used correctly, a cane can reduce the strain on an individual's legs as their weight is transferred from the legs to the upper body.

Your mom or dad might need a cane, but do they have the right one, and are they using it? Preventing falls is essential to maintaining the quality of life.

According to research, most of those who have had a fall at home did not use an assistive device when they fell and sustained more severe injuries. The study showed that 75% of those who had a fall were not using their device even though the cane helped prevent falls.

Non-Use of Canes Increase Fall Risk

A cane or deice can't be helpful unless it is used. There are several reasons people say they didn't use their canes or other devices. The reasons include:

  • forgetfulness
  • believed it was not necessary
  • thought it made them look "old"
  • inaccessibility of the cane

For some reason the potential risk of a fall is not high enough to convince some older people to use a cane or other device. The CDC says that one out of four older people experience a fall every year - although less than half tell their doctor. A fall doubles a person's risk of another fall, so this can be dangerous if the doctor and family are unaware. 

Falls Can Result in ER Visits, Long-Term Care, and Death

As a person gets older, they increase their risk of having a fall. Falls are a leading reason for a visit to an emergency room and the need for long-term health care - ER Visits for Older Americans May Signal Decline | LTC News.

While some people may require a walker, cans are often a great way to maintain balance and prevent falling. However, be sure to have the right cane and discuss your needs with your doctor or physical therapist. 

Don't ignore the fall risk - either your own for your older parents or family members. Keep in mind that older people, even close family, may not be truthful with you regarding their past falls and whether they are using a cane or walker.

Falling is dangerous and potentially life-threatening once you reach a certain age. No matter how old you are, falling does not feel good and can result in injury, long-term care, and even death.

Anyone who needs mobility assistance must find a suitable cane to prevent falling. So here are the best canes available on the market that some experts suggest to help prevent a fall.

How to Find the Right Cane 

Although the number of canes available seems daunting, the decision-making process doesn't need to be overly stressful. All you need to do is know the suitable materials for you or your loved ones' needs and look for appealing features.

For instance, some canes are foldable, while others offer built-in seating. There are different grips, support bases, and colors to consider, and whatever works best for you is all you need.

EZ-Get-up-From-Seat, Extra Grip Adjustable Walking Cane

If you need a simple solution to help you stand after sitting for a long time, look no further than this versatile cane. Besides having an adjustable size, it comes with two grips so that you can fully support yourself while getting up.

With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, you must be extra cautious not to use it with a heavy bag or purse. However, it's a convenient cane that serves double-duty as a support system for walking and standing.

Wooden Seat Walking Canes

Preventing a fall is easy if you're already in a comfortable sitting position. That's why the Colortone Wooden Seat Cane is a perfect option for anyone with mobility issues.

It is as elegant as it is practical, with beautiful Birchwood construction and enticing patterns. Although it's a bit pricey, this cane will last long with its 375-pound weight capacity. Also, these canes are individually hand-crafted, so your cane's design will be distinct from those that came before it.

Derby Handle Walking Canes

Carbon Canes makes a carbon fiber walking cane with a Derby handle, and it's a fantastic choice for taller individuals who need walking assistance. The company makes this cane out of durable carbon fiber material so that it can withstand any terrain.

This material is also less prone to scratches, which keeps it looking good for longer. Luckily, the cane is still lightweight. So don't worry about lugging around a heavy item.

Overall, falling is still a possibility regardless of what type of cane you use, and that's why it's essential to learn how to improve your balance as you age. Nevertheless, the right cane will keep you or your loved one safe.

How to Use a Cane

The Cleveland Clinic says it is vital that if you are using a cane to use it correctly. You must use your cane in the hand OPPOSITE of your injured or weakened leg or side.

To prevent falls, the Cleveland Clinic recommends - 

  • The cane should be in good condition. Be sure it has grooved rubber tips covering the bottom of each leg(s).
  • Get rid of throw rugs and avoid waxed floors.
  • Be careful when walking on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Wear low-heeled, tie shoes for better support.

Cane or Walker?

Experts say that canes are better when a person's balance issues are primarily on one side of the body. For example, you have sciatica in one leg, or a stroke has weakened one side compared to the other.

However, if you or your loved one experiences weakness in both legs or you have pain on both sides of the body, a walker may be the best option. 

If a person who needs a device to maintain balance doesn't use it, it is doing them no good. Failure to be compliant can result in more than just a fall, and the consequences can be dramatic. 

Falls Resulting in Long-Term Care Can be Expensive

Long-term health care is costly, and someone who has severe mobility and balance problems will need a lot of attention. Additional injuries resulting from a fall will also mean more costly care for the rest of a person's life.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the national average cost of a nursing home is over $100,000 a year and increasing annually - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

You can't prevent aging or declining health, but you can delay more costly long-term care by using the right devices and being proactive before falls or declining health require more substantial care. 

About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

Editor's Note

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LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee
Mallory Knee

Contributor Since
September 25th, 2020

Freelance writer where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty

About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion.

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