What Is An Assistive Cane?
An assistive cane is a walking stick used as a mobility aid. Assistive canes can help redistribute weight from a weak lower leg, improve stability, and provide tactile information about the ground. When compared to crutches and walkers, canes are generally lighter making them more manageable.
Assistive canes come in different forms and sizes.
- Standard Canes: Standard Canes are generally made of wood or lightweight aluminum and are quite inexpensive. Canes can also be made of expensive materials like ivory or titanium for extra light weight or for aesthetic purposes. Such exotic canes can be quite expensive.
- White canes: White canes are specially designed for assisting the visually impaired. White Canes are longer and thinner than regular canes and allow the user to "feel" the path ahead by tapping on it. White canes also alert others to know the user is blind and therefore use caution.
- Folding canes: Folding canes have several joints which are generally linked by an internal elastic cord allowing them to be folded into a shorter length when not in use.
- Forearm canes: Forearm canes are either regular canes or offset canes with additional forearm support, allowing increased stability and load shifting.
- Quad canes: Quad canes have four ferrules at the base allowing them to stand freely without any support. Quad canes offer a more stable base for standing when compared to standard canes.
- Tripod canes: Tripod canes open in tripod fashion. When open, tripod canes often come with an attached seat. This allows the user to take breaks between long walks.
- Adjustable canes: Adjustable canes allow the user to lengthen or shorten their walking cane to fit to size. Adjustable canes feature two or more shaft pieces for a telescoping effect that allow for variable height settings.
Should I Get A Quad Cane Or Single Point Cane?
A quad cane is for individuals who need more support than a single-point cane. The larger the base, the more support that the quad cane will provide. A single-point cane is lighter, smaller, and easier to use.
How Can I Select The Best Cane Size For My Needs?
To determine if the size of the walking cane is correct, have the user stand up straight with arms relaxed at his sides. When the user’s hand is resting on top of the cane, his elbow should be bent at about a 30 degree angle. The top of the cane should reach the user’s wrist easily.
How Do I Adjust The Cane?
Before attempting to adjust the walking cane, make sure that the height of the cane is adjustable. Then to change the height, push in the release button and slide the cane up or down to the desired height. Make sure the release button pops all the way out of the new adjustment hole.
Do I Need The Wrist Strap?
The wrist strap can slip over your arm to free both hands when you are not using the cane. To use a wrist strap, slip it over your wrist and slide the strap up your arm. The strap should never be used while walking. If you find the strap is not being used it can be safely removed.