MY STORY: I was feeling unsteady and knew I needed help getting around. One day years ago, on our way out of town, I stopped at the doctor’s office to pick up a cane. I honestly thought it was that simple. Thankfully, the physical therapist whose job it was to give me the cane, measured me first. Although she was prepared to cut the cane to size, my height required her to leave it as it was. I was asked if I had ever used a cane before. I was given a very quick lesson in how to walk with it. My concentration was elsewhere – we’d left our older kids in the car and were on our way out-of-town.
Ends up I didn’t use it much. By the time I got a cane, I was past the stage for it and needed a walker. I should have lost my pride and used it much earlier. I found any mobility aid, cane, walker, etc. serves as a warning to others that your path should be avoided. Most people are careful. If I had used one earlier, perhaps the first and second grade kids I loved at church would have thought twice before running with abandon to me for a hug, or people would have given me more room to navigate on the sidewalk or in a store. When I first started using a walker, I saw the realization in people’s eyes as they moved closer – I could not be trusted. Sometimes in a crowd it’s like the parting of the red sea.
Even simple canes are plentiful with options. Different handles, fancy bases,
Measure from the floor to your wrist crease – that height will offer you the greatest control, the least strain and the best security.
Nobody wants to need one, but if you have to use one, you may as well have fun. A friend’s mother decorated her canes for holidays, and I cut out this article years ago (click to enlarge):