Tuesday, 04 July 2023 00:00

Choosing the Right Cane or Walker to Prevent Falls

As people age, pain, weakness, and balance become important considerations, especially as it concerns falling. That being the case, it is only a matter of time before some type of walking aid may be needed to prevent falls. Selecting the right type of cane or walker is paramount, along with having them fitted correctly to your body. Whether you choose a cane or walker depends on how much support is needed. A cane supports about 25 percent of your weight, and a walker can support around half of your weight. Three types of canes are single-point for early balance problems, four-point for increased balance or stability concerns, or seat canes that allow you to rest. Types of walkers include a standard walker, which needs to be picked up as you move forward, and a front-wheeled walker that rolls along with each step. A four-wheeled walker offers more stability and can come with a seat and brakes. Depending on the type of walking aid, it should have non-skid rubber tips and foam or rubber grips for the hands. For the correct fitting of a cane or walker, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.  

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our doctors from Andrea Hyperbaric Wound Care & Health Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Astoria, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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