Home Health supplies for the elderly can be confusing especially when learning how to adjust and use mobility aids for the disabled. Here is a video reviewing, explaining, and showing the proper use of a walker and how to use a walking cane. Please, watch the video and continue reading for a summary of the information covered in the video as well as an opportunity to ask any questions!
There are several very common walking aids used to help with balance problems, pain, and/or an inability to tolerate bearing weight on a leg due to an injury, surgical procedure, or decline in health (stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, etc…). Rolling walkers are one of the many assistive devices commonly used in a variety of settings (home, hospital, inpatient rehab) to decrease the effort and fall risk during walking and standing activities.
Did you know rolling walkers have 2-wheels on the front and the wheels come in different sizes? The larger the wheels (5 inches or larger), the better the walker will roll on rough terrain such as asphalt parking lots, dirt roads, grass, and sidewalks with large cracks. Smaller front wheels require increased effort and do not roll easily on plush carpet, sidewalks, wooden ramps, or any type of textured surface.
Using a rolling walker is not difficult if the walker is properly adjusted to the person’s height. Rolling walkers, canes, and even the hand grips on crutches are easily adjusted to the appropriate height if the hand grip is even with the bend of the person’s wrist.
The walker and the person using the walker should make a box! In other words, your loved one should be instructed to “walk inside the walker,” so the walker remains close to him/her, and their body completes the back of the box.
PROBLEM: Walker Does Not Fit Through The Door
SOLUTION: I highly recommend re-positioning the front wheels to the inside of the walker. Moving the wheels from the outside of the walker will NOT change the stability of the walker. Subsequently, if the back of the walker fits through a narrow doorway but the front of the walker does not fit because of the additional width of the front wheels, then moving the wheels to the inside of the walker will solve the problem!
Canes are another common walking device and canes are more mobile, lighter, and easier to use on steps compared to walkers and rollators. There are several types of canes.
Single Tip – A cane with 1-point that does not stand up by itself so it propped up and can be easily forgotten–“Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”
Quad Cane – A cane with 4- tips/points that can stand up by itself without needing to be propped up against a wall. Not as easily forgotten and provides more balance/stability compared to the Single-Tip cane.
Tri-Tip cane – A cane with 3-tips/points.
Walking Cane Tip:
Regardless of how many tips, all canes need to be properly adjusted for height. If the handgrip on the cane is too high or too short, the arm cannot effectively decrease the weight, improve the balance, or manage the pain of an injured, weak, or painful leg. Furthermore, the cane provides the optimal level of assistance and stability when used in the hand OPPOSITE of the injured, weak and/or painful leg.
How to walk with a cane….
Remember: the cane should mirror the hurt, surgical or weaker leg. In other words, when the hurt, surgical or weaker leg goes forward, the cane should either proceed the leg OR the cane should move with the leg simultaneously.
The sequence is EITHER: Cane…..Affected Leg….Strong leg
Cane and Affected Leg at the same time….Strong leg
In the same manner, going up and down a step has a specific sequence, regardless of the mobility device (rolling walker, crutches, cane, etc…). The sequence for going up a step is to lead up the step with the stronger leg. For going down a step, lead down with the weaker/hurt/surgical leg first. An easy way to remember which leg goes up first and which leg goes down a step first is the following statement:
The good go up and the bad go down!
Below you will discover Amazon links under “Related Products.”
Take Advantage of Me and My Experience
When I provide images of related products, I am simply showing you some of the options available to address a particular situation. However, if you have friend/relative give you medical equipment and you have a question about how to use, adjust, or set up the equipment, leave me a comment. I guarantee you are neither the first nor the last person to take on the responsibility of caring for someone with mobility problems that needs & would benefit from medical equipment but you’re just not sure what to get, how to set it up, or how to use it.
In the same manner, when equipment is delivered, sometimes the representative takes very little time to explain and demonstrate all the features, uses, and adjustments before leaving you with the equipment. To that end, I say, “There is no such thing as a stupid question especially when it is the safety and comfort of you and your loved one hanging in the balance of falls and injuries in the home.” The only stupid question is the one not asked!
Like I mentioned before, these are some suggestions for mobility devices (walkers, canes, wheelchair, etc…). If you are considering a mobility device but are not confident and would like some advice on whether a 4-point cane, single-tip cane or walker would be better, then message me. I will ask you some questions and then offer my advice, tips and/or reasons for using a certain mobility device over another one. I might even be able to make a video to help you make the BEST decision based on your loved one’s needs
I am here to make caregiving easier and safer , and I look forward to hearing from you.
I want to thank you for visiting my site and I hope you leave having learned something to make caregiving easier & safer, and a desire to return for future updates. Please leave a comment, question, or idea so I can continue to help you with any daily caregiving issues.
Once again thank you for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you again soon!
What an awesome website. Extremely helpful information along with engaging visuals. Wheel size is an important to be aware of. And your pics make the website interesting. Being a newbie at website building, I will have to learn how to do that. Please feel free to offer me a tip or two! 🙂
Thank you, Sue
Thank you Sue for the comment and visiting my website. I am still very new to the website building arena myself. If you have a specific feature or question please PM me and I will be MORE than happy to help you. I believe a great deal of the features on my website are automatically generated by my theme, but I will be glad to go over anything you might want to know how I did.
Thank you again and have a fantastic Wednesday.
~Shawna PT, MPT
I like that you provided some insights on the different types of mobility aids for the disabled. Canes, in particular, are very mobile and extremely light which can definitely benefit the elderly who may have difficulty with balancing their body. It is important, though, to adjust the height of the cane according to the user. This way, the user wouldn’t have to duck and otherwise affect his posture. If I were to buy handicap equipment for the elderly, I would make sure to take this into consideration. Thanks.
You’re absolutely correct about the importance of proper cane height adjustment. When the standing up tall and straight, the handle of the cane should align with the bend at the wrist where your hand meets your wrist.
Thank you for your comments!