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There are numerous reasons that people may need additional support while walking. Naturally, age is one of them. The older we get, the more susceptible we are to losing our balance. However, an unexpected injury or illness can result in a loss of strength and some of our motor skills, regardless of our age. In such cases, walking aids are necessary. Most often, they come in the form of canes and walkers.

According to Ipsos, “22% of Canadian Seniors say they use at least one of the mobility aids listed in the research (i.e. a cane, a walker, an electronic/motorized scooter, or a hip protector)…Use of canes (19%), specifically, is much more predominant than other mobility aids. Walkers are the next most used aid (9%).”

When is a cane an ideal walking aid?

Some would argue that canes and our elderly go hand in hand literally. It’s not uncommon to see a senior citizen walking with a cane. The key word here is “walking”. An individual who can still walk, but may require a minimal amount of assistance, generally finds a cane to be a suitable solution. A cane, as you’re likely aware, is a mobility aid that is usually made up of four simple parts: a handle, a collar, a shaft and a ferrule.

The handle, of course, is where the cane is held by the user. It is located at the top section of the cane and often includes a rubber grip. A collar may be found on a cane, but is generally for decorative purposes between the shaft and the handle. The shaft is the lengthy part of the cane that transmits the weight of the user down to the ferrule. The ferrule is the tip of the cane which often includes a rubber stopper for traction.

When is a cane not an adequate mobility solution?

Canes only provide minimum assistance. If an individual isn’t steady on his/her feet and requires maximum stability, a walker is considered a much more viable option. It would be fair to consider a walker a “cane times four”. With four legs, walkers are able to provide a lot more support as they distribute weight over a greater amount of space.

What different types of walkers are available?

Basic walkers are the most common type. They contain no wheels and therefore, are commonly used by those who have enough upper body strength to pick the walkers up as they take their steps. Basic walkers are generally recommended for users who require minimal assistance with walking, but would prefer the added stability that is unavailable with canes.

Two-wheel walkers and four-wheel walkers are what they sound like. Essentially, the more wheels on the walker, the more stability they provide. Two-wheel walkers include wheels on the front legs allowing users to put more weight on these mobility solutions. Four-wheel walkers are generally recommended for those who walk longer distances and spend a lot of time outside of their homes.

At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we believe that walkers are the safest mobility solutions for individuals who need some extra assistance with the daily steps they take. Providing more stability than canes, walkers have proven to be excellent mobility aids for people of all ages.

If you have any questions about the walkers that Advantage Home Health Solutions has to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page!