The walking cane: a mobility aid that gets the short end of the stick. Cue drum roll.
Pardon the bad joke. For many people, the walking cane is an afterthought, a mobility aid to be taken advantage of when other aids fail. It’s a stopgap. It’s a “first mobility aid” to later be supplanted by “something better.” It’s an aid that’s the same today as it was ten thousand years ago. It’s — Well, let’s come clean here — it’s associated with old folks and the inability to get around.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. The walking cane has become such a fixture in our minds, not to mention our culture, that it’s difficult to see it for what it is: one of the best mobility aids around. In many cases, it’s better than the more advanced — and expensive — mobility aids on the market. It’s a long-term walking solution for a lot of happy people; hardly a stopgap. Because of certain technical advances, it’s not the same as it was centuries ago — or even ten years ago. And the walking cane has nothing to do with inability. It’s all about ability and mobility. People of all ages, young and old, who need to get around quickly and safely and with a minimum of discomfort, love using a good walking cane.
What is a cane? Some kind of primitive walking device that a person would use for lack of anything better? Hardly. Long ago, the Greeks determined that the column was the strongest engineering element they could build. The column became the main support for bridges, temples, and marketplaces. What is the cane if not a mobile column? Weight ratings for many adjustable canes range in the hundreds of pounds.
Compared to wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or just about any other mobility aid, the cane beats them all hands down. Most canes weigh less than a couple of pounds, yet support hundreds of pounds of user weight.
No batteries, no emissions. Think the Toyota Prius can beat that?
Canes come with a multitude of cool gadgets nowadays that help increase comfort and safety, such as lights on front and back, ice cleats, clips, and magnetic holders.
While it’s possible to get the traditional wooden cane, fancy aluminum canes have flooded the market recently that have bold and multi-colored patterns on them.
Canes are one of the lowest cost mobility aids around, and nearly every insurance plan will cover canes.
This is one of the best-kept secrets. Haven’t seen a lot of canes lately? That’s probably because cane users collapse their aluminum canes in four sections and then stow them away in purses, book bags, briefcases, or even oversized coat pockets. Now you see them, now you don’t!
So there you have it. Give the cane a whirl, why don’t you?