What to look for when buying a walking stick for an elderly loved-one

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If your elderly loved-one is becoming more unsteady on their feet, it might be time to think about getting them a walking stick. They might not like the idea at first but a stick can provide that extra bit of stability they need, particularly if they walk on uneven ground, up and down steps or just generally if they like to move around their own home.

When purchasing a stick, you need to ensure it is correctly measured to your loved-one. They need to be able to stand as upright as possible, with their elbow slightly bent. The stick will take their weight so it’s important it’s measured correctly, or it could cause shoulder or elbow joint pain.

To measure the stick correctly for your loved-one, make sure they’re wearing their usual pair of shoes and have them stand upright with their arms hanging loosely by their side. The distance from their wrist joint to the floor should be measured. This measurement will be the total length of the stick including a rubber tip/ferrule.

If your loved-one has a problem with one of their legs, the stick should be held in the opposite hand to the affected leg so upright posture can be maintained. The affected leg and stick should move forward together when they walk.

Walking sticks may need to change as your loved-one gets older as we tend to shrink as we age, so it’s important to be wary of this.

There are many different styles of handle for walking sticks, so it’s important for your loved-one to try as many as possible and see what is the most comfortable.

These days there are many accessories for walking sticks such as the DropMeNot, which can be secured to any wall for the walking stick user to prop their stick in when it’s not in use.

Lights can also be attached to walking sticks to enable walking in the dark, this is especially handy during the night.

Walking sticks also come in a variety of different colours and patterns so your loved-one will be able to find something to suit their personality.