How to Determine the Proper Height for Your Cane or Walker

by Medical XPress

Canes and walkers are extremely common mobility aids for the elderly, or those with otherwise limited mobility. However, these aids can’t provide all of the assistance you need if they’re not adjusted to properly accommodate your height. How do you know what the proper height is for your cane or walker? Here are a few tips to help you ensure your mobility aid is properly adjusted. If you need further assistance selecting a mobility aid, or adjusting yours to your height, please feel free to stop by one of our locations and speak to one of our team members.

Finding the Appropriate Height

To determine how high your cane or walker should be—whether it’s a standard, wheeled, or rollator variety—follow these steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoes on, and allow your hands to hang naturally at your sides.
  2. Have a friend or family member measure from the crease of your wrist to the floor. This number indicates how high from the floor your walker’s handles should be.
  3. Follow the instructions for your particular model of walker or cane to adjust the device’s height accordingly.
  4. Now, grasp the handle of your cane or walker. When doing so, you should have a slight bend in your elbow (about 15 degrees). If your elbows are bent too much or are too straight, adjust accordingly.

If you are purchasing the mobility device for a loved one, and they’re not available for a measurement at the time of purchase, you can still get the right height of mobility aid. All you need to know is their height. Typically, dividing the person’s height by two will give you an accurate estimate of the appropriate height for their cane or walker—usually within one inch. As long as you have this information, you can find a device that will adjust to an appropriate height for their needs.

If you are very tall or short, you may have a hard time finding a cane or walker that adjusts to the appropriate height for you. For those on the shorter side, special petite walkers are available, so that you can ensure your mobility aid functions properly for you. For tall individuals, you may want to look into walker leg extensions, which can allow your walker to adjust to a taller height than normal.

Speak to one of our associates for more information about these specialized kinds of mobility aids.

Proper Use of a Cane

Once you’ve determined the right height for your cane, it’s important to ensure that you are using it properly, so that it can provide you with optimal support. While it may seem like a simple and obvious thing, there are actually some subtle—but important—things that people miss.

For starters, the proper way to utilize a cane will vary depending on whether you’re using it for an injury, or for general mobility assistance. If it is for an injury, you will want to hold the cane on your “good” side, opposite of the affected leg. This provides balanced support to the injured leg as you walk.

If, however, you are using the cane for general mobility and support, you will want to hold the cane in your dominant hand, and bear weight as needed on that side of your body.

Proper Use of a Walker

The proper use of your walker will depend on which variety you buy—standard, wheeled, or rollator. A standard walker requires you to lift and set the device about one step in front of you, then step inside the bars, before repeating the movement. A wheeled walker allows you to roll the device forward before stepping into it, while a rollator allows you to simply push the device along without stopping.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re ever unsure whether your mobility aid is at the appropriate height or not, or you need assistance with utilizing your cane or walker properly, please feel free to visit one of our locations and speak to a friendly associate. We will help you to adjust your device to the right height, and ensure you are using it in a way that will maximize the device’s benefit to you, as well as ensuring your overall health and safety.

And, if you’re searching for the right mobility device for yourself or a loved one, visit Medical Xpress to see our wide selection of canes, walkers, rollators, and more today!