Symbol of Authority, Dignity and Class! Depend on Your Walking Stick, Not on Other People
Balance is the key component for the locomotor system to perform daily activities. It is the combination of gravity, the musculoskeletal and neuronal systems that makes our posture such that the body balances without external assistance. This is the reason why we are able to perform our daily activities independently.
Even in a healthy body there is physiological decline with age. The reflex time increases and balancing one’s own body becomes a challenge for an elderly person. This increase in physical instability also increases the risk of falling.
An external support for seniors can often increase sensory input and in turn ones confidence encouraging a person to move out rather than be confined to home. A walking stick is the most preferred walking aid, because it is easy to use, accepted by the society and is used to improve postural stability and to decrease the load on the weak side of the lower extremities.
It is seen that people initially are skeptical in appearing in public with a walking stick. I often compare it to wearing spectacles for the first time. I still remember how ashamed I had felt when I wore spectacles for the first time in public. Well, when our eye sight is weak we do take help of eye glasses to see. Similarly when our muscles are weak why do we feel shy to carry a walking stick? Why do we resort to walking stick or a walker only after some adverse incident – like a fall happens. Is it not better to avoid that situation?
A walking stick should meet the user’s specific needs. If the stick is required to bear weight, a carbon-fiber or aluminium model may be the most appropriate as they are light as well as strong. A folding stick folds very quickly and safely holds in a pocket or handbag. People who are suffering with immobility can also use walkers and should stay as active as possible. ElderEase aims to make the elders independent and expect more with ease.
There are 4 parts to a Walking Stick
- Handle The handle of a cane is extremely important while choosing a walking stick. It should be comfortable to hold and the load of the body should be transmitted from the hand to the shaft
- Shaft The shaft of the cane transmits the load from the handle to the ferrule. One carries his own walking stick therefore the weight along with the strength is the key feature to look for in the shaft of the walking stick. It may be made from carbon fibre, metal composites, or traditional wood. If one is heavy he/she particularly needs to pay heed to the load bearing capacity of the stick.
- Ferrule The tip of a cane is known as the ferrule. The tip must be made of anti skid material. There are many kinds of ferrule and one needs to choose it according to one’s condition. For a simple support a simple ferrule does the job. But one needs to check the tip from time to time for excessive wear and tear.
- Collar The collar of a cane joins the shaft to the handle. To hide the joint some decorative piece can be added there. A strap is also here which is worn around the wrist while carrying the walking stick to ensure the stick does not fall down.
Statistics show that people look for aesthetics rather than functionality in a walking stick. It is a jewelry piece for many while for others it is a symbol of authority and dignity. As the saying goes, “The best, the most exquisite automobile is a walking stick and one of the finest things in life is going on a journey with it”.