As a caregiver, and like the majority of us, you are up and down countless times in a day without giving it much thought. However, this task may be difficult for the person you’re caring for. If the person you’re caring for has an injury or becomes unsteady on their feet they may need to use a cane. You want to make sure they’re safe, but you’re probably wondering where to start and how to help. In this video, we’ll go over how you can support the person you’re caring for to use a cane safely.
If the person you’re caring for has an injury or becomes unsteady on their feet they may need to use a cane.
You want to make sure they’re safe, but you’re probably wondering where to start and how to help.
In this video, we’ll go over how you can support the person you’re caring for to use a cane safely.
If you’re helping the person you’re caring for choose a cane to buy, talking to the staff at the home health store or an occupational therapist will help you figure out how to measure and what type to use. It’s not a good idea to use an old cane not suited to the person using it.
In general, a cane should be half the height of the person using it while they’re wearing non-slip shoes.
Let’s start by showing you how to use a cane so you can help the person you’re caring for.
They should hold the cane in the hand of their stronger side.
When they start walking on a flat surface, they should step forward with their weaker side first, and bring the cane forward at the same time.
It’s important that the person you’re caring for only puts the cane out in front of them as far as their normal step.
If they’re reaching the cane very far ahead of them so that they’re stretching to catch or they’re stepping ahead of the cane, encourage them to readjust so the cane is able to support their weaker leg.
Walking on steps with a cane is a little more complicated until the person you’re caring for gets the hang of it.
To go up the stairs, start with them holding onto the railing with one hand and their cane in the other hand. Help them move up one step at a time, using their stronger leg first. You can stand behind them with a hand on their back to offer some support.
Once their strong leg is stable on the step, then they should bring their weaker leg and cane up to the same step repeating this process to climb the stairs.
Going downstairs, they would still have one hand on the railing and one hand on their cane, but they should start with their weaker leg and cane moving down to the step first, then bring their strong leg down to the next step.
You can stand one or two steps below them on the stairs to help give them some support.
Walking with a cane will take some practice, but in time they will be able to master it. You can help by giving them some gentle reminders and being nearby to offer support and to cheer them on.
The most important reminder you can give someone learning to use a cane is to make sure they’re actually using it!
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