What Are Walking Sticks for the Disabled?

Written by allison horky
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What Are Walking Sticks for the Disabled?
A cane supports the person and stabilises him. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Walking sticks support individuals who do not have the strength or stability to support themselves. They can take many forms and are used in a variety of ways, depending on the person's preference. Walking sticks take the form of canes, walkers or crutches. These can be used by those with temporary or chronic disabilities as well as those simply getting older.

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Functions of Walking Sticks

Walking sticks provide support and stability for those who have trouble walking without assistance. The person may lean heavily on the device or simply use it to navigate uneven terrain. Walking sticks are designed to be light enough to be carried around all day, but sturdy and durable enough to withstand the weight of a person. They are typically made out of aluminium or an alloy mixture of different metals. They can also be wooden.

Canes

Canes, or walking sticks, are widely used by people with disabilities for support and navigation. They can have rounded handles or a more ergonomically designed support for your hand. They have a rubber covering on the bottom of the cane to prevent scuffing. These often come in a variety of colours and designs. If the cane is white with red on the end, the person using the cane is blind.

What Are Walking Sticks for the Disabled?
Canes can be ergonomically designed, proving more comfort for the hand. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Walkers

Walkers are a more supporting version of a walking stick. They have four legs that touch the ground, providing more stability for the walker. There are two handles, designed to add comfort while walking. These are typically made out of aluminium. People often cut tennis balls and put them around the legs to enable the walker to slide along the ground easier. Walkers can also have baskets, wheels and padding so the person can sit on it while not in use.

What Are Walking Sticks for the Disabled?
Walkers have four legs and two handles to provide increased support. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Crutches

Crutches are often used by those who are temporarily disabled with an ankle or leg sprain, but can still support themselves with their arms. You must have stable arms to support the weight of your body while you walk. Many people with chronic disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, also regularly use crutches to get around. It is often easier to use crutches than a wheelchair. These can be made out of aluminium or wood with rubber under the armpits and hands for comfort.

What Are Walking Sticks for the Disabled?
People use strength in their arms to support themselves on crutches. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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