Recommendation of crutches for the elderly in Hong Kong in 2022｜Whether the length of crutches is suitable｜Crutch purchase teaching
As they grow older, many elderly people will suffer from deterioration of body muscle strength and sense of balance due to aging, or inconvenient mobility due to diseases such as stroke, not only difficulty in walking.
Elderly people with poor muscle strength and coordination often need to use assistive devices to assist them in walking safely. However, choosing inappropriate assistive devices or using them in the wrong way can cause injuries instead.
In order for the elderly with mobility issues to maintain their basic living abilities, and even go outside to have a normal social life, "assistive devices" are an important tool to assist the elderly in their activities. Appropriate assistive devices can enhance the stability and support of the elderly in standing or walking force and reduce the risk of secondary injury after a fall.
Crutches are very common medical aids, but many people don't pay attention to how to use them after buying them, which can easily cause injuries in the long run.
Therefore, Leqi colleagues specially wrote a special topic on choosing crutches for everyone, so that everyone can understand the most basic 5 key points for buying crutches before buying.
Steps in choosing crutches
- Know the types of crutches
- Crutches weights, handles, cane wrist straps
- Choose the right crutch size
- safe use of crutches
- Precautions for using crutches
Steps in choosing crutches
Know the types of crutches
The cane is the most commonly used assistive device for the elderly. Generally, the cane can bear about 20-30% of the weight of the body. When walking with a cane, because there is an extra support point, it can improve the stability of walking and reduce the load on the lower limbs. Elderly people who go out alone but have difficulty walking, and the types can be roughly divided into the following types:
- T-shaped walking stick
- multiple crutches
- folding crutches
1. T-shaped cane
When people use T-shaped crutches, it is easier to put their body weight on the crutches. The angle between the handle and the post allows for better wrist development.
It is suitable for the elderly who have a little difficulty in walking, but are in good physical condition, have good muscular endurance and a good sense of balance.
T-shaped walking stickIt is suitable for the elderly who have a little difficulty in walking, but are in good physical condition, have good muscular endurance and a good sense of balance.
2. Multiple-legged crutches
The multi-legged crutch has stronger stability and is suitable for patients who have difficulty standing for walking recovery training and people with inconvenient legs and feet.
The four-legged crutch can provide a high degree of stability, and is suitable for the elderly with poor muscle strength and sense of balance. The four-legged crutch is less likely to fall, which can reduce the risk of the elderly bending over to pick it up.
multiple crutchesThe four-legged crutch can provide a high degree of stability, and is suitable for the elderly with poor muscle strength and sense of balance. The four-legged crutch is less likely to fall, which can reduce the risk of the elderly bending over to pick it up.
3. Folding crutches
People have made folding crutches on the basis of T-shaped crutches. Compared with T-shaped crutches, folding crutches are easier to carry and are more suitable for traveling.
It is suitable for the elderly who are in good physical condition, with good muscular endurance and a good sense of balance, in case of emergencies.
folding crutchesPeople have made folding crutches on the basis of T-shaped crutches. Compared with T-shaped crutches, folding crutches are easier to carry and are more suitable for traveling.
Crutches weights, handles, cane wrist straps
The lighter the cane is not necessarily the better. For the elderly with poor balance or stroke, it is more beneficial to walk with a heavy cane.
There are different types of cane handles, such as arc-shaped and flat, and whether it is comfortable to use is the key point of purchase.
3. Cane wrist strap
When purchasing a single-crutch cane, it is recommended to purchase a cane wrist strap to prevent the cane from slipping and falling directly to the ground, which can prevent the risk of falling when bending over to pick up the cane.
Choose the right crutch size
How to choose crutches:
- Stand naturally, with both hands drooping naturally, the distance from the neck of the hands to the ground
- The bottom plug of the cane is placed 20cm in front of the body, and the angle of the elbow is 30-40 degrees, so you can get the length of the cane that suits you
- (Height/2) + 3 (cm) = standard length of crutches
1. Table of height and cane length
Please refer to the [Height and Cane Length List] below to find a relatively suitable cane length based on the height of the elder.
|Elderly height (cm)||Crutches size (cm)|
＊There may be some differences due to the user's posture and preferences. beg to be excused!
safe use of crutches
How to choose a crutch that suits you, have you already chosen it?
As the saying goes: "everyone is safe, everyone is happy"
Then let's learn about the safety knowledge of crutches.
1. to walk
- crutches move forward
- Move the affected leg on the same plane between the crutches
- Then swing the normal leg forward and place it in front of the crutches
- Repeatedly, you can walk forward (crutches>affected leg>normal leg)
2. Get up and stand
- With the normal leg resting on the ground, the body moves forward to the edge of the chair or bed
- Hold the handle of the crutch with the hand on the affected leg and the arm of the chair or the edge of the bed with the hand on the unaffected side
- Support with both hands together, and at the same time use your normal leg to stand up and stay steady
3. Up the stairs
- Hold one hand on the banister/wall
- With both hands supported at the same time, step the normal leg forward up one step of stairs
- Then move the crutches and the affected leg up to the same level of stairs
- Repeat, go upstairs
4. Down the stairs
- Hold hand on banister/wall
- Support with both hands at the same time, move the affected leg down at the same time
- After the support of both hands is stable, move the normal leg to the next step
- Repeat, go downstairs
Precautions for using crutches
1. Correct use of crutches
Make sure not to press your armpits against the top of the crutches. If you feel numbness, pain and discomfort in your armpits, please correct your crutches immediately. If you use it correctly, but still find that your armpits are compressed, it may be that your crutches are too long and need to be shortened.
2. Make sure the parts are secure
Make sure the crutch has rubber feet, thick shoulder pads, and a handle. Make sure that these parts are solid, not loose, not seriously damaged, and need to be replaced if necessary.
If your hands are prone to pain or fatigue, add thicker padding to the handle of your crutches.
3. Pay attention to the situation on the road
Avoid walking on slippery surfaces. If you have to, try to slow down as much as possible.
Carpets or mats laid flat on the floor are slippery, so move them as far as possible, and do not use crutches to move on them.
4. Wear protective walking gear
Wear supportive footwear or go barefoot rather than flip flops when moving on crutches.
When using crutches, the handle may chafe the skin on your arms and chest wall. You can use lotion or talcum powder to prevent skin abrasion and inflammation.
There are hundreds of types of crutches on the market, and it is inevitable to be dazzled when choosing one. However, as long as you master the key points introduced today, you will soon find your way. I hope that after reading the article, you can also gain a lot of experience, and find a convenient crutch that meets the needs of body shape, physiological state and lifestyle for yourself, family or friends as soon as possible!
I hope you like today's article. If you know more about crutches or have other ideas about crutches, please share them with us on Lohas Elderly Facebook !