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Cane and Walker Safety

Three older men walk along a pier with a river and city skyline in the background; one of the men is using a walking cane.

If you have trouble walking or standing for a long time, a can or walker can give you the stability you need to stay active and prevent falls. However, a cane that is used improperly or is not the right type for your needs could make things worse instead of better. Here's how to get the most out of a cane or walker:

  • Ask a mobility professional about the right cane or walker for your activity level.
  • Have your cane or walker properly fitted to your body.
  • The handles of the cane or walker should come to the crease in your wrist while standing with arms at your sides. Your wrists should feel normal (not twisted) when holding the handles of a walker.
  • Do not borrow someone else's cane or walker.
  • When walking with a cane, the cane and the foot on your weaker side should hit the ground at the same time.
  • Regularly check rubber feet and hand grips and replace if worn or cracked.