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The Best Walking Canes for Seniors and Elderly

The Best Walking Canes for Seniors and Elderly

Canes help seniors maintain their balance by providing another point of contact with the ground. Here are the best walking canes for seniors and the elderly.
Walking Canes For Seniors Featured Image
Walking Canes For Seniors Featured Image
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A cane is usually the most basic walking aid for most seniors and elderly. When most people think of a cane, they tend to think of a wooden hook-shaped cane like their grandfather had.

But there are many more options to consider when searching for the best walking canes for seniors and the elderly. There are other shapes, bases, and features of canes that are important for improving mobility.

Keep on reading to learn more about these options.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Choosing the best walking cane for a senior is really based on 2 factors:

  1. How much balance support do you need?
  2. What are your style or fashion needs?

Question 1 should be easy for you to answer now. Question 2 is a bit more subjective.

When making the recommendations below, I looked for the best walking canes that were a combination of function, quality, and also had several options for stylish seniors.

The Best Walking Canes for Seniors and Elderly

To help you find the best cane for a senior you love or for yourself, here is a list of my 6 top picks below.

HurryCane HCANE-BK-C2 Freedom Edition Foldable Walking Cane with T Handle, Original BlackPin

HurryCane Freedom Edition Folding Cane

from $34.97

I’ll bet you have seen the infomercials for the HurryCane. These commercials were a staple of late-night TV for a while.

The HurryCane is now owned by Drive Medical and is available on a wider scale. It now claims to the most popular cane in America.

This walking cane has a tripod-shaped base with a flexible joint where it meets the end of the cane. The joint allows the cane to pivot on the base which keeps it in contact with the ground longer while walking.

This leads to better balance support during the full stride. Because of this, the HurryCane is the best walking cane for seniors who use a cane outdoors as well.

Here is a quick video showing how the HurryCane works:

HurryCane® Walk in the Park

In addition to the stabilizing benefits, the HurryCane has other convenience features too. First, it stands on its own so it is always ready to go.

It has a hand strap to prevent it from being dropped while used. Finally, it folds up for easy travel and storage.

DMI Designer Folding Cane, Walking Cane, Foldable Cane for Men, Walking Cane for Women, Canes for Seniors, Adjustable Cane, Ergonomic Wood Handle Cane, Supports up to 250 Pounds, FloralPin

DMI Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick

from $11.34

Switch Sticks folding walking canes are a fun product and are the best walking canes for seniors who are young at heart.

These folding canes come in 19 creative colors and patterns so that users can express themselves a little. If they have to use a cane, might as well be one that they like.

These folding canes also come with a wood handle that matches the cane. A hand strap is included to reduce the chance of the cane getting dropped. A latex band is also part of the package to keep it folded securely while being carried or stored.

Offset Handle Aluminum Cane, Off Set Cane Leopard, (1 EACH, 1 EACH)Pin

Alex Orthopedic Offset Handle Cane

Some people just want a basic cane that gets the job done. And that’s what this walking cane from Alex is all about.

It is sturdy, well-built, and available in basic black and designs too. The offset handle keeps your weight over the cane tip so that you stay centered and balanced. It includes a soft foam grip for comfort and a wrist strap to prevent accidental drops.

It uses a push button to adjust the height to fit the user quickly. And it includes a special locking ring that keeps the bottom from rattling around while you use it. It also has a super soft Hypalon grip and the weight capacity is 250 lbs.

Drive Medical RTL10365-ADJ Adjustable Lightweight Folding Cane with Seat, BlackPin

Drive Medical Adjustable Cane Seat

as of 04/14/2024 6:46 am

Do you ever need to sit and rest while out walking? This model from Drive Medical quickly converts to a small seat when you need a little help. This makes is a great cane for people who travel.

In walking mode, the cane is sturdy and supportive, with a strong aluminum construction. It quickly folds out into a tripod with a flip down seat when you need to take a break.

Usually, canes with seats are heavier than standard walking canes. But, this one only weighs 1.3 lbs because of the lightweight aluminum and composite constructions. It supports people up to 250lbs.

NOVA Heavy Duty Walking Cane with Offset Handle, 500 lb. Weight Capacity, Bariatric & Lightweight Adjustable Walking Stick with Carrying Strap, Black

NOVA Heavy Duty Walking Cane

as of 04/14/2024 6:46 am

For larger people who need the support of a cane, this heavy-duty one from Nova will support up to 500 lbs. It, too, comes with the offset handle and wrist strap like most of the others. There are two color choices: black and silver.

It has tons of adjustments to it too. The height adjusts to fit users from 4’11” to 6’4″, fitting a wide range of people.

Made of high-quality aluminum, it weighs about 2 lbs., and has a chip-resistant finish.

walking canes for seniors typesPin
Take note of the significant differences between walking canes and walking sticks.

Types of Walking Canes for Seniors and Elders

Walking canes come in many types, styles, and forms. Probably many more than you realize. Knowing the differences between walking canes and walking sticks is also important.

Some types of walking canes have specific functions, while others are also designed to look good or more stylish. Here is a quick rundown of some of the types of walking canes:

Standard Cane

standard walking canePin

A standard walking cane is the basic cane most seniors are familiar with. These are simply support rods made of wood or steel, usually with a curved or straight handle at the top. The cheapest canes are wooden ones but are usually not adjustable in height.

There are many different handle styles for standard canes. Most, though, are classified as either a curved handle or a straight handle.

Many doctors and therapists prefer a straight-handled cane because it matches better with the hand angle while walking. A straight handle is more ergonomic than a curved handle.

  • Advantages: Least expensive, lots of choices in both design and style
  • Disadvantages: Only for mild balance problems, weight distributed on a single point

Offset Handle Cane

offset handle canePin

The offset handle is a variation of the standard cane. I’ve also heard them called crookneck canes. With an offset walking cane, the cane bends like a swan’s neck before the handle.

This distributes the senior’s weight over the cane tip for better balance. Like the standard cane above, there are many styles, colors, and designs to choose from.

  • Advantages: Inexpensive, distributes weight directly over cane tip, lots of options
  • Disadvantages: Only for mild balance problems

Quad Base Cane

quad base canePin

A quad base cane is a walking cane with a wider base. The four cane tips on this wider base make contact with the ground.

Because the base is wide and has more points of contact with the ground, it is more stable than the other types of walking canes. So, the quad cane is designed for seniors and elderly who need a little more balance support than standard canes offer.

  • Advantages: Weight distributed on multiple points, able to stand on their own
  • Disadvantage: Not a lot of style choice, a little heavier than other canes

Folding Cane

cane that folds upPin

The folding cane has recently improved in popularity. This type of walking cane is collapsible and will fit into a purse or bag. It is easy to store and take with seniors so it is always available when needed.

Folding canes work like tent poles. The cane itself is made up of several smaller segments that fit together. An elastic cord runs up through the middle of the cane which keeps the pieces together.

To use the folding cane, simply push the smaller pieces back together. To store it, the pieces easily pull apart and fold up.

Special canes like these are not usually provided under Medicare benefits.

  • Advantages: Folds for easy storage and carrying, lightweight
  • Disadvantages: Requires good hand control to be able to fold and put together

Specialty Canes

Recently, there have been several improvements in the design and engineering of canes. Some designs have improved the support and function of a walking cane.

Others add bells, whistles, and gizmos like lights and alarms. Some canes have very unique styling and are marketed specifically for men or for women.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Are Walking Canes Used by Seniors to Improve Mobility?

Before learning about the best walking canes for seniors, it is important to really understand how a cane is used. Often, I see people who are using canes incorrectly.

Other times, I see people using canes who should probably be using a wheeled walker or even a rollator with a seat. The reason is often they refuse to use a wheelchair even if it’s the best option.

What is the Proper Use of a Cane?

The proper use of a cane is just to help maintain balance. A cane should never be used for weight bearing or for full support of the body. People who hold onto furniture when waking at home usually benefit from using a cane.

Also, people who have a foot that drags from a stroke or injury could benefit from a cane.

How Do I Adjust a Cane to Fit Properly?

Most canes are adjustable in height to fit seniors of varied heights. Some use a simple metal push button and others use a clamp. A cane that is too high causes shoulder pain. Smaller people should not use a cane that is too tall.

But, a cane that is too low causes the senior to bend over too far which hurts the back. When a cane is adjusted properly, there is a slight bend in the elbow with the user standing nearly straight up.

For most seniors, setting the cane so that the handle is just below the hip joint is about right.

Which Hand Do I Hold My Cane In?

Yes, it does matter what hand the cane is held in. The cane is held in the hand ON THE OPPOSITE side of the injured or weak leg. And here is why.

In the typical human walking pattern, the left arm swings out as the right foot steps and vice-versa. This is how we humans maintain our balance.

So, holding a walking cane in the hand that is on the opposite side of the injury, allows seniors and the elderly better control of their balance.

After getting the cane in the right, er, correct hand, the user should just walk normally. If the seniors find themselves putting weight on the cane or cannot keep a normal walking gait, a different mobility aid is probably needed.

Also, If both legs are injured or weak, a walker or rollator is usually more appropriate. Sometimes wheelchairs or even power wheelchairs are the safest choice.

Have you had any experiences with a walking cane you would like to share? How about a recommendation of your own! Please feel free to share or ask questions in the comments below and I’ll get back to you quickly!

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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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5 thoughts on “The Best Walking Canes for Seniors and Elderly”

  1. Wanda Hckbein

    I am in therapy for weak left leg. Told to get cane. I have poor balance but so many are ok’d so still confused. Hurry Cane best?

    • Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

      Hi Wanda – Sorry if I confused you. Canes also have a style element to them so I was trying to give people lots of choices. That way they could find one they liked the looks of too. The Hurry Cane is a fine choice because it offers the larger tip that pivots. Depending on how much assistance you need, this will give you more support. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Toby B Cardoso

    What about canes with wheels?

    • Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

      Hey Toby – I do not know of a cane with wheels. Probably because that is a dangerous combination. If the cane had wheels it would be unstable with no way to support the user. Tell me a little more about what you would use that for.

  3. Linda

    I was checking around to see what type of cane would be the best fit for my dad, & your top 10 choices made it much easier for me to do so. Thank you for the informative descriptions.

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