The perfect travel companion: Choosing the right walking aid

  • CareBuddy
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 20 Sep 2022
  • Disability Care

When a care receiver has mobility issues and needs constant support, choosing the appropriate walking aid becomes one of the most important responsibilities of a caregiver. Let’s look at which walking aids are ideal for different needs.


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Right-Walking Stick Cane, Left- Multipoint Cane

Canes are the simplest walking aid, ideal for care receivers who are

  • Paralysed at the lower limb
  • Suffering from arthritis
  • Not able to walk properly

The walking stick (one leg) cane is right for care receivers with generally good use of arms and legs. It helps them maintain balance while walking.

The multipoint (multi legged) cane is better for care receivers who have difficulty balancing while walking but are able to support their weight on one side. An example is a quad cane which has 4 legs as its name suggests. Do not use multi legged canes while climbing stairs as the risk of a fall is high.

Walkers and Rollators

Walkers and Rollators are ideal for people who are

  • Able to walk but unable to support their body with a cane
  • Unable to remember how to use a cane
  • Unable to walk for long distances

Walkers include a fixed type that requires the care receiver to lift it with both hands. This assumes that both hands are functioning and sufficiently strong. If that’s not the case, there’s an alternative type of cane which brings up the left and right frame alternately forward.

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Image: Example of roller

The main difference between a walker and a rollator is that a walker has legs whereas a rollator has wheels. The wheels provide the rollator with greater maneuverability and balance, though the walker is also sturdy and balanced. Both are known for facilitating mobility and stability over longer distances.

Deciding the length of a cane

If you’ve decided that a cane is more appropriate than a walker or rollator, the next step is to choose a cane of the correct length.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Stand upright, bend your elbow 30 degrees and hold the tip of the cane vertically such that it’s 15 cms away from your feet.
  2. If the cane is too short to the point where it doesn’t reach the floor, or too long to the point where you need to tilt it diagonally, the length is wrong. Ask for the cane length to be adjusted. If that’s not possible, choose a different cane.

Now that you’ve gained an understanding of the considerations involved in choosing the ideal walking aid, it would be a good time to learn about walking patterns of care receivers and the support a caregiver can provide at our walking patterns and caregiver support article

Article reviewed by Loh Wan Ying, HMI.

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