At some point in many people’s lives, they will need to rely on a cane to move around safely. While a cane is an incredibly useful device, many elderly people are reluctant to use one. To them, a cane is a symbol of old age, and it makes them feel as if their best days have passed. Of course, this isn’t true, but it can have a profound psychological effect on a person. Naturally, you want what’s best for your loved one, so if your elderly parent is a little apprehensive, then you should check out these five useful ways to encourage your elderly parent to walk with a cane.
Your elderly loved one is a fully grown adult, and they expect to be treated like an adult. While you certainly have your loved one’s best interests at heart, that’s no excuse to talk down to them or treat them like a child. If your loved one doesn’t feel respected, then they’re much less likely to agree to your suggestions. When speaking to your elderly parents, always use a calm, respectful tone. Even if their resistance to using a cane is frustrating, take care to avoid expressing anger or condescension. When you discuss the subject, it’s vital to ask for their input and make them understand that their feelings matter.
Discuss the Risks
Everyone values their own life, and your elderly relative is no exception. Without a cane, your parent’s life and wellbeing are in danger. According to the Center for Disease Control, around 30,000 elderly people die from falls every year, and many more suffer broken bones or head injuries. If your loved one receives a broken bone or a head injury, then they may be bedridden for a long time. If they’re too proud to walk with a cane, then they’re surely too proud to receive around-the-clock care after a fall. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so try to emphasize that a cane can actually help your elderly parent keep their independence and dignity.
See a Medical Professional
High-risk individuals have been shown to overestimate their health. Your parents likely think that they are healthier than they actually are. A doctor will provide a much more accurate assessment of your parent’s health, so bringing your parent to the doctor’s office can give them a better perspective. While they may think that you’re just nagging and being controlling, they understand that a doctor has little reason to recommend a piece of equipment that they wouldn’t need. A doctor may not be able to convince your loved one right away, but a professional opinion will surely make your loved one more open to the idea of using a cane.
Explain the Benefits
While it’s true that over 20% of elderly people with no history of falls will experience a fall this year, scary statistics don’t paint a complete picture. If your elderly parent needs a cane but isn’t currently using one, then they probably have some difficulty getting around comfortably. Things like long walks, gardening, hikes, and other physical activities may be out of your parent’s reach. Explain to your parent that a cane can open up a world of possibilities and improve their quality of life.
Help Pick One Out
A boring old cane won’t cut it. Your loved one is an individual, and they deserve a cane that suits their taste. Canes are made of all kinds of materials, and they can be adorned with a huge variety of decorations. A cane is much less boring and oppressive when your loved one can use it to express their individuality. If your elderly parent is resistant to adopting a cane, then print out some pictures or bring your laptop over to help them see the variety of unique options at their disposal.