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    Using a Cane - Expectation vs Reality

    using a cane expectation vs reality

     

    When getting around gets tough, there are several products available which can make getting staying mobile much easier. Walking canes are one the most common. Unfortunately, you can’t just borrow a walking cane from a friend or grab a cane from the drug store. Choosing the right walking cane for you can transform your life.

    Many people have preconceived notions about canes and what they represent. In reality, walking canes have come a long way. Now, walking canes are not only functional, they are also stylish and practical.

    Below are five things that you should know before you start using your new walking cane!

    1. Understand Why You Need A Cane  – There are several reasons why can a cane may be the perfect solution for you. Do you have pain or balance issues when you are walking? Do you find yourself holding on to walls and furniture when maneuvering about? Do you find yourself moving around less than you would like or avoiding outings because of these concerns? If so, you could benefit from using a cane temporarily or on a permanent basis.  
    2. You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Style – Just because you need to start using a cane, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. There are so many options beyond the stainless steel canes at the drug store. Find a cane, or canes!, that you love and you will be happy to use them. You have more than one pair of shoes, why not have a cane wardrobe?
    3. Ensure Your Cane Is Correctly Sized – A cane that hasn’t been sized correctly isn’t going to help you at all. In fact, it could turn you off using a walking cane altogether. To work out the correct size cane for you, put on your walking shoes and allow your arms to hang freely to your side. Now, have a friend or family member measure from your wrist joint to the floor. If you have a measurement which isn’t an exact inch, then round up. That’s the length of the cane you should look to purchase.
    4. Using Your Cane On The Correct Side – Your walking cane should always be used on your “good side”, opposite side  the side with the injury. Take a step with your “bad” leg and bring the cane forward at the same time. Take average size steps and don’t let the cane get too far ahead of you. If you are using the cane for general balance and not for an injury, hold the cane in your dominant hand. See this article for more tips on walking with a cane. 
    5. Use It Or Lose It – Don’t think of your cane as a bad thing. A cane that you like that fits you well will allow you to keep doing everything you want to do. Mobility is so important for your physical and mental health. A cane that sits in the closet doesn’t do you any good

    Check out Ease Living's cane selection here. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about walking canes. We would love to assist you in discovering a walking cane that improves your mobility and adds some style.

    The Ultimate Guide to Walkers and Rollators

    rollators and walkers

    A walker doesn't mean you're old. Mobility aids like walkers and rollators are effective tools that can help people be independent and get around easier and more safely. A rollator walker helps you or a loved one gain independence, allowing them to move around as they need to. You have options for a walker, such as a walker with wheels or a walker with seat. This guide will tell you everything you need to about walkers and rollator walkers.

    How do you know when you need a walker? There are a few indications. If you have trouble bearing weight on your legs, fatigue easily or have issues with balance, a walker might be for you. 

    If you have decided a walker is a good idea, you need to learn how to choose the best walker for you. A rollator, or 4 wheel walker, is a walker with a seat, 4 wheels and hand brakes. They have a seat to rest so are an ideal choice for those who tire easily. They also allow one to move a but faster since there are 4 wheels. A standard walker comes with either 2 front wheels or with no wheels. They do not have a seat or brakes. They allow for a slower pace and fold up smaller for easier transport. Rollators often have a basket under the seat for storage but walkers and bags can be purchased for standard walkers to allow for storage. Think about what you need and want out of your walker and you can figure out which one is the best for you.

    Once you get your new walker, you will need to learn how to use it properly. It all starts with learning how to adjust the height on the walker so that it is the perfect height. To adjust it to the proper height, you should stand with your hand on the hand grips while your shoulders are relaxed. Make sure your elbows are bent about 15 degrees. The top of the walker should line up with the crease on the inside of your wrist.ii If it is too tall or too short, you won’t be comfortable.

    To use the walker, put it in front of you and slide forward in the chair. Lean forward and use the arms of the chair to push yourself into standing. Grasp the handles and step into the walker. Make sure you feel balanced and ready to walk then move the walker about 1 step ahead of you. Don’t push the walker very far in front of you like a shopping cart. It doesn’t offer good support when it is too far from your body.

    If you use a rollator, or 4 wheel walker, make sure to lock the brakes before you sit and when you stand up. Don’t ever use the walker like a wheelchair unless it is designed for that purpose with footrests to keep your feet from dragging.

    Ease Living has curated some of the best walkers available including narrow walkers, rollator transport chair and folding walkers. Click here to see the selection .

    Whatever walker you choose, make sure it is one you like. It will do you no good if it is left behind. Now get out there and live your life with your new walker!.





    Compression Socks: Does mmHg Matter?

    15-20 mmhg compression socks
    Congrats! You’ve decided to take care of your legs and wear compression socks. When shopping you might notice that in addition to different sizes, compression socks also come in different levels of compression indicated by mmHg. What does this mean and does it matter?

    What is mmHg?

    mmHg stands for millimeters of mercury and it is a measurement of pressure. In addition to being used on compression socks, it is also used for blood pressure readings. Common levels for compression socks include; 8-15mmHg, 15-20 mmHg, 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. Compression socks provide graduated compression so mmHg is listed as a range. The higher number in the range is the amount of pressure at the foot while the lower number is the amount at the top of the sock.

    Does it Matter?

    Yes, choosing the right level of compression is important. With the wrong level of compression the socks won’t be as helpful and could even cause harm. Since they work by compressing surface veins to assist with circulation, socks without enough pressure won’t be helpful. Too much compression can completely cut off circulation. Give some thought to which level of mmHg is best for you.

    How to Choose the Best mmHg Level for Me?

    Some simple guidelines. 

    •   8-15 mmHg: These socks provide very light compression. They are           perfect for those who spend a lot of time on their feet or suffer from minor   occasional swelling. See our selection of compression socks with 8-15   mmHg here. 
    •  15-20 mmHg: This is the compression range usually recommended to   prevent blood clots with long distance travel and to prevent swelling during   pregnancy. It is also great for those who suffer from minor swelling and   spend a lot of time on their feet. See our selection of compression socks with 15-20 mmHg here. 
    • 20-30 mmHg: These socks provide more compression and are ideal if you often experience swelling in your lower legs at the end of the day. They can also provide relief from varicose veins and heavier pregnancy related edema. See compression socks with 20-30 mmHg here. 
    • 30-40 mmHg: This level of compression should only be worn when prescribed by your doctor. It is often prescribed for lymphedema, DVT and venous insufficiency.

    Swelling in your legs can be the result of a variety of medical conditions so have a discussion with your physician to understand the cause.

    The good news is you can help your health and comfort with something as simple as compression socks. The better news is you don’t need to sacrifice your style to do it!

     








    Guests that Use a Cane or a Walker? 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home

    5 ways to prepare your home for guests that use a cane or walker

    You’ve bought the food and cleaned the house. What else can you do to make the stay easier for your guests that use a cane or a walker? 5 ideas from an occupational therapist.

    1. Deal with Area Rugs - Falls are a big concern and rugs are a big tripping hazard. Remove all throw and area rugs in areas where the person using the mobility aid will be walking. If that isn’t possible, secure all corners and edges with rug tape or anti slip mats.
    2. Remove Trip Hazards - Those cords that you are used to walking over could really cause problems for someone with limited mobility. Tuck away or tape down cords that could get in the way. Remove clutter like toys and shoes from high traffic areas. The clearer the path, the better.
    3. Make Things Brighter - You can likely easily navigate your home in the dark, but for guests, it isn’t so easy. Install higher watt light bulbs where you can and add extra lighting in shadowy areas.
    4. Make Your Bathroom Safer - Most falls that happen in the home occur in the bathroom.

    Shower/Tub: Remove any throw rugs and make sure to have an anti slip bath or shower mat for exiting the shower. A rubber mat or non stick bath treads are essential in the tub or shower. A shower chair is an inexpensive way to make it easier for someone to take a shower. They are available at medical supply stores and some mass market retailers.  

    Toilet: Do you have an older house with low toilets? These can be hard to get up from for someone with limited mobility. An elevated toilet seat or grab bars can increase safety and independence.

    5. Make It Easy to Get In the House -  A ramp will make it easier to get in and out of the house for someone that has trouble navigating stairs. Portable ramps that can easily be stored aware when not in use are available. It is also possible to rent a ramp in most areas. Search “ramp rental” to find a resource in your area.

    Have a great time hosting your guests and make it less stressful for everyone. To a Safe & Happy Gathering!

     

     

     

     

     

    What Level of Compression (mmHg) Do You Need?

    You’ve decided to take care of yourself and part of that decision is wearing compression socks. Maybe you’re planning a long trip and want some circulation support on the journey. You might want help with swelling or circulation issues. Or maybe you are a busy person and want the comfort and support compression socks provide. Whatever the reason, you’re ready.

    But what is mmHg in compression socks? Aren’t socks just socks if you get the right size? With compression socks, no. The level of compression you choose really does make a difference.

    what mmHg do i need for my compression socks

     

    And don't forget, taking care of yourself doesn't mean sacrificing your style. Shop our curated compression socks for styles you will love that go far beyond boring black, white and beige.