Canes or Walking Sticks?
Bonnie Whyte, one of the extremely active volunteers with the Aging in Community efforts in Reston, VA recently returned from a trip to Switzerland. She reported that EVERYONE seemed to be using two walking sticks (one in each hand) when hiking on walking around the villages regardless of their age. It makes sense for safety, stability and lower stress on our joints and bodies. It eliminated the stigma of having a “cane”.
I interview so many elders who seem to be ashamed that they use a cane or a walker. Many times avoiding them at all costs and having a more severe fall. In our culture these devices can be viewed as a “weakness” as opposed to tools that enable us to better connect with purpose and get exercise.
I know it might not be realistic, but if we used devices for stability and mobility through our lifespan (as in the European villages) it might just help us all of in the long run to leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
P.S. – this post was also a good excuse to share this great photo with everyone!