July 08, 2021 2 min read
We are all familiar with elderly being embarrassed to use walking canes, and insist on using umbrellas as a walking aid. If we don't know well enough, we may just agree with them that umbrellas are sufficient as a walking support. However, that is not the case! Read on to find out the various reasons why you should choose a proper walking stick over umbrellas!
1. Not Sturdy
Umbrellas are designed to protect the user from the elements (sun and rain) and are not designed to withstand the weight of a person. If too much force is exerted on the umbrella when using it as a walking aid, it will bend or break and eventually lead to a fall.
At the same time, if the umbrella used does not have a nice and sturdy anti-slip rubber tip, the umbrella will tend to slip and be ineffective in providing the user with support.
2. No Height Customisation
Umbrellas come in a fixed standard height and are not height-adjustable. This means that you are unable to customise the height to achieve optimal comfort on the wrist and arms of the user. If the height of walking cane is not suited for the user, using it every day can lead to straining of the wrist and shoulder.
3. What if it rains?
Of course we have heard these sayings from elderly persons who use umbrellas as walking canes: "Umbrellas are more useful- when it rains, I can use the umbrella to shelter myself from the rain!"
But give it a good thought, if they use the umbrella as shelter from the rain, then they will no longer have any form of walking aid to help them get into a dry area safely. As floors get slippery from the rain, this further increases their risk of falling and they should definitely have a proper walking aid for support.
Use these points above to gently convince your loved ones on why we should not use umbrellas as walking aids. Using a walking cane allows you to be safe and independent so you can enjoy your golden years.
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July 19, 2019
Thanks for this article. We’ve been trying to tell our family member that but she’s not receptive. I think it’s largely due to the fact that she’s seen holding an umbrella and not a walking stick. The latter makes a person look old / disabled.