Assessment of canes used by older adults in senior living communities

Hao (Howe) Liu, Joshua Eaves, Wen Wang, Jill Womack, Paige Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to provide basic but essential information about how older cane users obtain their canes and how they use these canes for their daily mobility, since there is still lack of information on these areas. Ninety-three older (≥65 years old) subjects who use canes for daily activities were recruited from four assisted living facilities and five retirement centers for this cross-sectional study. The assessment involved interviewing cane users with a questionnaire, examining their canes, and investigating how these canes were used by their owners during ambulation. The commonly used canes are (from most to least): adjustable single-tip, un-adjustable (wooden), small quad, and large quad. Five major problems from data analysis were identified: lack of medical consultation for device selection/use, incorrect cane height/maintenance, placement of cane in improper hand, inability to maintain the proper reciprocal gait pattern, and improper posture during ambulation. Only forward-leaning posture during ambulation might be associated with increased falls among the older cane users. Knowledge of these problems could assist health professionals to implement appropriate interventions in clinical settings and to provide community service to address all problems related to cane use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Ambulatory device
  • Balance of aged
  • Falls of elderly
  • Gait


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