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Avoid Cane and Walker Injuries
The CDC reports that each year, 1 in 3 adults ages 65 and older falls.
Walking aids often can help older adults stay mobile, but it's crucial to use them safely. These suggestions can help you do just that.
Canes offer you balance and support, and when used properly they may help you avoid a fall. Canes can help if you have arthritis of the knees or hips, a balance disorder, or an injury to your foot or leg.
To make sure your cane is the right length, wear normal shoes, stand, and hold your arm with a bend of about 25 degrees in your elbow. Have someone measure the distance from the floor to your wrist. Adjust your cane to match.
To safely use a cane:
Hold it in the hand opposite the injured or weak part of your body.
Put all your weight on your "better" leg, then move the cane and your weaker leg forward by a length you find comfortable.
With the cane and your bad leg supporting your weight, step forward with your good leg.
Always plant your cane securely on the ground before you take a step.
Walkers provide more support than canes. They're helpful for people with hip or knee arthritis, moderate to severe balance problems, or general weakness of the hips and legs.
To fit a walker properly, wear normal shoes, stand, and hold your arm with a bend of about 25 degrees in your elbow. Have someone measure the distance from the floor to your wrist. Adjust the walker to fit this distance.
To safely use a walker:
Roll the walker ahead of you by the length of one step if it has wheels. If it doesn't, place it firmly on the ground.
Lean slightly forward while holding the handles of the walker for support. Then take a step.
Repeat the process.
Don't take the stairs or an escalator when you're using a walker. Use an elevator instead.
Take your time when using a cane or walker. With practice you can learn to use them safely and avoid injury.
We've been perfecting our trauma system for more than 15 years, in partnership with the State of Florida Department of Health, the Broward County Trauma Management Agency, Fire Rescue/EMS agencies and the Medical Examiner.
National studies demonstrate that trauma care is optimized by providing few high-volume centers, rather than multiple low-volume centers. Treating over 2,200 patients annually ensures our patients that we have the skills and experience necessary to save lives on a moments notice.
Once the call is made to 9-1-1, the life-sustaining connection has been established. Emergency Medical Services respond to the injured patient’s side with skilled paramedics who deliver the first critical minutes of care at the scene and on the way to the hospital. The paramedics “triage” the patient to the closest appropriate facility in the area. In Broward County, trauma service/catchment areas were established by the Broward County Trauma Management Agency to ensure all injured patients are transported to the appropriate Trauma Centers in the shortest period of time.
By rescue vehicles or by helicopter, trauma patients are brought to us from our catchment area which extends North from Griffin Road to south of Cypress Creek and the east, Atlantic Ocean to the west, Collier County line for Adult patients. In addition our Pediatric catchment area extends north to the Palm Beach County Line.
But, no matter where trauma victims live – or where their injuries occur – they have immediate access to exceptional medical care at Broward Health Medical Center. We are also a major center for referrals and inter-hospital trauma-related transfers both to local hospitals as well as internationally.
Click here for more information about the Emergency Department at Broward Health Medical Center.