One of the “in vogue” factors of human nature is this: we like our belongings small for portability and storage reasons. Bulky medical equipment is considered more of a nuisance than a help, especially for individuals who have a higher fall risk and wish to reduce the clutter in their living space. So when it comes to canes, why do people wish for them to be smaller than they really are? Most people would agree that a cane doesn’t typically take up a lot of space, and it can be easily moved out of tripping range by simply leaning against the wall or a piece of furniture.
Here are a few reasons why people would pick a folding cane over a standard cane:
1. They’re grandchildren are pests: Many older adults are susceptible to having grandkids and/or pets around the house. Young toddlers and puppies love to play with mysterious “toys” like grandpa’s cane. So, in order to save the hassle of chasing children and animals around the house it is sometimes better to fold it up and store it away for safe keeping. Pets are especially brutal on canes (especially on any rubber or foam material), thus having a folding cane makes it easier to hide from curious teeth.
2. They frequently travel: A cane is a small item in comparison to other ambulation equipment, but it’s still absurdly long enough to not fit in most suitcases or plane compartments. Folding canes provide ease in travel, especially on a tight-spaced plane or bus in which there is very little room for extra personal belongings.
3. They’re reliability on a cane is lower than others: To make a folding cane worth the buy, it would be for an individual who is not constantly up and walking all of the time. That would include two type of people: someone who expects to sit a lot or someone who can walk relatively well without it for short distances (i.e. someone who uses a cane for outdoor use only).
4. They’re cane actually is bulky: Single-point canes without a ton of frills is not going to realistically take up a lot of space. Quad canes or forearm canes are slightly bigger and more of a cause for clutter.
See the following link for available, foldable quad canes online:
- Effortless switching to fit either hands. Simply press the knob release and switch direction. Conveniently folded for carrying and storage.
- Dual side snap design allows the cane to fit comfortably on either the left or the right side.
- Ergonomically designed contoured handle to provide maximum comfort and safety. Offset form handle for easy grip and nice, comfortable touch
- Adjustable Height from 29 Inch to 37 Inch ; Fit 1/2 inch shaft cane tip
- Come with cane strap to easy carrying, Holds up to 250lbs. Please note: Authorized seller: Amazon, Comfytopia, Chang Enterprise.
5. They have more than one cane: It is common practice for elderly individuals to keep more than one cane in the house, specifically individuals who tend to forget to bring their cane with them as they walk from room to room. For clutter purposes, folding canes are convenient to store away in an accessible spot in each room.
6. They have a different fashion or stigma sense: Some older adults can feel self-conscious about using a cane. They feel that a cane ages them and reflects their age-related weaknesses. So instead of showing off a cane to the world 24/7, a folding cane gives them an option to store it out of sight when they don’t need it.
Now here is the real question: when a manufacturer cuts a cane in half for the sake of folding, is the cane actually safe for use? Or, due to the fold, is the integrity of the entire cane compromised? Below is two folding canes that can be located on Amazon.com.
Each one is followed up with a description, pros, and cons in order to better ascertain if folding canes in general are a safe option:
- ★ FOLDABLE WALKING CANE WITH LIGHT & TRAVEL BAG (Batteries Included) Versatile easily folded for convenient storage and extended to locking position. Height adjustments from 34 inch to 39 inches. Easily folds into four sections and can be conveniently stored for travel and convenience. The cane folds into four sections, meaning you can store it in your bag when you’re not using it or when you travel. Adjustable 6 white bright LED lights so you can choose where is should shine
- ★ EASY & PRACTICAL FOR EVERYDAY USE (Travel Bag Included) Provides maximum safety and endurance while remaining lightweight. Ergonomically-designed grip handle together provide the user with maximum safety and comfort while exhibiting high quality and sustainability. Soft foam grip handle with pivoting head light with 6 built-in white LED lights to light up the way. Folding cane Stands up on its own
- ★ IMPORTANT: MEASURE LENGTH 34" to 39" SLIP RESISTANT Anti-marking rubber tip prevents falls and keeps you safe. The pivoting quadruple treaded base provides better traction and supports your full weight while giving you the flexibility to walk, run and turn easily. The sturdy wristband can prevent slip-and-fall accidents when used, and provide convenience when folded and stored. With a 250 pound weight capacity, this sturdy cane will support you throughout your daily life
- ★ GREAT FOR USE ON THE GO On the go solutions. Folds easily for storage or travel and has a convenient wrist strap. Unisex item for the elderly men or women and fits inside of luggage, backpacks, trunks etc. Comfortable foam grip handle for those who suffer from arthritis. Care should be taken when using the walking stick on wet floors, tiles and other slippery surfaces. Extra wide Quad base for self-balancing and extra sturdiness 4 safety grips
- ★ PORTABLE AND ADJUSTABLE CANE The 6 LED lamps (Batteries Included) directly point forward 20 meters and adjust to different illumination angles. Folding design makes it the most portable cane on the market. LIFETIME WARRANTY: We stand behind this product with excellent customer service and a lifetime guarantee Don’t miss out! Click the “Add to Cart” button now and get ready to make life easier
This folding semi-quad cane has multiple folding mechanisms in the middle of the rod and comes with a grip-friendly handle with an LED light.
Pros: The cane has a 250 lbs weight capacity, and comes with an arthritic-friendly foam handle with an LED light for night use. The rubber corking at the bottom is a semi-quad style which provides more sturdiness for standing balance. Multiple folding mechanisms allows for more compact storage capability for ease of travel. The cane is very light, weighing in at just over a pound. Lastly, the cane comes with a height-adjustable feature.
Cons: The 250 lbs weight capacity limitation means that the cane is not really meant for an obese individual. Multiple folding mechanisms also increases the chance of the cane buckling, especially if each mechanism is not securely locked before use. Changing out batteries on the light and fixing the folding mechanisms in place isn’t exactly arthritic-friendly.
- Beautiful Designer Folding Cane With 3 Styles, Beige Floral, Blue Cyclone, and Blue Ice
- An Easy to Grip, Sturdy, and Adjustable Cane With a Wooden Derby Grip, Rubber Tips, and Has 4 Folding Points, Adjusting From 33 Inches to 37 Inches in 1 Inch Increments
- MADE OF STRONG AND LIGHTWEIGHT ANODIZED ALUMINUM so it's easy to carry at only 9.6 Ounces and supports up to 250 pounds with a 3 quarter inch tip
- INCLUDES FOLDING CANE CARRYING CASE making it easy to travel and store, sized at 6 inches by 13 inches
- WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE: Amazon Exclusive Limited warranty may apply. Please see product for additional details. we can only guarantee the quality of this product when sold through Amazon.com or Brazos Walking Sticks
The Duro-Med cane is very similar to the Travel Adjustable, but is missing the foam handle feature and the LED light.
Pros: This cane is even more light-weight and has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. It folds at 3 points and has a 4-point height-adjustable feature.
Cons: The wooden handle isn’t necessary arthritic-friendly, but shouldn’t be a problem for people who don’t need the adaptation. Once again, 250 lbs still limits use for obese individuals. The single-cork is appropriate for people with decent balance, but it won’t be enough for those who would better benefit from a quad-cane feature.
Conclusion regarding foldable walking canes: They are a safe ambulation option if used correctly. As far as Amazon.com goes, foldable walking canes are generally the same with two exceptions: the quad versus single-point feature and the LED light option. Other than that, there really are no differences. Safety becomes a concern when: there is an arthritic impairment, there is visual impairment, and there is poor body mechanics.