2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Walking Cane: Creative Innovations



Walking is healthy. We take it for granted and do not consider the inherent benefit that it provides of mobility and independence. However as we age, we may require extra support to walk and to stabilize our steps from one point to another. A cane is the simple solution and until recently has been just a classic candy cane form with the choice of material and color as the only option in design. But fortunately new designs are now on the market that provide more possibilities for a mobile life.


An important feature of a contemporary cane is its design to standalone. With this function, there are no worries about the cane falling down, sliding off chair backs, or forgetting where you put it. A good example is Tru-Motion Sur-Step because it has a stable standalone function and a padded flat foot base that provides traction. Designed by a team of engineers and physical therapists, it provides security and convenience for the user.


For travel, there are many companies who manufacture the cane that folds in three sections. Although most are constructed as a classic cane, there are some which have a base for the standalone function. The Hurrycane is designed for free standing and pivoting on its base as well.


Although the StrongArm Walking Cane cannot stand alone, it does offer an important support benefit for people who need extra support. It is designed with a curve on its upper part to support the arm in a brace like effect. This design offers extra help for those with balance concerns and who could not easily lift themselves up to reach for a standard cane.


The stiff straight cane has been an important tool for the blind as they extend it outward to avoid any physical elements that might impede their walking. Now there is the SmartCane and the more expensive UltraCane that have been designed with ultra sound technology to help mobilize blind people. “As people move the cane from left to right when they walk, vibrations detected on one side mean they should move towards the other" says Balakrishnan who heads the team behind the "SmartCaneTM..


Enter the home walking cane design revolution.


Italian-Singaporean designers Lanzavecchia + Wai have designed a beautiful and functional collection of canes for the elderly that are styled with home domestic function. Together Canes - T-Cane, U-Cane and I-Cane – are all for home living and not just mobility because they serve multiple functions. They are part of a series called No Country For Old Men. Each piece is designed as a support cane and also as a carrier of something: a tray, a basket, a smartphone platform.


Our physical independence is tied to our emotional well being. Fortunately there are more products on the market than ever before that can offer mobility support that are tailored to our needs. It is not unusual for someone to have multiple canes; one for outside walks, one for traveling and one or more of the new fabulous domestic style canes from Lanzavecchia + Wai. While we are all aging, we can appreciate the choices now in choosing canes that will support our bodies safely and make our lives so much more comfortable.