Consider the offset cane. Long before there were mobility aids like scooters, electric powered wheelchairs, walkers, rollator, and even racing-quality handcycles for paraplegic athletes, the simple walking cane was the only walking aid or mobility device for people with arthritis or other limited mobility issues due to age or infirmity. Today people who need a little help getting around have a multitude of choices, but the humble walking cane is still the first choice for most people.
Today’s offset canes represent some the best mobility that modern design technology offers. Unlike the straight cane with a hooked handle –the traditional icon of limited mobility– the offset cane features a redesigned shaft that puts the hand grip slightly out of line with the handle. This offset grip provides more downward stability, better support, and less hand and arm strain than the traditional wooden cane.
Another benefit of these newer offset models is that they are usually made from a tubular metal such as steel or aluminum which is stronger as well as lighter than the old ash or hickory shafts of the past. Offset canes are often height-adjustable, and may be found in a multiplicity of colors and finishes if the user wants to inject a little more fashion into their life*. If arthritis pain or limited knee movement has restricted someone’s ability to walk with their former gait, these modern canes may be the ticket toward better mobility.
*Author’s note: I was frankly startled by the sheer number of different color and styles available. Nonetheless, I will take basic glossy black over fuchsia any day… but that’s just me.