Using a Walker

3 Fun Ways to Spruce up a Walker or Cane
Old hand

Many an older adult who needs to use a walker or cane resists doing so. Partly the objection has to do with the medical look of the devices themselves.

Don't fight it; work with it! Try these three ideas for jazzing up a walker or cane:

1. Dignify it.

Instead of a clinical-looking aluminum cane, invest in a sturdy, attractive wooden model. Look at antique stores or search online. Older men, especially, may find these dapper and be far more apt to use them. You could even start a collection.

2. Make it more useful.

Attach a bicycle basket to the front of a walker. A vintage-looking wicker basket is a stylish and handy way to transport things. A canvas apron or tool belt with lots of pouches in front is another unusual walker add-on that feels less institutional.

3. Don't hide it -- exaggerate it.

Jazz the device up with simple decorations that follow the seasons. Wrap silver or gold garlands around the base for year-end holidays. Add birthday or seasonal wrapping paper. Spray-paint it. Hang photographs of grandchildren to the front of a walker. A crafty older person might like to do this himself or herself (or with you). The real beauty of this idea is that the devices become a conversation starter, and cheerful interactions with others are often just what the doctor ordered.


over 2 years ago, said...

I am 67 and have been putting off usiing my walker by either furniture walking or using my husband for support. I am absolutely elated with the idea of causing attention to myself in a fun way. Thanks for the great idea and now I can concentrate on jazzing it up in some way. I like the pink and purple idea for starters.


over 3 years ago, said...

My mom is now able to walk with a cane instead of a walker. Although, she doesn't quite understand how to use the cane to help her balance herself when she walks. I liked the ideas on how to spruce up a cane/walker in your article. Thank you!


over 3 years ago, said...

There are canes available with flowers or with Aboriginal dot paintings. You can cover the cane or the frame of the walker with patterned contact paper, or paint it and finish it iff with a good waterproof varnish.


over 3 years ago, said...

paint it orange and blue....and put "I love the Bronco's" onit..... that's a winner


over 3 years ago, said...

I have recently been advised to use a walker. My grandson is full of ideas for it. My aunt has one also and the grandson thinks he should jazz up both walkers and take us shopping. He is 15 years old and I am proud of him and his love for older folks.


about 4 years ago, said...

My father used a golf club as a cane even before he needed a "standard cane". He used it as a companion to his very early daily walk as a weapon against potential ferocious pit bulls and/or assailants. For him it was a symbol of empowerment and still is ! Even though he now physically needs it, he feels "he" can protect himself as well ! He is now glorious 82 ! Best not to approach him with bad intentions.


over 4 years ago, said...

Well, I thought there were going to be some hints on how to USE the cane..I have an awesome gnarly wooden one but like when I used to try to use a thimble (I would use another finger like the thimbled finger was hurt) I have the cane but end up holding it or maybe dragging it....I need to know how to use it FOR me.....


over 4 years ago, said...

I am a muslim. My prophet, mohammad has said that it is advisable to use a cane after your 50. Today when I studied this article I found out the reason behind that idea. It may refer to the fact that when one accepts extra help before being in real need, he or she will surely accept it in real need more openly without the notion of disability


over 4 years ago, said...

The jazzing-up bit.


over 4 years ago, said...

My Mother-in-law (89) refused to use a walker. Then she over balanced while straightening the carpet, cracked her hip & could not get up. No one found her for several hours. She spent several weeks in hospital & it was touch & go that she would ever walk again. She worked hard and got on her feet & now she uses a walker all the time.


over 4 years ago, said...

Never would have thought of it!


over 4 years ago, said...

This is what I have been saying for 23 years at my store. Some of my clients desire basic black while others love the opportunity to match their personality or get their favorite color. I'm close to 50 and have had to use a cane a few times. Fashion is the thing and whatever makes the user want to use the support for added independence and security is the right way to go regardless of age.


over 4 years ago, said...

I use a modern metal cane with a pink & purple design. What is most important is that it can "break" & then fold into 3 pieces which is really useful for travelling or to put into a bag or scooter basket. Also I use the cane to hook down things from high shelves - it is especially good in the supermarket. As I live on the side of a hill I have 5 walkers at home (you can get them econd hand) - one for the front bottom garden, one on each level of the house and one for the top garden they are so useful for carrying things ranging from a cup of tea or coffee, laundry, dishes, granchildren, to trowels & plants outside


over 4 years ago, said...

All the clever decorating ideas and even the practical, useful ones help to free hands for using walker properly, instead of carrying items in one hand-safer.


over 4 years ago, said...

I like the idea of making a necessity into an avenue for creativity.


over 4 years ago, said...

I'm 82 and I sometimes need my walker and sometimes I don't, but I find if I take it down to my mailbox and fill the under seat basket with my mail, I don't have to worry about dropping the mail on my wet, or just dirty driveway! Can't do that if I use a cane!


over 4 years ago, said...

I use a cane and sometimes a walker! These are some great ideas! I always hated the idea of a cane or walker, but I'll definantly try these ideas! I'm only 63 and very accident prone, so I find I use my cane and walker more often than i wish to! Thanks for the Ideas!


over 4 years ago, said...

This is the best article you've had in a long time. I wish you had published it years ago when my mother-in-law first needed a walker (and refused to use one). She died recently at age 96, still resisting the use of the walker.


over 4 years ago, said...

Each day I get closer and closer to having to use a walker or cane. When the day finally gets here I will try some if not all of your suggestions.


over 4 years ago, said...

The idea of making this health aid fashionable is a simple helpful idea. I especially like the idea of pictures. My mom is into genealogy and I think she will find decorating her walker to reflect that will be interesting to her.