Canes: By Barbara Rives

Canes: By Barbara Rives

Walking canes are a hazard in a retirement community because they function as close to a trip wire as is possible when they find their way to the floor. Unfortunately, finding their way to the floor is what walking canes are all about.

Because of this, I feel justified in refusing to try one to ease my back pain. My friends who depend on them have tried to seduce me with images of an aging Katherine Hepburn dressed to ride to the hounds and leaning on a gold tipped cane. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen one of our cane bearing residents who reminded me in any way of Katherine Hepburn. This prop is more flattering to men than to women. I have to admit that old guys look downright sexy in a Sherlock Holmes-ey kind of way if they are dressed in a tux and sporting a lion’s head cane. The problem is that, in eleven years, I have only witnessed one resident wearing a tux while leaning on a cane.

All of this rationalizing is leading up to my declaration that I plan to skip the cane stage and proceed right to a walker. A friend recently showed me the required technique for using a cane. It seems that you step forward with your right foot while firmly planting your cane ahead of you on your left. Since I always had trouble with pledging allegiance, this did not come naturally to me. That problem, plus fearing to look like the dreaded crone of fairy tale fame, has led me to investigate walkers.

The author, Mrs. Barbara Rives, has been a Member of Park Springs, Atlanta’s premier retirement community, since 2004.


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