Learning to Use Crutches the Right Way
Anyone who has been advised to use crutches needs to really take the time to learn how to properly utilize them. It’s not just because you would be relying on it on a daily basis. For one, there is the matter of safety. Whether you are senior who has to use crutches due to injury or any other physical disability, any improper or unsecure use of crutches could put you at a higher risk of getting into an accident, which could aggravate your condition further.
A fundamental part of using crutches properly hinge on positioning. The top portion of the crutches should always be situated an inch or two below your armpits if you are standing at your fullest height, and the handgrips should be level with the top of your hips. Make sure that your crutches are adjusted to the height that you are comfortable with. Your hand should grasp the handgrips firmly for optimal control, with your elbows bent slightly. Don’t put your whole weight on your armpit area; instead, it should rest primarily on your hands.
How to Walk and Sit
Always make sure to place your weight on the crutches (via the handgrips) instead of your feet. Try to lean forward slightly every time you take a step, always moving the crutches first in front of you. Once hold and balance is secure, you may now swing your entire frame forward and use your good leg and foot to step normally.
With every step, always make sure that your uninjured foot is resting on the ground. Try to not pay too much attention on your feet with every step; rather, be more mindful of where you place your crutches and what’s directly in front of you.
As for sitting, position yourself to a chair that you are sure would be able to support your weight. Place your bad foot directly in front of you while you are holding both crutches in one hand. Carefully lower your entire body into the chair. As much as possible place your crutches nearby and in such a way that they won’t slide or fall to the floor.
How to Climb Up and Down Stairs
Be advised that using the stairs with crutches would require a certain amount of flexibility and strength. This is why it’s always best to have someone assist you as you ascend or descend the steps. Make good use of handrails if they are available. Always use your good foot as a lead, and the injured one should always be raised. Try to ask for help when going down, as given your age, it could be hard to hop down each step, which is the standard way of doing. It’s also for this reason why it’s not advisable to climb stairs without handrails.