By Vyctoria HartIf you have mobility issues, a walking stick or crutches can be invaluable. But if your issues are intermittent you might not qualify to receive one as part of your health care plan. Even if you do, there are lots of reasons why you might not want to use the usual institutional grey products. For those who only use mobility aids occasionally it can be tempting to leave a item you don't like at home and try to struggle through without. Often the result is either you cut the event short
|Silver Diamante Cane from glamsticks.co.uk|
In the past the options for purchasable canes were relatively limited, with most being wooden and either of the farmer or wizard variety. In the last decade or so the market has expanded to include floral patterned enameled canes, but they aren't to everyone's taste.
The good news is that thanks to the internet there are now alternatives to suit a much wider
range of users. Do you love animal prints? Get a zebra print crutch. Do you like to glitter and sparkle? There are diamante encrusted canes out there. Do your accessories always match, or do you need to be easily visible in a smoggy city? You can get anything from a soft subtle teal to a dayglo orange. Now these won't be for everyone, and if your disability is temporary the initial expense may not be worth it for a few weeks use. However I've had my cane for 6 years now, which works out at £5 ($8 USD) a year for greater mobility when I need it and there's still several years of life left in it.
|Pink Crutches from pimpmobility.co.uk|
When you choose your first cane there are some things you'll
want to take into account. Don't automatically choose the design you like most, take time to consider if it's the one you'll make the most use from. You might think the UV yellow cane covered in smiley faces is awesome, but does it suit your job as a funeral director? If most of your wardrobe is green, a red cane might make you look like a Christmas elf. However f you only need a cane for certain situations it might be be fine to choose a more dramatic piece- if you only need additional support at conventions then a Superman crutch might be perfect.
|Hot Pink Polka Dot Cane from SwitchSticks|
Whilst I work as a steampunk artist, most of my wardrobe is still the traditional goth black/red/purple. As such I choose a pink and black cane, as it works equally well for concerts, every day and formal events.
|Space Age crutches from smartcrutch.co.uk|
Do take into account courtesy and local laws when choosing the color of you cane. For example, if you're intending to buy a fancy cane to compliment a white wedding dress, please remember that in many places white canes (also red&white) are limited to the visually impaired.