Intentions of older homebound women about maintaining proximity to a cane or walker and using it at home

Eileen J. Porter, Sandy Matsuda, Jacquelyn J. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Older persons are typically classified as "users" or "nonusers" of walking devices. Little is known about their experience of maintaining proximity to the walking device or the consistency with which they use it. The authors addressed those gaps in this longitudinal, phenomenological study with 40 women (aged 85-98). With regard to maintaining proximity to the device, the experience was structured by "keeping track of my cane," "keeping the cane handy," "transitioning between keeping track of the cane and keeping it handy," and "keeping the walker handy so I can use it." Despite stated intentions to the contrary, few women consistently walked with a device. The experience was characterized by "walking with it unless... " and "judging whether I need it to walk in this situation." Rather than assuming that clients use a cane or walker consistently, practitioners should explore intentions to maintain proximity to it and individualize interventions accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-504
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • assistive devices
  • older women
  • walking devices

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