Primary care physicians often see older adults using gait aids during office visits. Gait aids can provide increased independence with functional mobility but, if used incorrectly, can lead to injury. Unfortunately, gait aids are often purchased without professional advice. Gait aid prescription requires consideration of multiple factors. This article outlines general tips primary care physicians can use to help decide which gait aid might be most appropriate for a patient. Primary care physicians should examine an older patient’s gait aid as physical mobility needs change, and consider referring the patient to a physiotherapist for a complete assessment and gait training.
Key words: gait aid, cane, walker, older adults, ambulation.
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