Walking Sticks help prevent falls and are the safest way to avoid serious injury from falls. Unfortunately many people - who normally use a walking stick - fall when they don't take their stick with them. The IQ Stick's modern and unique design encourages the user to keep it with them at all times, reducing the risk of injury from falls.
The IQ Stick is different from other walking sticks:
Extremely strong, yet lightweight, with a design feature that allows it to stand-alone without the need for careful placement.
Heavy, cumbersome walking sticks can become tripping hazards;for example, quad sticks can be hazardous on uneven terrain and slopes, whereas the IQ Stick is also safe to use on open style stairs.
Retrieving a fallen-over walking stick is a significant fall risk. Should your IQ Stick fall over, it's possible to retrieve it without compromising your balance by having to bend over.
Our mission: to design a product that is user friendly and a safer alternative to traditional style walking sticks, making the IQ Stick less cumbersome than current self-standing designs.
The shaft is made from incredibly strong, yet extremely lightweight carbon fibre.
With most of the weight in the base, the IQ Stick has a very low centre of gravity that allows it to recover from minor knocks.
If the IQ Stick does topple over, it can be retrieved easily by tapping the base with your foot to return it to an upright position.
The IQ Stick can be height and weight adjusted to suit the needs of the user. For example, a person 180 centimetres tall (5 foot 9 inches), would need to use all of the spacers provided. (Go to the 'Adjust your IQ Stick' video on the home page.)
The handle glows in the dark, making the IQ Stick easy to locate during the night.
The IQ Stick does not need to be stored away and can always remain by your side. It is ideal to use for short trips within the home.
* Easy and safe to use
* Ergonomic design
* Glow-in-the-dark feature
* Freedom - for a more active lifestyle
IQ Stick not just for the elderly
This is a gallery page showcasing a video on how to walk with your IQ Stick, plus a Prime 7 news feature.
IQ Stick not just for the elderly
This video demonstrates how a Coffs Harbour resident showcases her IQ Stick, which gives her support and confidence.
IQ Stick featured on Prime 7
Falls can be prevented:
Falls are not inevitable and many older people can be prevented from falling. Some risk factors for falls are relatively easy to change and, where falls occur, the severity of injuries can be reduced. The first step: if a person is feeling unsteady or has a fall - even one that does not cause injury - make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.
Exercise to improve your balance, strength and flexibility: home or group exercise programs, Tai Chi and armchair Pilates are good examples.
Wear shoes that are comfortable and fit well. They should be wide enough in the toe area, have low or no heels, and have slip-resistant soles.
Regular eye and ear examinations are important as eye disease and inner ear problems can increase the risk of falling.
Our blood pressure control on changing position (e.g. standing up) becomes less effective and may cause us to feel unsteady or even dizzy. Avoid rapidly moving from a sitting or lying position, take your time, and if you experience dizziness, stop and adjust your posture before moving again.
Be aware that some medications (including blood pressure tablets) can make you feel dizzy - if in doubt, check with your doctor.
If you rely on a walking stick for balance - use it. We cannot emphasise this enough. The IQ Stick is ideal for short trips, for example, to make a cup of tea or for a bathroom break.
Walking Aids Help Elderly Avoid Falls
Physiological changes associated with normal ageing reduce balance, increase reflex times and thus, increase the risk of falling.
Specifically, we rely on our vision, sensation from the feet and legs, the inner ear and processing of all these inputs by our brain.
Even in healthy old age, all of these systems show physiological decline, putting us more at risk.
Additionally, without regular exercise or training, we lose muscle strength with normal ageing and our blood pressure control on changing position (e.g. standing up) becomes less effective and may cause us to feel unsteady or even dizzy.
Chronic problems, such as osteoarthritis, eye disease and inner ear problems are also often present and increase the risk of falling.
Acute problems, such as infection, heart rhythm disturbances and drug problems, can also present as a fall or loss of consciousness. Thus falls may be caused by a single factor, but much more commonly by a combination of environmental, physiological and pathological factors in the elderly person.
Walking aids are of great benefit to prevent trips and falls
Walking aids can assist older people to maintain balance and minimise the risk of falling and you may want to consider some of these for your elderly parent or relative in and out of the home:
A bathroom can be a particularly hazardous environment for elderly people if the proper precautions are not taken. A combination of wet floors and reduced visibility caused by steam can lead to trips and falls. However, there are now many types of grab rail designed to give people the support exactly where they need it. Grab rails can either be attached permanently to walls or clipped onto the sides of baths for extra convenience. A padded rail will provide users with sensitive hands, safe and sturdy assistance whilst getting in and out of the bath.
A simple walking stick can often mean the difference between getting out and about or being confined to the home. A walking stick should be carefully selected to make sure it meets your parent’s specific needs. If the stick is required to bear weight, a carbon-fibre or aluminium model may be the most appropriate.
Many users complain that heavy, cumbersome walking sticks can become tripping hazards; are difficult to manoeuvre, and considered 'inconvenient' and 'too much hassle'. Quad sticks are dangerous and difficult to manoeuvre with a person's natural gait. The IQ Stick can be with you at all times, especially for short trips to the kitchen and bathroom.
A walking frame: many people suffering with immobility are advised to stay as active as possible, and a well-made frame will allow them to do just that. Chose a lightweight frame for manoeuvrability and you can get padded arthritic accessories to make walking more comfortable. Some models come fitted with castor wheels and brakes for added control.
Source: condensed from myagingparent.com published 5 June 2014
Guide to using a walking stick
Grip: make sure it feels solid and manageable, not slippery or too big - the IQ Stick comes with a removable soft cover.
Shaft: the long part of the stick – height adjustable on the IQ Stick.
Base: the tip or bottom of a walking stick is often covered in rubber to provide better stability – the IQ Stick’s base contains removable metal plates for improved stability and stands unsupported.
Check the length: to select the proper length for a walking stick, stand up straight with your shoes on and arms at your sides. The top of the stick should reach the crease on the underside of your wrist. If the stick is a proper fit, your elbow will be flexed 15-20 degrees when you hold the stick (while standing).
If your stick is too small, you'll need to bend over in order to reach it. If your stick is too big, you'll need to lean over onto your (injured) side in order to use it. A perfectly adjusted IQ Stick will keep you upright whilst providing support.
Hold the stick using the hand that's on the same side as your good leg. If your left leg is hurt, you should be holding the stick in your right hand. If your right leg is hurt, hold the stick in your left hand. (We stride with our feet and swing our hands at the same time. When we stride with our left foot, we swing with our right hand; when we stride with our right foot, we swing with our left hand. Handling a stick in the opposite hand to our injury replicates this natural arm movement, giving your hand an opportunity to absorb some of your weight while you walk.)
If you're using a walking stick for better balance, consider putting it in your non-dominant hand so that you can continue to use your dominant hand for everyday tasks.
Start walking. When you step forward on your bad leg, move the stick forward at the same time and put your weight on them together, allowing the stick to absorb more strain than the leg. Don't use the stick to step with your good leg. As you become accustomed to the stick, it will ideally feel like a natural extension of yourself.
To walk upstairs with a stick, put your hand on the banister (if available) and place your stick in the other hand. Take the first step with your strong leg and then bring the injured leg up to the same step. Repeat. The IQ Stick has a stair guard, making it safe to use on open style stairs.
To walk downstairs with a stick, put your hand on the banister (if available) and place your stick in the other hand. Take the first step with the injured leg and the stick at the same time and then bring down your strong leg. Repeat.
Click on this quick guide to see the correct height for your walking stick.
Rulers of many cultures, past and present, have carried some form of walking stick or staff. These were often topped by an ornamental knob in the shape of a lotus, a symbol of long life. Ancient Greek gods were often depicted with a staff in hand.
In the 17th century walking sticks were an important addition to a gentleman’s wardrobe. A cane was an ornament that represented the status and wealth of the carrier. A distinguished gentleman had more than one walking stick.
These elegant statements could be hand-carved out of wood, bamboo, ebony, ivory and bone. Sometimes they were designed using porcelain, Bakelite, gold, silver and glass or sprinkled with precious gemstones. Many of the materials used in canes, particularly the gemstones and animal bones, were selected because they were thought to give the finished object magical properties.
Historical figures and fictional characters have used walking canes, from Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi to Fred Astaire and James Bond.