Do canes and walkers prevent falls in the elderly?

Not always.

Although when used correctly they can help maintain mobility, MedPage Today reports a study showing that they are associated with an increase in falls when used improperly.

According to the study, it’s “estimated that 47,312 fall injuries associated with walking aids are treated each year among older Americans.”

And worse, falls associated with canes and walkers resulted in more severe injuries, with a third of these cases requiring hospitalization.

The moral of the story is that those who require these walking devices may need to be initially supervised by physical and occupational therapy to ensure their safety.