When I started exploring the option to use walking canes to avoid going tip tip boom I knew I wanted to find ones to suit my personality. No CVS stuff here people! I admit I was a bit enamored by Selma Blair and her appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party. She looked stunning and poised and fashionable. Her cane was exquisite. Babes with mobility aids baby! I started looking on the web for “fashionable canes” and I found just that. A website called Fashionable Canes that served every type of cane you may fancy and even better they were affordable ranging anywhere from $25-$80 for a very nice cane. You can opt for the even fancier option of a sterling silver- or gold-plated handle and those bad boys can run you around $150-$300. I found a collection of a few I fell in love with ranging from $30-$45 max. Not bad when you can’t make up your mind between 3 different canes. At that price feel free to get all 3! MS sucks so we are allowed to buy ourselves nice things, right?
Why should we sacrifice fashion because of needing a mobility aid? Mobility aids, canes, rollators etc are just like needing eye glasses. They are a tool that is used to allow you to better a body function. When we walk into an optometrist office they don’t have just a few choices for frames do they? No way! There are typically 3 or 4 walls full of fashionable frames, designer, generic and with a variety of price ranges. Canes or other mobility aids should be considered the same in the respect that options are offered to fit the individual and their personal taste and style. This isn’t as easy as it seems but luckily there are plenty of awesome websites and companies out there who also believe in this theory.
www.fashionablecanes.com was the first company I discovered.
Another great company I found was www.elderluxe.com
One thing I did notice within these companies were the fact that all the models sporting the products were elderly folks. This again is the stigma that is associated with mobility aids is that you have to have an AARP card and partake in the early bird special at Denny’s so they honor your senior discount. I kept looking and really wanted to see a younger man or woman sporting a cane or other mobility aid. #babeswithmobilityaids
We have become so accustom to categorizing objects to match the stigma it’s associated with. It’s so easy to do this right?
We can play a matching game to prove this theory.
Match the following object with the person best associated with them.
APPLE POLICE OFFICER
DONUT FITNESS INSTRUCTOR
DUMBELLS 5TH GRADER
Naturally we matched the following:
Apple > Teacher
Books> 5th Grader
Donut> Police Officer
Dumbells> Fitness Instructor
But if you back away from the stigma and stereotyping we are all guilty of you can open your mind up to other combinations that are reasonable also.
Apple>Fitness Instructor (eating healthy)
Books> Teacher (exploring new learning materials)
Donut> 5th Grader (having a treat for breakfast)
Dumbells>Police Officer (working on their fitness for the police force)
The same stigma goes for mobility aids. They are generally associated with people above the age of 60 and marketed towards the seniors of the world. Not making light of this market for a targeted group of individuals in the world who typically require a mobility aid with age. But what about those who do not fit into this targeted group of seniors? We are programmed to think that diapers are for infants only when a woman age 25 may be struggling with a chronic illness that caused her bladder issues. I know with my MS if that day comes one day where I need to wear under garments to catch what my fall without a heads up I want to feel confident in knowing that I am making a purchase that is targeted towards all age groups.
I literally earlier today opened up my new Leopard Print cane from ElderLuxe.com and even right on the box it’s label slogans “Age Well”. I’m 30 years old. I’m not aging yet. I test you to go to your local drug store and check out the aisle with catheters and depends and see what models they have marketing their products. We must stop enabling companies to target the stereotype. Not that I want to start this massive crusade against companies that control mobility aid production, but I do think that companies that specialize in these mobility tools would be better to model their products to people of all ages. I would feel less crappy about purchasing a mobility aid that broadens it’s marketing strategy to the seniors plus younger generations suffering from disabilities, chronic illnesses and other disabling conditions.
Ardra Shephard- "Tripping on Air" - Blogger, MS Advocate and fashion enthusiast rocks her mobility aid with pride while being a role model for younger generations living with MS and chronic illnesses.
She has inspired me so much in my new journey. Ardra is a fellow MS Warrior and such a role model for people living with this disease.
Check out her blog and make sure to follow her on Social Media.
As a young woman about to turn 31 when I search to purchase a new cane or walker even, I want to be inspired by other younger men and women in their ads. I am in the process of contacting a few of these companies to speak with their marketing team on instilling these ideas in their branding. I read a whole biography on the founder of ElderLuxe and how he turned this company into what it is from working with assisted living homes. Again, limiting the target audience to seniors. The opportunities are limitless when introducing a whole additional group of individuals who not only need mobility aids but want to look dang good while rocking them.
"Tripping on Air" blogger Ardra Shephard taking mobility aids to a whole new level.
Bravo my dear. Looking lovely as ever! One thing I will always support is building up and supporting my fellow warriors! We are all in this together. This is not a disease to fight alone!
xo Love and Blessings to you girl.
I’m proud to say I am starting my collection of walking canes and not ashamed to use them. Quite proud of it actually. When we hold ourselves to a standard of what we believe in and what we view to be the “norm” others will follow. We should never be ashamed to use a tool that assists to better our quality of life. Feeling confident leads to less feelings of shame or embarrassment. Being able to have options to suit our needs only allows us to grow stronger in mind, body and spirit.
However I will totally look like this woman at 94! Fashion never dies!
-A Hot MS xo