Cane Etiquette and Manners

walking canes

If you are a novice cane user, you must know a few tips on using a walking cane, and you value manners. The following guide does not apply to blind individuals who use walking sticks. These tips are not strict rules you must adhere to but suggestions that demonstrate your good manners and thoughtfulness.

It is important to express gratitude and appreciation when someone treats you with politeness and kindness, especially if it is their first time interacting with a cane user. 

Being grateful and pleasant can make them feel more comfortable and at ease. This can create a positive environment for everyone involved.

It's essential to remember that when it comes to social interactions, you cannot always assume that others will prioritize your needs or allow you to go first. 

Every unique situation should be done politely and respectfully, just as you would expect from others. This means making eye contact and paying attention to the other person's focus to ensure you're not inadvertently causing inconvenience or discomfort. 

Remember, effective communication goes both ways and being mindful of others can help ensure that everyone's needs are met fairly and respectfully.

Quick Tips to Know

No cane part may be raised above shoulder height and should be carried perpendicular to the ground when not used.

Shaking or pointing a cane at a person or animal is unacceptable. It won't when any points in a heated argument anyway. 

As users become more skilled, they become more observant of others' shoes and other items to avoid snagging or injuring them. It will become second nature after a while, but in the beginning, remind yourself that you can trip others. 

It is unacceptable to place your cane on a table or seat as the ground end should always remain discreet from higher surfaces. It isn't polite to put it where others may be having a meal, and it can be unhygienic. 

While using a cane, it shouldn't be used as a weapon. It can cause serious harm to others. Unless you're being attacked, then use your judgment. 

When your cane is not used, such as in a restaurant, set it up in a corner to keep it out of the way and prevent others from getting injured. If no area exists, hanging it on your chair's back is a good alternative. If the chair you are in doesn't have a back, you can place the cane vertically between your knees. For most situations, keeping a “Cane Stay” with you can hold it against the wall with support.  

At your home, there are several locations where you can place your cane safely. Although tempting, avoid hanging a walking cane on door handles. You can buy sticky wall hooks and place them about waist-high in the rooms you'll be in. It's simple and effective.

When visiting someone's home or office, you may hold your cane with one hand for brief periods. However, it's always a good idea to assess the chair offered to you and ask your host if it's okay to place your cane there for safety.

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