I’ve seen a post about first time wheelchair users guide. Since I’ve been using a walking stick for a while now, I thought I’d make one specifically for these types of aids. These will be in no particular order– they’re just things you probably don’t know about using a walking stick.
- if you’ve hurt you left leg/ect., hold the stick in your right hand (if possible) and if you’ve hurt your right leg/ect., hold the stick in your left hand. Trust me, your shoulders and back will thank you
- the pad of your hand will hurt– it just will. You’ll get used to it and your hand will develop more protection there eventually. To start out, look into a pair of fingerless gloves.
- a fold up/collapsable stick is good for beginners because you can take them on public transport/cars without too much hassle (they also fit nicely into desks and under chairs).
- When you’re using your stick, you only have one free hand. This may seem obvious, but it really impacts your every day life. Practice for a while around the house, so you get the feeling down.
-there are a lot of different types of walking sticks: fold up, one leg, two legs, three legs, etc.
(these are only a few of the many designs)
-if possible, go to a shop that specifies in walking sticks. ask to try a few out, they will also help make sure that you’re using on that’s the right height for you.
- a height adjustable walking stick is a miracle, especially if you want to wear high heels to an event.
- you don’t need a prescription to get a stick in most regions (but in some cases they may help get a discount)
- getting a stick that is the right height for you if very important (even with an adjustable one). Too short, and you’ll hurt your shoulder. Too tall, and you can’t put weight on it properly. The correct height is when the highest part of the handle reaches your wrist when the stick is standing straight up, as shown in this image.
- if you’re young (under the age of 60) people will stare, often they wont mean to– it is annoying but you’ll get used to it.
- again, if you’re young, people will ask why you’re using the stick, all. the. time. Even strangers will sometimes ask. You can use a really simple answer like “medical condition” and if they pry further, you can say “That’s all I’m comfortable saying”. If they don’t know you, or don’t know you well, they really have no business asking.
-Children will ask, a lot. Please be gentle with them, especially if they’re really little. I know it’s annoying but you can give children reallllllllly simple answers like “I just need it to help me walk” and most of the time they’ll be perfectly content with that and won’t ask more.
- don’t be afraid to use more advanced mobility aids if needed on bad days, or when readily available (eg. at a supermarket, when they have motorized wheelchairs for customers)
- You don’t have to use your stick every day for you to have a disability or for you to own a stick. Even if you need it once a week, once a month, you can still own one. You’re not less worthy or a mobility aid than those who need one everyday.
-Use backpacks, the ones with 2 well-padded straps that go over your shoulders evenly. Use them as much as you can. Bags that you hold in one hand or have one strap make you unbalanced or take up your only free hand.
- If you want to, decorate your stick, go all out.
Even if you don’t need/use a walking stick, please reblog this to let those who do, know this information.