How Do I Respond to Family Members’ Questions About My Cane?

Jan 28, 2019

Anonymous asks, quote:

I really need a cane. Do you have any tips on talking to family members about why i’m using it, if they catch me? They probably won’t be accepting of it since they already ignore my pain to the point that I’ve stopped mentioning it.

end quote.

People get caught doing stuff like drinking milk out of the carton or speeding. People do not get “caught” using mobility aids. You should not be ashamed or feel guilty using a mobility aid to reduce discomfort while walking.

If your family is willing to ignore your pain to the point that you stop mentioning it, they should be perfectly comfortable ignoring the thing you use to reduce that pain. It’s your body and you have the right to do what it takes to live as pain‐free a life as you possibly can.

If they do ask why you need the cane, I would come up with a simple, repeatable answer that directly answers the question without necessarily opening things up to discussion: something like “it helps me walk with less pain” or “it reduces my risk of falling”.

If they insist on making it an issue or are generally being a dick about it, I would offer to let them borrow it for a few days so they can use the curved handle to try and pry their head out of their ass.