When you’re struggling with mobility, canes are an invaluable resource that can get you back up again. However, for those who are visually impaired, canes can still be hard to use.
Luckily, the learning curve isn’t too steep, and everyone who needs a cane can learn to use it quickly. Here are the best tips to show you how to use a cane when visually impaired.
Learn the Basics of Using a Cane
Before walking around with one, you need to acquire the proper knowledge of using a cane. This is especially true for anyone with visual impairments to prevent an accident. You must learn to use the cane to become aware of your surroundings.
First, use your cane to poke around your immediate surroundings and identify everything you touch. This exercise will teach you to substitute sensory input with your cane instead of your hand. Proficiency in this technique will help you avoid undetected obstacles in the future.
After getting comfortable with identifying objects from a sitting position, you can stand up and practice your balance while performing the activity. Leaning all of your body weight against the cane could break the cane and lead to a fall. Also, be sure to keep track of your cane at all times.
Become an Expert at Multitasking With a Cane
Once you reach an adequate level of ability in balancing and identifying objects with a cane, you can begin moving around. Walking with a cane is very difficult to do by yourself with a visual impairment, so ask someone to assist you on your first try. Also, when you’re walking to a location, it’s easy for distractions to impede your movement and critical thinking.
That’s why multitasking is essential toward becoming a regular cane user with a visual impairment. Talking to the person assisting you is an efficient way to learn how to multitask while using the cane.
Continue Practicing With Your Cane and Beware of Risk Factors
At this stage in the learning process, the cane should exist as a natural extension to your body and help you move effortlessly. Walking with a cane should be a breeze, even with distractions around you, which is why the next step is to focus on common causes of accidents.
Although canes are incredibly safe and unlikely to fail, nothing can truly prevent a fall. For example, you might feel the ground from a certain height with your cane, but an elevation change could mislead you and make you fall. Learning the telltale signs of obstacles and how to avoid them is the final thing you need to learn.
Overall, canes are beneficial to so many people for numerous reasons. If you follow these tips to show you how to use a cane when visually impaired, there should be nothing stopping you from getting around independently.