Are you in need of a cane or other mobility assistance? Nearly 7 million people in the United States use a cane or other assistive device and 40% of people over the age of 85 have to use one. A total of almost 5 million Americans walk with a cane, and functional canes are the most widely used device in the country for mobility. Just because you need a walking cane, though, doesn’t mean you have to give in to the boring and pedestrian. Yeah, you could get a folding cane or one of those stylish walking canes with the fancy brass cane handle. But why would you when you can have an umbrella cane?
Walking in Style
The primary reason for your classic canes is to assist your mobility, so the first thing you want to do is walk about in style. If you use an umbrella cane, be sure to keep the umbrella furled up when using it to walk. If you walk with it flapping around you’ll just look silly, but otherwise using an umbrella cane unites you to join more than 200 years of sophisticated, worldly walkers with style and taste. Hold the cane in the hand on your good side and bring it forward to support your bad leg, moving your injured or weakened leg and the cane together.
Keeping off the Elements
The first incarnation of the umbrella cane was the lady’s parasol. These, believe it or not, were actually designed to keep off the sun, not the rain. If you wanted to keep off the rain, so our ancestors would explain to you patiently, you stay inside (simple!). In 1750 a man by the name of Jonas Hanway became so sick of getting wet in the rain, though, that he walked outside with an umbrella. Although he was widely ridiculed at first (they even made a satirical cartoon about him), other men quickly saw that this was actually sensible, and the umbrella cane went from an accessory to a necessary part of every fine gentleman or lady’s wardrobe. Whether you’re a man or a woman, your umbrella cane will come in handy for the worst sun and the driving rain.
Your umbrella cane can do more to protect you from the rain and hold you up: it can also function as a completely overlooked self-defense weapon. In fact, there is an entire form of martial arts, known as Baritsu, built around using canes and umbrellas for defense. The best way to use your super-cool umbrella cane to defend yourself is by using it to hook, trip, distract, or strike anyone who’s trying to hurt you. Don’t take the umbrella cane as weapon lightly, either, because in 1978 the Bulgarian political dissident Georgi Markov was actually assassinated with an umbrella gun firing a poison pellet.
Use it Channel Your Inner Introvert
We’ve all had that moment. That moment when we see someone coming towards us that we really don’t want to talk to. Want to avoid them? Open up your umbrella cane, put your hand out as if you might be concerned a passing shower, turn the business end of the cane over your face so you can’t see the other person, and just keep on walking.
Practice Your Putting
Bored? As long as you’ve got a few golf balls handy, your umbrella cane provides you with a way of practicing your putts no matter where you go. In fact, you could drop a couple golf balls into your umbrella cane to carry around, just in case.
Take Better Pictures
You might be thinking of the arresting pose you can strike while holding your umbrella cane in just the right way. But your umbrella cane can do more than that to improve your picture taking. When the sun is in just that wrong place to let you take a perfect picture, use your umbrella cane to provide some instant shade.
There’s a lot more you can do with your umbrella cane then just walk around on it. In all seriousness, there plenty of durable canes to choose from if you are in genuine need of mobility assistance. Just don’t rule out an umbrella cane: they’re pretty cool.