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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Strives to Put Money Only Where His Mouth Is

DEAR ABBY: I am an 86-year-old woman, blessed with good health and mobility. I do not need a walker or a cane. My problem is some of my younger relatives grab my arm when we are walking. I know they mean well, but it actually makes it harder for me. I haven't said anything to them for fear of offending them. How should I handle this? -- ELDERLY, NOT FEEBLE IN BEVERLY HILLS

DEAR NOT FEEBLE: I'm glad you wrote because your question is an important one that applies not only to older people, but also to people who are visually impaired.

Often, well-intentioned folks will grab someone by the arm in order to "help" him or her step down from a curb, cross a street, etc. Doing this is counterproductive, and can actually cause the person to lose his or her balance. It is far more effective to offer the person one's arm to take if that person feels he or she needs assistance.

Explain this to your younger relatives.