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by Abigail Van Buren

Too Much Help Can Be No Help at All to Lady With a Cane

DEAR ABBY: I am an old lady, happy I can still get around using a cane. I would like to thank the many people who take the extra time to open a door for me or hold it open longer so I can get through. I am grateful for their help, and being offered a place ahead of them in the checkout line is beyond appreciated. Thank you, thank you.

However, may I offer a suggestion to those helpful folks, often robust men, who want to do more? If I look unsteady, please DO NOT grab me by the arm and try to steer me like an empty bicycle! Instead, hold your arm out for me to lean on and allow me to do the navigating. It may be slow, but with your help, it will be safe. -- CARYL IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR CARYL: That's an excellent suggestion, and one I hope helpful readers of both sexes will pay attention to.

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