This is the first summer that my husband hasn't been able to walk to the ocean as the sand it is too difficult on his stride. Do any of you have any recommendations for walking aides? Any canes or such that would work in the sand?
If he still has enough leg strength and it is more a balance issue, look at cross-country ski poles with a basket attached. They will keep the poles from sinking into to the sand and provide some stability. Examples follow:
One type of basket
And some others
Another benefit of using a ski pole is the wrist strap. It make it difficult to drop the pole and is easier on the hands (gripping).
I have even seen a walker outfitted with something like these baskets to keep it from sinking down into the sand.
If you find something that works, let the forum readers know. Good luck!
Location: United States
I love going to the beach - especially since we live close to Siesta Key, one of the best handicap beaches in the country. I used a cane for short time - until I needed it more for support than balance. I bought a cane from John Coakley (former KDA President) at a KDA Conference in Baltimore. It has a wide base that allows walking on loose sand and has many features. I just checked with him and, unfortunately, he is not selling them anymore since he is recovering from a massive stroke. I used that cane for a few years but, when my balance and strength became so bad I couldn't use a cane on one side and my wife on the other, I found the Mobi-Chair. It's a beach wheelchair that will allow you to go into the water - it floats! Siesta Key had them available for handicap persons to use. After several trips I decided I needed one of my own and purchased one. Now I can take it to any beach in Florida (that doesn't have large waves) and enjoy the wonderful Florida waters. Here is the website if you're interested: http://mobi-chair.com/
Thanks so much, gentlemen. Great to know about the Mobi-Chair. I found this to put on the end of most standard canes. Aside from the sand, this should also work in the snow, gravel, etc. We probably will order one in the near future. Here's hoping all of these incredible scientists and doctors find a cure!
Location: Chicago, IL
Very similar to ski poles are trekking poles meant for hiking. There are many different ones available. I bought these a month ago and am quite pleased with them. They come with removable snow baskets that ought to work on sand.
They take some practice to get coordinated with them. I've done about 5 miles of walking with mine now and it's becoming somewhat automatic and feeling more natural. I can't walk nearly as far with them as I can with a walker because they are more about balance than supporting weight. I can lean on my walker and partially unload my legs allowing me to walk while much more fatigued. Though if my legs continue to strengthen I'll prefer the poles to a walker as they are better for slopes and rough or unpaved surfaces.
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614