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The beach

HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
edited September 2019 in Healthy living
Hi everyone. I'd love to know how you access the beach when you're a wheelchair user. I know there's beach chairs for hire but these are not nationally available. To buy a beach-friendly wheelchair is almost prohibitive. They cost many hundreds, & some are thousands of pounds! Even a conversion kit; 2 wheels, and axel rod & some brackets cost several hundred pounds. Any help & advice would be very much appreciated, thank you. 

Replies

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, I help run a disabled holidays group and have seen beach wheelchairs on the site. To find which beaches have them, try our site.....it`s reachable via facebook and is called....Limited Mobility And Wheelchair Friendly Holiday Accommodation.
    I`d love to sue one but need hoisting for all transfers. Can you transfer yourself?
  • HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi pollyanna1052, thanks for your response.  It is actually my daughter that is disabled - she has MS.  I am always searching and researching to overcome everyday problems.  We could buy a kit to adapt her wheelchair for the beach but the kit costs several hundreds of pounds.  The beach wheelchairs themselves cost thousands!  I was just wondering if anyone had a cost effective solution.  The area where we use the beach does not have any beach wheelchairs, although I thought I may contact the local council to see if they would consider supplying some.  I know that councils have different pots of money for targeted causes so perhaps this could be possible?  Thanks again! 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Hello
    Yesterday I took my son with SB to the beach. We had a lovely time looking round the shops and doing sand art as well. I always bring his wheelchair but since wheelchairs and sand don’t mix, I have a old pushchair I use. What about a plastic covering for the wheelchair? 
    I make sure to wipe down his wheelchair after beach trips. I used to carry him but as he got older, that is no longer a option. This site lists wheelchair friendly beaches in Britain. 
    https://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/08/best-accessible-beaches-and-beach-wheelchairs-in-the-uk/
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh April, thanks so much for the link. I`ll refer our group of disabled holiday makers to it.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @HOLF and a very warm welcome to the community! Has any of the suggestions been helpful?

    I hope you're able to get to a beach soon. :)
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  • HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
      Hello Chloe, and thank you.  I'm still searching for a reasonably affordable solution to accessing the beach however, the same 'solutions' keep coming up, i.e., chairs of exorbitant costs :/
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you looked to see if any of the beaches have these chairs to rent for the day?

    This may be a more affordable alternative. :)
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 681 Pioneering
    Some beaches  especially in Spain make sure they have wooden  slats forming paths to the sea, over the sand. Others, as people say, have  hire chairs
  • HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for all your responses.  The problem is that the beach which we will be using has limited facilities.  There is no beach warden or office and no boardwalks.  It's simply a beach with toilet facilities and a café bar.  This is why we will need to figure out how to get my daughter across the sand without having to pay out several hundreds (or thousands) of pounds.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    HOLF said:
    Thank you for all your responses.  The problem is that the beach which we will be using has limited facilities.  There is no beach warden or office and no boardwalks.  It's simply a beach with toilet facilities and a café bar.  This is why we will need to figure out how to get my daughter across the sand without having to pay out several hundreds (or thousands) of pounds.
    What about other beaches? This article has more information. https://www.ageukmobility.co.uk/mobility-news/article/what-to-expect-when-visiting-the-beach-with-a-mobility-impairment
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 681 Pioneering
    By the way, it's  surprising how little the general public (therefore government departments ) know  about the cost of wheelchairs,  or about the difficulties getting one, or the need for a t least a makeshift spare back-up 'pair of legs' if one breaks down, or the need for different chairs for different  purposes .

    (they themselves don't wear wellies to a wedding,  but can't grasp that one set of tyres does rough ground,  one slant does fast self propulsion,  but indoor use needs a small footprint chair and indoor tyres)or the enormous difference a minor change to the standard can make. )

    Nobody grasps that the n.h.s. does not come instantly, (*)1(*)2 eagerly offering even a basic wheelchair,  or instantly  repairing one.  Few realise that the chief aim of luggage handlers is to smash chairs worth thousands,  or that being without a chair is like having their  legs removed.

     Few know that some spines do not like sitting at right angles and being jolted.   

    (*)1 Except if you are David Cameron,  who could well afford to  privately buy a thousand chairs from his mega millions. An nhs chair was sent to his late son, while they were in one of their holiday homes. It was delivered  by helicopter because the road was too narrow for conventional delivery vans. I wondered how many  years' worth of wheelchair n.h.s funding  for everyone else was wiped out by that?

    (*)2 Did you know politicians are too important and superior to wait in any common A and E alongside  the public, so they have one special  A and E department dedicated  to  them exclusively,  but n.h.s. funded, just across the bridge? 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    edited August 2019
    newborn said:
    By the way, it's  surprising how little the general public (therefore government departments ) know  about the cost of wheelchairs,  or about the difficulties getting one, or the need for a t least a makeshift spare back-up 'pair of legs' if one breaks down, or the need for different chairs for different  purposes .

    (they themselves don't wear wellies to a wedding,  but can't grasp that one set of tyres does rough ground,  one slant does fast self propulsion,  but indoor use needs a small footprint chair and indoor tyres)or the enormous difference a minor change to the standard can make. )

    Nobody grasps that the n.h.s. does not come instantly, (*)1(*)2 eagerly offering even a basic wheelchair,  or instantly  repairing one.  Few realise that the chief aim of luggage handlers is to smash chairs worth thousands,  or that being without a chair is like having their  legs removed.

     Few know that some spines do not like sitting at right angles and being jolted.   

    (*)1 Except if you are David Cameron,  who could well afford to  privately buy a thousand chairs from his mega millions. An nhs chair was sent to his late son, while they were in one of their holiday homes. It was delivered  by helicopter because the road was too narrow for conventional delivery vans. I wondered how many  years' worth of wheelchair n.h.s funding  for everyone else was wiped out by that?

    (*)2 Did you know politicians are too important and superior to wait in any common A and E alongside  the public, so they have one special  A and E department dedicated  to  them exclusively,  but n.h.s. funded, just across the bridge? 
    I agree. This is something to fight about. It is part of the reason why I did a lot of research and then built my son’s wheelchair with the help of a engineering student who is also my friend. The other factor was time. 
    We had some major issues with funding too. I explored all of my options starting with the NHS first then decided to give up and try making a wheelchair myself. It was worthwhile definitely. A learning curve for sure but that was part of the fun.
    How can we change things however? Not everyone has the time or the skill to make a wheelchair out of nothing. They are talking about cutting funding for such a important service right now which bothers me deeply. I heard it on the evening news today. 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 681 Pioneering
    Impressed by your pal. Aghast at your news. Any more details?
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    edited August 2019
    newborn said:
    Impressed by your pal. Aghast at your news. Any more details?
    Two months ago, I read this article https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/26/social-care-funding-crisis-putting-tens-of-thousands-at-risk
    And I came across this article too https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/25/social-care-crisis-point-fewer-people-getting-care-need-study/amp/
    It does not look good. The numbers in the articles look awful. Maybe we could begin a petition online? Look up social care funding issues online but keep in mind that it makes for some heavy reading. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @HOLF, I understand the frustration around this. I have found a list of beaches which do allow you to hire a beach wheelchair. Would it be possible to visit any of these?
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  • HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you Chloe.  It's a specific beach we will be going to and I know that the facilities are not available there, hence my question of any tips/ideas how to transport a disable person across sand.  We went to Bournemouth 3 years ago and they had beach wheelchairs for hire which were great, but we're going to North Wales next time.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I hope someone will be able to provide a solution for you soon!
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 681 Pioneering
    How  much spare room in the van?  I never heard of it being done, but possibly  take your own personal path? Maybe  three   collapsible  ramps?   Horribly costly and complicated,  but possibly the chair would advance till it was completely  off the last, which could then be removed and placed ? 

     Even so, l would  worry a,lot about mixing chair and sand.  Wales has been known to have a breeze, blowing the stuff into mechanisms it doesn't  belong.   If it is essential to  go to one particular  beach, where it is known there is no access and no hire chair, then the solution would have to be a way of transporting without wheels.  Some kind of carrying device.

    With at least two people to assist, folk used to go distances slung in hammocks on poles. In fact, that is essentially what any hospital stretcher is, except they are kept taught, and hammocks sag.  Till you experiment,  you won't  know, but possibly something  inventive using heavy duty backpacks to  stay securely in place on the bodies of the two carrying people, and with the sling securely fixed to the heavy duty backpack straps?  One source of ideas might be a specialist  camping shop.

    Or, pick the brains of the ?calvert trust? Or scouts, or similar.
  • HOLFHOLF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi all!  I thought I would share this with you all.  I asked the question on a wheelchair users FB page and someone told me to split pool noodles down the middle (like a hot dog roll) and secure onto the wheelchair tyres with zip ties!  I'm going to give that a try.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Ooo that sounds interesting @HOLF! Please do keep us updated!
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