Making a splash with dementia friendly swimming!

By Zoe Conville on August 11th, 2017 - comments

A project to help people with dementia to keep swimming has started in Gainsborough.

Dementia Friendly swimming sessions are being hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society in partnership with staff at Everyone Active Leisure Centre.

Staff at the centre have completed dementia awareness sessions. There will be an Alzheimer’s Society support worker on-hand to meet and greet, show people round and answer any questions. In the pool a swimming coach will provide group sessions and advice. Sessions are also run at quieter times during the day to create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Margaret Harrod, Project Support Officer for Dementia Friendly Swimming said: “Staying active is so important after a diagnosis of dementia. Research suggests that swimming can help reduce anxiety and improve the mood of people with the condition, as well as providing effective low impact exercise for people.”

“We are hoping that people with dementia and their carers will feel encouraged to carry on swimming in a more dementia friendly environment, rather than giving up something they enjoy. It’s also open to non-swimmers who want to learn. I’d like to say a big thank you to the leisure centres for their commitment to the project and all of their support.”

Cllr Sheila Bibb, Chair of the West Lindsey District Council Health Commission said: “The council is delighted that this service is now available and we are grateful to the Alzheimer’s Association and Everyone Active for working to make it possible. We hope that Dementia patients and their carers enjoy this opportunity and we encourage them to come along and give it a try.”

Each centre has a café area where swimmers and carers will meet up before and after the session.

There are approximately 11,000 people with dementia in Lincolnshire.

The sessions take place weekly from 12pm – 1pm at Everyone Active Leisure Centre, Avenue Road, Gainsborough.

Swimming with dementia poster