Swim Safety for Seniors

Summer will officially be here in less than 2 weeks, and with that comes the anticipation of participating in all the fun activities that the summer months have to offer. And of course, what better way to cool down than a dip in the pool or a swim in the ocean!

Whether it's a family vacation or a daily exercise routine to help your older loved one maintain their agility, lessen their arthritic pain or to preserve overall physical wellness, swimming and the elderly can be a recipe for disaster if they are not properly vetted.

So what are the risk factors for your elderly loved one while enjoying their time around the pool or relaxing on a white sandy beach?

As Follows:

  • Poor agility, balance or eyesight
  • Medication side effects that can cause drowsiness, cognitive impairment or poor judgment
  • Disorders, such as dementia or general memory loss that causes confusion
  • Cluttered pool decks, slippery or extremely hot pool surfaces
  • Overdoing pool play with the grandchildren
  • Loose handrails or ladders in the pool
  • Rough surf or riptides

10 Tips to Keeping Mom And Dad Safe At The Pool Or Beach:

  1. Install a pool alarm- It's the perfect way to be alerted of a problem because just one fall into the pool can be a matter of life or death.
  2. Implement an emergency system to alert you if there is movement or if help is needed with a personal alarm system.
  3. Clearly mark the steps to the pool, as well as making sure the handrails and ladders are securely bolted in place.
  4. Clear the walkway of the pool deck—make sure toys and floats are out of the way.
  5. Understand grandma or grandpa's limitations—they want to keep up with the grandkids too!
  6. Never swim alone—always make sure someone else is in the pool area.
  7. Daylight swimming is the safest- nighttime vision tends to be compromised in the elderly, hence, increasing the risk of a fall.
  8. Wear protective shoes at the beach or around the pool—this will help enable proper footing, avoid burns from the hot sand and pool pavement or coming in contact with any sharp objects.
  9. Do not swim if there is a rip current or rough surf—it is much more difficult for an elderly person to fight against rough seas, as balance and agility are not as good as it was in the younger years. This makes for a dangerous activity when these conditions exist.
  10. Always go to a beach where a lifeguard is on duty, especially if mom or dad wants to take that much desired swim in the ocean!

Enjoy and have a safe summer!

© Copyright 2017 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.