What better way to cool down than a dip in the pool or a swim in the ocean! It’s a great exercise for seniors because of its low impact and ease. But some factors can make it dangerous like medication side effects, disorders, such as dementia or general memory loss that causes confusion, cluttered pool decks, loose handrails or ladders in the pool, or rough surf or riptides in the ocean.
Here are some tips to help seniors and their loved ones stay safe around the water:
- Install a pool alarm- It only takes one fall to be a matter of life or death.
- Get a personal alarm system in case of a fall that isn’t into the water.
- Make sure the steps to the pool are clearly marked. Secure the handrails and ladders in place.
- Keep the pool deck clear of clutter and toys.
- Never swim alone—always make sure someone else is in the pool area.
- Nighttime vision gets worse for the elderly, so keep swimming limited to daylight hours.
- 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 for anyone when these conditions exist.
- Always go to a beach where a lifeguard is on duty.
Swimming makes your heart stronger, larger, and improves your cardiovascular health and endurance. So when you limit your risks with these tips, you’ll be able to have a great time and stay healthy!