Swimming benefits care home residents

Care home residents in Perth and Kinross have been involved in the Go for Gold Challenge Swimming Project – an initiative now being piloted in other areas of Scotland –which is helping to transform the lives of those involved.

Carolyn Wilson, Falls Service Manager with NHS Tayside, co-ordinates a lot of activities aimed at getting residents more active across care homes and was keen for this project to be a success, along with the council, care homes and Perth Leisure Pool. 

Effie PKAN Swimming Project Chm14 300X199Carolyn said: "It’s a great example of social care, health care and leisure services all coming together in a joined up way and it shows what you can achieve with a multi-partner project.

"Residents have the opportunity to take part in a meaningful activity which they previously enjoyed and can socialise with others in a community environment. Then there are the physical and mental health benefits from exercise and the stimulation of interacting with others, plus the joy of having fun."

Effie PKAN Swimming Project Chm72 300X199Karen Steel, Senior Activity Instructor and her team trained the carers to support the residents in the water.  She said: "It’s really exciting to be involved in this partnership and to develop our services for residents of care homes so they can enjoy these swimming activities.

"While they are in the water, the carers can also give residents gentle exercises to help with problems such as knees, hips or legs."

Effie PKAN Swimming Project Chm64 200X300Edith Macintosh, the Care Inspectorate’s Rehabilitation Consultant, said: "Many people in care homes loved swimming when they were younger and more able. It’s fantastic that they can have the opportunity to do so again and the benefits to people’s health and wellbeing are tremendous. It also meets many strategic objectives such as the Active and Healthy Ageing Plan for Scotland."

Effie, 93, is a regular member of the swimming programme. After a good half-hour of swimming, Effie’s eyes are sparkling and she said through a beaming grin: "That was really smashing – I feel so fit again!"

Read more about Effie and her experience here.

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