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First Dementia Friendly Pool in North Yorkshire Launched on World Mental Health Day

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:29

First Dementia Friendly Pool in North Yorkshire Launched on World Mental Health Day

On 2016's World Mental Health Day (10th October), Tadcaster Pool was gave the official stamp of Dementia Friendly approval. The title that Tadcaster Community Pool will proudly wear was awarded by North Yorkshire Sport and the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) who have been working together to improve swimming pool facilities for people living with dementia.

Research has shown that low impact exercise can be beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. Swimming in particular has the added benefits of reducing anxiety, improving mood and enhancing psychological well-being. With over 8,000 people living with dementia in North Yorkshire alone North Yorkshire Sport are dedicated to helping to provide safe and reliable facilities for those living with dementia and their family and friends.

The ASA Dementia Friendly Swimming Project has been developed to enhance the swimming experience of those living with dementia and their carers by improving facilities and removing barriers. The project aims to create a safe and friendly swimming environment for people with dementia through the creation of partnerships between adult social care, health trainers, carers, and local community groups.

The project starts with a trained member of the North Yorkshire visiting the facility to perform an audit. This includes looking at new signage, training, and other minimal changes to the leisure centres to make them more inviting and welcome to those people living with dementia.

Tadcaster Community Pool are the first of the seven engaged pools to complete the changes to their facility. Staff were trained in the facility including lifeguards to ensure they are aware and trained appropriately to cope with people who are living with dementia. At the launch the employees and volunteer staff of the pool were overjoyed to talk about and demonstrate the changes.

Fiona who manages the pool said, "the changes are so simple such as clearer signage, but so valuable. We want people who are living with dementia to feel safe at our facility and now they can. Even people who don't have dementia have commended the signs saying it's refreshing to know exactly where everything is and it removes any worries from a first visit to the pool."

Amy, who has delivered the project on behalf of North Yorkshire Sport said, "Tadcaster Community Pool is a fantastic facility to start with. The staff there are just great, everyone has been so enthusiastic with the changes and so dedicated to being properly trained. Dementia is close to many peoples' hearts and it really shows how such small changes can so greatly impact on peoples' lives."

More facilities are currently in place to launch as Dementia Friendly, for more information please contact Amy on amy@northyorkshiresport.co.uk or visit www.swimming.org/dementiafriendly/

Tags: Dementia, News, Swimming