A dip in the pool is a favorite activity for many families throughout the summer months. Swimming is not only a great way to cool off when the temperatures soar, but is also a highly effective form of exercise. Getting in the water provides buoyancy that reduces pain in the joints, as well as resistance that helps to burn more calories and strengthen and condition joints and muscles. This means when your family wants to head to the pool, don’t hesitate to bring your senior along. Some simple preparation and planning can allow all of you to enjoy a safe and healthy afternoon swimming and relaxing.
Use these tips to enjoy a day at the pool with your senior parent:
- Review safety rules with everyone who was involved in the outing, even if they do not plan on getting in the water. These rules should include never running near the pool, staying in the shallow end if they are not a strong swimmer, making sure someone else in the family knows when they are getting in the water, and not swimming immediately after eating.
- Encourage your aging parent to apply plenty of sunscreen before leaving the house. Sunscreen takes at least half an hour to properly sink into the skin and begin providing full protection. Your senior should apply sunscreen not only to the skin exposed by their clothing, but also under their clothing. Most fabrics are not made to block UV rays, which means they do not fully protect against sunburn and sun damage.
- Encourage your aging parent to use bug spray. Bites from pests such as mosquitoes can be irritating, and lead to your senior scratching, which can open the skin and make them vulnerable to infections.
- Bring along plenty of water to drink. Many people forget about their hydration needs when they are swimming, but it is very important to make sure everyone has enough to drink throughout the time they are outside, and to remember that hydration needs increase with high temperatures and high humidity.
- Be vigilant about your parent’s mobility challenges when they are walking around the pool. These areas tend to be slippery, which could put your parent at even more risk of falls and injuries.
Mobility issues are some of the most common problems aging adults face. For many seniors, difficulties such as lack of range of motion and flexibility in the joints, loss of muscle mass and strength, arthritis, balance problems, dizziness, and more contribute to fall risk, them no longer participating in activities they once enjoyed, and even a loss of their sense of independence as they must rely on others to handle tasks around them. If your aging parent is dealing with mobility problems, starting elderly care for them and can give them a tremendous boost in not just their care, but also their quality of life. An elderly home care services provider can help your parent deal with their mobility issues in the ways that are right for them so they can more safely navigate their home, get out of the house and stay more active in the way they desire, help with personal care tasks, such as bathing, in dignified and respectful ways, and even modify tasks according to their mobility issues so they can continue to take care of their home. These services can make it possible for your parent to stay in their own home longer, stay more active and benefit their physical as well as mental health, and feel more independent and autonomous as they age in place.