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Swimming for Dementia: How Swimming Can Help Dementia Patients

benefits of swimming

For patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be hard to find a way to socialize that isn’t overwhelming.

With increased scientific research on the benefits of swimming for patients with dementia, more and more senior care facilities are beginning to add swim classes to their event calendars. 

These classes can be low impact, which is an excellent form of exercise for elderly patients. But it also gives a patient with dementia a chance to communicate with the same group of people every week. 

Many memory loss specialists are recommending exercise and increased social interaction for their patients. Keep reading if you would like to find out more about how swimming can help your loved one with dementia. 

Swimming Improves Socialization Skills 

Isolation is a dangerous side-effect of dementia. Many patients, when experiencing advanced memory loss, lose their ability to communicate, will refuse to eat and may resort to anti-social behavior. This is dangerous for themselves as well as the patients around them.

More and more long-term care facilities, though, are beginning to introduce scheduled social hours. These classes or programs allow patients to congregate at the same time and place every week. 

An expansion of this are swimming programs. Patients who enjoy swim classes may find water relaxing. It allows them to have fun with a group of people they may not have communicated with in the past. 

It also gives their caregivers a chance to see them in a new environment and identify any increased memory issues they may be exhibiting. 

Swim Classes Can Help Memory 

For many patients experiencing dementia symptoms, the fading of their memories can be scary. 

There has been some research done on how exercise can help bring back their memory. Swimming together with a group of friends may allow a patient to recall childhood swimming adventures. The increased activity will improve their cognitive abilities, allowing them to have discussions with friends and family about their past. 

Designated swim times will improve a patient’s physical health. Keeping senior patients active will improve their communication skills. If a senior care facility has swim programs make sure they have a session entirely devoted to dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. 

Instructors will find ways to help improve their memory. And patients with similar health issues will be able to support each other and thrive together. 

Designated Swim Times Give Caregivers a Break 

Caring for a person experiencing advanced memory loss can be overwhelming. Even for professional caregivers. Care centers have seen an increase in employee morale and retention with an increased number of classes and activities for residents. 

Social events give patients and the people caring for them a chance to relax and be with people much like themselves. If you’re curious to find out more about these classes always ask a residency’s management staff about the instructors and their qualifications. 

Low Impact Exercise Is Good for Elderly Patients 

Exercising throughout your life is always important. Low impact workouts are great for seniors who may be experiencing a deterioration of their joints and limbs. These exercises are easy to do. 

Swimming can become an essential regimen for the senior in your life. Low resistance from the water allows them to work out and improve their flexibility. It also acts as a strength training exercise. 

There is some belief that exercise may help improve memory retention. Exercise has been found to help patients’ cognitive abilities. It can also help them recover lost memories. 

Getting seniors up and moving can be difficult. Isolation is a hard thing to battle and depression can become overwhelming for patients. But exercise has been known to combat symptoms of depression. Low impact exercise routines may help seniors with dementia battle these issues.  

Scheduled Classes Are Important  

Human beings love routine. 

Having a set schedule during your day-to-day life keeps you organized. It also gives you something to look forward to. For patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, having a routine is crucial. 

They must be kept active and social. Allowing them to thrive in their new homes and giving them activities that may be mentally stimulating, will give them something to live for. 

Many senior care facilities have seen their patients’ thrive in environments that have a few things to do every day. Allowing their residents to pick and choose the activities they want to take part in gives them a chance to live how they want. 

Having a couple of swim classes every week will help seniors with dementia by giving them a fun activity to look forward to. This sort of exercise may not be as overwhelming for them. Keeping them active is essential for their mental health and stability. 

Scheduled programs allow them to find friend groups they may not have originally found on their own. It will also give caregivers a chance to get to know residents better, as well. 

The Benefits of Swimming are Countless 

Dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia can be overwhelming and scary for the seniors in your life. 

Finding the positives in such an extreme life event may seem impossible. But having a professional senior care facility with a caring staff may ease some of the negativity such a diagnosis may cause. 

More and more care facilities are adding swimming and low impact exercise regimens to their residents’ daily schedules. These classes allow seniors to socialize with their fellow residents. It also keeps them active, which is essential for those experiencing memory loss. 

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of swimming for the senior in your life, call our office and request a tour! Our professional staff will walk you through the day-to-day care your family member will receive and you’ll be able to get an up close and personal look at our facility.