Regardless of age, swimming is an excellent exercise. In the past, this blog has talked about all of its amazing health benefits. Today, it is time to zero in and discuss swimming safety for seniors.
Swimming Safety for Seniors
As mentioned, there are many great reasons for seniors to hop into the pool. Swimming is a full-body workout that can improve heart health and is gentle on the joints. It offers myriad benefits with significantly reduced risk of overuse injuries.
These points all make swimming an ideal choice for active seniors. That said, we cannot ignore the potential dangers of the water. Swimming safety for seniors should be taken as seriously as for any other age.
Stick to the Buddy System
First and foremost, it is much safer to swim with a friend or loved one. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
reports that around ten people die each day from unintentional drowning. Having someone in the pool to watch your back can help avoid this hazard. If one person runs into trouble, the other can call for help. As you can see, the buddy system
still applies to older folks.
Beware of Overheating
Let’s talk temperature and swimming safety for seniors. Hot tubs can be soothing, but the hot water can also cause drowsiness and disrupted blood flow. Similarly, water that is too cold can also be dangerous. Seniors are at greater risk for hypothermia. Before stepping into water, be sure that the temperature is safe and normalized.
The water’s temperature is not the only danger. The blazing hot sun can also be a burden for sensitive skin. For this reason, every senior should apply and reapply sunscreen at regular intervals.
Connected to this, be sure to drink plenty of liquids. Having a drink of water nearby can help to keep swimmers from potential dehydration. It seems insignificant, but a bottle of water can be a life saver near the pool.
Watch Out for Slips and Falls
Next, slipping and falling become much more dangerous as we age. The surface outside of a pool or hot tub can be surprisingly slick. To this end, seniors should wear water shoes and hold onto hand rails whenever entering or exiting the water.
Take it slow and steady to avoid slipping outside the pool. Rushing can often lead to injury or worse. To learn more, read our detailed blog post about water shoes, sandals and more. It is a great step to consider when it comes to swimming safety for seniors.
Doctor Knows Best
As with all of our blogs, these tips should be taken as general guidelines. They are not medical advice, nor is are these tips comprehensive. Every person’s body has its own particular needs. Swimming safety for seniors should start with a trip to a medical professional. A doctor can give a thorough checkup and analysis before a senior steps into water. There could be serious risks that would have otherwise not been noticed.