Specially organised 'dementia friendly' swimming sessions can be beneficial to people with dementia and their carers, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Nottingham and the Institute of Mental Health.
The team set out to find out what impact swimming sessions have on the lives of people with dementia and how they affect the experience of their carers. The project also explored how and in what ways swimming sessions at public pools can be made 'dementia friendly.'
The research, published in Dementia and reported on by Medical Xpress, was carried out with the help of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and Swim England who run a national project to improve access to swimming for people with dementia.
A group of people who attend dementia friendly swimming sessions at Clifton Leisure Centre in Nottingham took part in interviews with the research team over a period of seven weeks. The Alzheimer's Society helped the researchers with recruitment to the study via their network of patients, families and carers.
The interviews were designed to explore participants' experiences of the sessions and those of the people who look after them. The team also interviewed six members of staff at the leisure centre who were involved in running the sessions to record their experiences and ideas about best practice in swimming for dementia patients.
Feedback from the participants, both the people with dementia, and their carers, was without exception positive. The comments described how much they enjoyed the sessions. For example, one person with dementia said: "It's been absolutely brilliant!"
Read the full story at Medical Xpress.