Dementia-Friendly Swimming Sessions at Clitheroe Pool

Published Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Dementia-friendly swimming sessions are to be held at Ribblesdale Pool in Clitheroe.

And Ribble Valley Borough Council wants to hear from people with dementia and their carers on how the sessions might take shape.

Members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee gave the go-ahead for the sessions in a bid to improve the lives of people with dementia and widen pool usage.

Simon Hore, the committee’s chairman, said: “We have made significant progress in promoting community support for people with dementia through various initiatives, such as hosting dementia awareness sessions, developing a network of ‘dementia friends’ and training our staff in dementia awareness.

“Now we aim to host dementia-friendly swimming sessions, which will give people with dementia the opportunity to continue doing something they love, or try something new in a safe and supportive environment.”

Colin Winterbottom, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community leisure and sports development manager, added: “Swimming is a great all-round activity that is beneficial to everyone, particularly those living with dementia, as the sensation of being in water can be calming and soothing.

“Carers have busy, complex lives, and swimming is also a marvellous low-stress way for them to get exercise in a relaxed and friendly environment.

“Ribblesdale Pool staff are trained in dementia awareness and will be on hand to offer support during the sessions, but we are inviting people with dementia and their carers to tell us how and when they should take place.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council has been working with businesses, community groups and public and private sector organisations to establish the area as a hub of dementia-friendliness for several years.

The council has hosted dementia awareness sessions across the borough, developed a network of ‘dementia friends’ able to assist people with the condition and trained its reception staff in dementia awareness.

The council also placed a series of ‘memory benches’ featuring soothing colours, calming words and surrounded by sensory aromatic plants at several sites in Ribble Valley.

For further information about the sessions, phone Colin Winterbottom, the council’s community leisure and sports development manager, on 01200 414588.

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