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Dementia friendly pools

Published on Thursday, 7th June 2018

Dementia  friendly pools

Hambleton’s four leisure centres officially became ‘Dementia Friendly Pools’ last month

They were given the official stamp during National Dementia Awareness Week (21 - 27 May) by North Yorkshire Sport and Swim England who have been working together to improve swimming pool facilities for people living with dementia.

Research has shown that low impact exercise can be beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. Swimming in particular has the added benefit of reducing anxiety, improving mood and enhancing psychological well-being. With over 8,000 people living with dementia in the county alone North Yorkshire Sport are dedicated to helping to provide safe and reliable facilities for those living with dementia and their family and friends.

David Watson, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Sport said “North Yorkshire Sport are delighted to be able to support Hambleton District Council and Swim England in their efforts to make leisure facilities even more friendly and inviting.

“Simple changes to these four leisure centres, such as clearer signage and training for staff , have made them more accessible not only for people living with dementia but also for the wider public as a whole. Supporting more people to be active is a shared ambition of all of the organisations involved in this initiative and I’m sure that these changes alongside the excellent staff at the centres will have a positive impact.”

 ‘We wanted to create a leisure environment which is as welcoming, safe and accessible as possible for everyone who visits,” said Councillor Mrs Bridget Fortune, portfolio holder for Leisure.

“We know that for many people living with dementia, clear signage with contrasting colours and images can help them find their way around the facilities with confidence. We will also be launching dementia friendly swim sessions in September which will have support from a member of staff.”

And  Chris Riley - Dementia Lead with the Carers Centre and Dementia Champion added,

"All the staff  at the four leisure centres were a pleasure to work with and, regardless of age or workplace role, they took on the Dementia Awareness messages with real enthusiasm."