Swimming Safety for Seniors


A swimming pool to make a great addition to any senior citizen’s home. Not only does a pool offer a great way to stay healthy and active, it’s great at attracting the grandkids over to visit. But a swimming pool can also be a dangerous hazard.

Many senior citizens swim to help alleviate the aches and pains of aging, and improve flexibility, strength and endurance. A backyard swimming pool makes it so easy to develop and maintain a good physical fitness routine. Before you build a pool at a seniors home make sure you have taken the proper steps to protect against swimming pool related accidents.

If any member of the home is suffering from dementia you want to take special care to protect them from wandering in to the pool area without proper supervision. A wandering alarm helps notify caregivers when an at -risk elder has left the house. Additional arms should be installed at the pool fence so that if anyone attempts to open the gate to the swimming pool a loud audible alarm is heard inside the home. Additionally, consider locking the gate with a key or padlock. A simple childproof  gate lock is often insufficient as even victims of dementia often retain the ability to manipulate locks.

Regardless of age or health condition it’s always safer to swim with the body as opposed to swimming alone. If you care for senior citizen who lives alone it’s important that you schedule swim times when a caregiver is nearby. A simple slip and fall can be deadly for senior.

Invest in a good medical alert system. Encourage your aging parent or grandparent to wear a waterproof emergency pendant when they’re around the house and especially when they are using the shower, bath tub or swimming pool. The medical alert button will allow a senior to call for help if they should get stuck in the pool and feel too weak or dizzy to get out without assistance.

Remember, medical conditions can change quickly. Stay on top of monitoring your aging loved one’s health. If he or she is taking any type of medication that can cause dizziness you should seriously restrict the use of the pool and insist that swimming only be done when a qualified, strong swimmer is present.

Keep the pool site free from clutter. Too many seniors are injured every year from slips and falls that are easily preventable. Consider additional pool ladders with clearly marked steps. Aboveground pools can be made safer for seniors by building an access ramp. Rather than having to climb up a steep ladder, and access ramp can make it less strenuous for an elderly body to climb in and out all the swimming pool.

Of course, if young grandchildren will be visiting the home you want to make sure that the pool is off limits without adult supervision. Never leave an elderly person alone to care for young children in a swimming pool. Always make sure the able-bodied swimmer is watching young children when they use the pool.

For more senior safety tips, visit ElderKind.com.