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About the sessions

The Dementia Friendly Swimming sessions are about making the swimming experience better for people with dementia and their carers by improving facilities and taking away barriers. This creates a safe, supportive environment which includes:

  • Specially trained staff.

  • Each session is run by an experienced swimming instructor and caters for a range of abilities.

  • Improved Signage.

  • Larger, unisex changing booths (enabling carers to support clients of different genders).

  • Constant water temperatures of 29 degrees.

  • Sessions will be taking place during our quieter times in our pool.

 

Why go swimming?

A diagnosis of dementia doesn't mean you have to stop doing the activities that you enjoy or stop you trying new things. Research shows 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 many added benefits:
  • Clear your mind and anxiety.
  • Improve your mood and encourage positive thought.
  • Relax your body.
  • Low impact, so easy on your joints.
  • Opportunity to socialise reduce loneliness and have fun.
  • Help to ensure a better night’s sleep.

Do carers have to accompany the participant in the water?

The sessions provide a great opportunity to do something active together, so we welcome carers to participate - and to do so for free! However, carers are not necessarily required to accompany the participant in the water, and there may be the chance to sit poolside or in our spectator area. Contact us to discuss how we can support those wishing to attend this session. 

Is there a chance to socialise?

The Dementia Friendly Swimming sessions give people in Bridgend County Borough who are living with dementia an opportunity to keep active and to meet and socialise with others in a similar situation. So, socialising after the sessions is also important. There will be an opportunity to sit down and have a complimentary cup of tea and a snack. It’s great to see people who previously didn't come out of their homes being part of the sessions and be given a sense of place. 

When are the sessions?

Sessions take place every Wednesday at Bridgend Life Centre (except during school holidays where we offer alternative activities out of the pool). Swimming starts at 2pm and lasts for approximately 45 minutes. After changing, there’ll be the chance to socialise until approximately 4pm.

Is there anything I need to bring?

Other than swimming kit and a towel, it would help to bring either a small padlock or a £1 coin for the locker (this is refundable) and some change for parking (which is also refundable via reception). You are welcome to bring a photo to put on your locker during the session to help make it more recognisable. 

How can I find out more information?

Come along to one of our sessions or contact:

How have the sessions been formed?

The sessions have been formed through a collaboration between Halo Leisure, the Alzheimer's Society, ABMU Health Board, BAVO, Awen and support from Bridgend County Borough Council. 

In 2018 the programme was recognised as part of Bridgend County's 'Inspired for Life awards' for its work doing 'ordinary things in extraordinary ways'. Since then, we've been delighted to have been awarded £30,000 by the Peter Harrison Foundation to continue the work at Bridgend Life Centre, and £58,858 by the National Lottery Community Fund, to allow Dementia Friendly provision in further facilities in the county borough, starting with Maesteg Sports Centre in May 2019.

 

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