Aura was delighted to host its first Dementia Friendly Swimming Session on 19th Augustat Mold Leisure Centre. The session was organised by Aura, in partnership with Dementia Friendly Mold, and was open to anyone in the community living with or affected by Dementia.
Wesley Billings, Swimming Coordinator at Mold Leisure Centre, expressed his enthusiasm on behalf of Aura Wales, saying: “we would like to support people living with Dementia in the community so that they can continue to be comfortable taking part in an activity they enjoy. We hope this session will become a more regular slot in our swimming pool programme and increase links with Dementia groups across all Aura leisure centres.”
Luke Pickering-Jones, Dementia Services Project Manager, explained: “people living with Dementia – as well as their carers – can often feel isolated and prevented from attending leisure facilities to do activities such as swimming. This is because many pools are not set up with specific signage and support.
Often as people progress in their Dementia journey, life becomes very task orientated and the only access to water is someone supporting them to bathe or shower; this can be regimented and time managed. Time is not available for someone to splash their feet – a bath is not set up for lengths or widths! That is why the Swimming Session at Mold Leisure Centre was a great opportunity for people living with Dementia. It is a great resource that will further provide more Dementia friendly options within Aura Leisure and Libraries.”
On the day, residents of Phoenix House attended the session, with Emma Hill, Phoenix House Manager, stating: “it was an excellent opportunity and so lovely to see the residents have their memory stimulated and have fun!”
One participant commented: “the session was very enjoyable. It has been a very long time since I last went swimming – about 10 years! – you never forget how to swim”.
Aura would like to thank all those who attended our first ever Dementia Friendly Swimming and look forward to creating more leisure opportunities that benefit the community’s mental and physical wellbeing.