Home > Exercise, Nutrition & Well Being > Back Pain? Assisted Living Facility Swimming Pools Have The Answer

Back Pain? Assisted Living Facility Swimming Pools Have The Answer

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

80% of senior citizens experience significant back pain after spending most of their lives walking, standing, lifting, and twisting. In fact back pain is the most common complaint among senior citizens after upper respiratory problems. As seniors citizens are living longer, osteoporosis and arthritis have become an increasing problem as they age. Assisted Living Facilities are encouraging seniors to participate in swimming to get relief from back pain. Arthritis hydrotherapy, swimming and aquatic aerobics are activities that help relieve back pain. Warm water exercise is an excellent way for those with arthritis to build up strength, ease stiff joints and relax sore muscles. For this reason, many assisted living facilities have heated swimming pools for their seniors to utilize. Water buoyancy greatly reduces the pressure on senior joints, making it easier for them to perform their daily activities.

“Water exercise can benefit virtually everyone,” says Jane Katz, EdD, associate professor of health and physical education, City College of New York, and author of Aquafit: Water Workouts for Total Fitness. A former Olympian, she teaches fitness and swimming to New York City firefighters and police officers. She also has a special fondness for the class she teaches for women in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Athletes use water activities as a type of physical therapy after an injury or to cross-train for competitive events. People with arthritis or other disabilities that inhibit physical activity use water to improve fitness, range of motion, and relieve pain and stiffness in their joints.

swimming glasses by ~mightyflup on deviantART

Seniors who don’t know how to swim can also feel free to participate in swimming activities arranged by assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities have swimming pools that are shallow enough so seniors can comfortably stand up in the water. Seniors who rely on a walker or wheelchair can stand in water with the help of flotation belts and water’s buoyancy. Some Assisted Living Facilities have special walkers that seniors can use to move around in the water. It goes without saying that certified life guards are on duty to make sure all assisted living residents are safe while in the water. Water buoyancy accommodates both physically fit and unfit seniors. Water cushions stiff and painful joints or fragile bones. When immersed to the waist in water, your body bears just 50% of its weight; immersed to the chest, 25%-35% and to the neck 10%. If you are a senior citizen you may want to inquire with your assisted living facility about the various aquatic activities you can participate in. You will find that swimming and other water activities will enhance your life and improve certain health conditions.

Sources: Jane Katz, EdD, associate professor of health and physical education, City College of New York, New York; author, Aquafit: Water Workouts for Total Fitness and Swimming for Total Fitness. Julie See, president, Aquatic Exercise Association, Nokomis, Fla.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Chicago and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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  1. September 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Swimming is a great way for seniors to exercise while reducing the chance for injury. The resistance of the water is great for retaining muscle tone, while making it harder to fall or experience other injuries which may be exacerbated by gravity. Assisted living communities are a great place to take advantage of this activity because of the amount of supervision and variety of exercises and activities, as you mentioned. There are also a number of products to help facilitate water exercises, such as ergonomically designed swim caps. Thank you for your insights about this classic form of senior exercise!

  2. September 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Group swimming sessions are also another positive way for seniors to get familiar with other seniors in their area. It is an opportunity for them to branch out and meet new people!

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