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Swimming Can be Great for Alzheimer’s Care, but Make Sure the Senior Doesn’t Overheat

Alzheimer’s Care in Indianapolis, IN

Alzheimer's CareThere are some great advantages to going swimming during the summer. Not only is it a fun activity for millions of people across the country, it also seems to help people stay cool. In truth, though, you are just as likely to sweat while swimming as you are if you are doing land-based activities. When it comes to Alzheimer’s care, swimming can be a great activity for a number of reasons, including getting physical exercise that helps to improve mental health, but it’s important to focus on ensuring the senior’s safety when swimming, whether it is indoors or outdoors at the beach.

How to ensure the senior does not overheat.

One of the best ways to make sure somebody doesn’t get overheated when swimming is to limit the amount of time they actually spend in the water. If the elderly individual with Alzheimer’s enjoys getting into the water, swimming laps in the pool, treading, or just floating around on a float, time can pass quite quickly.

  • Make note of when they went in the water and pay attention to how long they’re in there. Not only would exposure to the water outdoors increase the risk of sunburn, they also need to temper the amount of time they spend in the water to stay safe.
  • Also, make sure they stay properly hydrated. If the senior is not drinking enough water throughout the day it can potentially lead to a very serious situation in which they become dehydrated and can overheat, suffer from heat exhaustion, or even become the victim of heat stroke.
  • It’s a good idea to limit the amount of time the senior spends in the water outside to 15 minutes at a time. This would give the Alzheimer’s care provider an opportunity to evaluate the senior’s overall health and determine whether or not he or she is becoming overheated, needs to drink more water, or simply needs a chance to rest.
  • Cramping and fatigue are also very serious situations when swimming in the water, whether it’s a pool or the open ocean. If the senior becomes dehydrated, the risk of cramping increases and if that happens it can increase the risk they face of a potentially life-threatening situation.

So while swimming can certainly be a wonderful exercise activity for any senior with Alzheimer’s, focusing on proper care and paying attention to their core body temperature and ability to stay properly hydrated remains essential.

The professionals at Great Care are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care needs. Great Care is a non medical in-home care agency providing quality and affordable Alzheimer’s care in Indianapolis, IN and the surrounding areas. Call (888) 240-9101 for more information.

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Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

Editor in Chief at Approved Senior Network
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and long-term care expert. She has published 4 books on caring for aging adults and is the Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com and ApprovedSeniorNetwork.com