How Does Swimming Benefit Dementia Patients?

This year, there will be approximately 459,000 Australians with dementia. But there is no giving up in the battle against dementia and its debilitating effects, especially when it comes to giving patients the best quality of life possible.

Swimming is one of the best forms of dementia support because of these benefits:

Swimming can help with memory.

Nothing is scarier for a dementia patient than his memories fading away. But research studies have suggested that exercises like swimming with friends could help improve a patient’s memory because it allows him to remember things from the past and help improve his cognitive abilities. Swimming is also a great exercise to keep a dementia patient physically healthy, so they can enjoy life for a longer time.

Swimming allows patients to socialise.

A lot of dementia patients would isolate themselves because of their inability to remember things. But with socialisation being an important factor for improving dementia, enrolling in classes would help a patient socialise with other people and even form meaningful relationships with strangers. With the water offering a relaxing ambience, a dementia patient would find it easier to communicate and share their day with other patients who are going through the same condition. This allows him to feel that sense of belongingness, which is important in promoting a better quality of life. 

Swimming lowers anxiety and depression.

It’s easy for a dementia patient to be anxious and depressed as part of his disease process. But those feelings of loneliness and isolation can be reduced with the help of regular swimming sessions. Like any other form of exercise, swimming helps release endorphins or happy hormones that elevate the mood and reduce anxiety and stress in dementia patients. In fact, studies have shown that patients with early signs of dementia who took up swimming lessons showed a 30% improvement in self-worth. Also, it’s not too late to strengthen the mind. Adults can take up swimming lessons from schools like to boost mental health and improve social skills.

Swimming helps with relaxation.

Dementia is extremely stressful for patients because it makes them feel frustrated that they can’t remember things or do things like they used to. But swimming offers the avenue to release that stress and just relax on the pool. Being in the water lets a patient be one with the water and the swimming strokes actually offer a meditating effect on the mind. A study conducted on rats also showed that swimming can help generate new brain cells in areas of the brain that have been affected by cell degeneration due to extreme stress. 

The bottomline

The benefits of swimming for dementia patients definitely make it a highly recommended activity not only to prevent the disease from damaging the brain further but also in giving patients the best quality of life as they battle the disease. It also allows caregivers to take a break for a few hours so they can also recharge themselves to be able to care for their patients a lot more efficiently and provide dementia support tirelessly.

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