How To Make Your Swimming Pool Friendly For Those With Physical Limitations

by Pool Builders on 01-27-2011 in Articles

Swimming pools offer myriad benefits for everyone, including providing therapeutic benefits to those with physical limitations. Swimming offers a low impact way to exercise and strengthen your muscles. If you have a swimming pool, it's a low impact way to strengthen your muscles or to just relax. Swimming, water aerobics and water walking are ideal exercises for people with physical disabilities or those recovering from injuries. If you want to make your pool accessible for everyone, here are some things to consider:

  • If you already have a swimming pool in your backyard and having to remodel it to install a permanent ramp isn't feasible, you can purchase portable ramps that lead from the deck to the water. The ramps will be equipped with non slip materials to grip the wheels on a wheelchair. The ramps work well for those who use an aquatic wheelchair. It's a way to help easily raise and lower the both the chair and the individual into it.
  • If you have an in ground swimming pool you can install a ramp that descends on a slow incline slope from the deck to the bottom of it. It is best to build the ramp at the same time you build the pool, but it can be installed after the fact. Also, remember to install a handrail as an additional support mechanism.
  • In addition to adding a ramp to make it easier to enter and exit may need to install a hand rail or handgrip around the perimeter. The handgrips will offer a better way to grip the pool in order to move around it without worrying about going underwater. Handgrips or handrails are helpful for anyone to grab onto if they get tired from swimming and want a place to just hang onto and relax.
  • While an above ground swimming pool might not offer a way to install a ramp, you might need to install an electronic lift as an alternative. With a lift, you sit in the seat, and it lifts you up and over the wall and lowers you into the pool.
  • Your swimming pool ladder can also be make made more accessible by purchasing one that has more closely spaced rung and wider steps.

Before you make any changes or add a permanent fixture to your swimming pool, consult with a contractor that has experience in this area. It may take some time and effort to retrofit your swimming pool to be handicapped accessible but it will be worth it for everyone.

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