As we age changes occur to our muscles and sensorimotor systems which can decrease mobility, lead to pain or stiffness and negatively affect balance and posture. These changes can lead to older people becoming more prone to falls and injury which can affect their ability and confidence to exercise or even engage in daily movement activities like walking the dog, for example.
Additionally other health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, depression or dementia which become more prevalent with age may also factor into a decrease in mobility and overall wellbeing.
Although this may sound alarming, the good news we can access a plethora of research proving the efficacy of hydrotherapy in restoring function, strength and a range of movement while decreasing pain and swelling. The studies reveal the effectiveness for pain management, rehabilitation, physiotherapy or sensory regulation. As well as being shown to improve mood, cognitive function and overall fitness and wellbeing.
Hydrotherapy, which may also be called aquatic therapy, water therapy or hydropathy, is essentially strength and conditioning based exercises performed in warm water usually not much deeper than chest height.
“Hydrotherapy is ideal for older people as the water provides a low risk exercise environment. The warm water often reduces pain and allows for a freedom of movement that a person may not otherwise achieve on land,” explains Barossa Village Physiotherapist Emily Davenport.
“Within group classes the program of exercises can generally be easily modified to suit individuals within the group, whether this is to provide more or less of a challenge, or to accommodate for specific ailments. Plus, no swimming ability is required to be able to participate!”
Barossa Village is the only aged care provider in the region to have a dedicated on-site hydrotherapy pool. The facility, which opened in late 2020, boasts a comfortable water temperature of 33 degrees and an ambient air temperature of 32 degrees year round, with a maximum water depth of 1.5 meters and hand rails on three sides. The facility also contains a fully accessible bathroom built to Changing Places specifications which can enable direct access from the bathroom to the pool via mechanical lifter.
“We often find that clients report noticing benefits within six to eight weeks of commencing hydrotherapy. When people experience a decrease in pain, for example, it can really help in maintaining motivation to stick with an exercise plan,” says Emily.
Barossa Village Independent Living Resident, John Irlam sharing “The more I went the more the pain diminished”.
“When older people participate in group hydrotherapy exercise we can also really see the social motivation and benefits as well.”
Barossa Village Hydrotherapy Pool was strategical in identifying and responding to community needs through a purpose build advanced facility. Supporting all access for improving quality of life.
With the partnership of local physiotherapy and Allied Health service, Barossa Village offers group hydrotherapy classes, one-on-one personalised programs or self-guided community access.
Barossa Village is not for profit, community owned,
aged care provider, since 1964
14 Scholz Avenue, Nuriootpa SA 5355