Making a splash! - FitzRoy

Making a splash!

Published: July 26, 2019

Bryan, in his early 80’s, has proved you are never too old to try new things as he has gone swimming for the first time in his life.

Bryan lives at Taylor Road, one of our services in Norfolk, and has been supported by FitzRoy since 2001. He grew up in institutionalised care and has very high support needs and limited mobility. But that has not deterred support workers from helping Bryan to enjoy a full and happy life – including new experiences in his 80’s.

Manager Carolyn Peacock told us about Bryan’s swimming adventure:

Bryan loves having a bath and splashing in the water and this gave support workers the idea of taking him swimming. They knew the environment was safe for Bryan having taken another person swimming. They carried out a risk assessment to work out what support Bryan would need in the pool and they got all the equipment sorted including a floating jacket and armbands to help him float.

As soon as they walked Bryan into the pool he was over the moon, laughing and smiling, splashing in the water and really engaging with staff.

“That was in June and he has now been twice. We are now planning on taking him every week. He has stiff joints so being in the water helps him to relax.

Bryan takes a while to get to know people but you can tell when he’s happy because he starts blowing kisses, laughing and engaging. He loves to go for walks in his wheelchair and always wants to be involved, so he will sit in the kitchen and watch everyone around him. That’s why the swimming is a huge thing for him because it’s something he can get involved in himself.

It’s really great that the idea to take him swimming came from staff using their initiative and taking ownership, sorting everything out so that he could go. And it’s been fantastic to see how much Bryan has benefited from the experience.”