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Quads in Swimming Pools

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  • Quads in Swimming Pools

    My bother and family just bought a house with a pool. It's an in-the-ground pool. What are some ways that any of you swim, including how do you get in and out, do you use a lifevest, intertube, etc, and any other things that might help. I thought maybe somebody makes equiptment just for this purpose. I want it to be as comfortable as possible. I'm a C5-6 quad, so I'll need help with this. Thanks!

  • #2
    I've gone in head 1st from the chair or sitting on edge of pool. Gone over backwards, mostly from boats.

    The key is the exit. If you are being lifted out, make sure the edge of the pool is covered with mats or towels so you don't get scraped.

    Once outta the pool, just get back in your chair.

    I know of people who also have used hoyer lifts.

    PS No matter how hot it is outside, you will lose heat in the water and get cold (1-2 hours depending on water temp), but once you get out, you will be able to handle the heat longer. : )

    Perhaps a dive skin or vest, they will give you enough buoyancy


    • #3
      I've heard of some people having an extra chair and just roll into the pool. That is if the pool is the type where you can roll in.

      Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
      Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.


      • #4
        Be sure and have reliable people with you, it's scary at first. In rehab they laid me back on a lifevest, plus floaty stuff everywhere. Styrofoam noodles under the knees help when floating on back. If you decide to try swimming, a good mask and snorkel help lots. You'll soon become more comfortable, but be calm and let people help you at first. The water feels so good.

        C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000
        Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


        • #5
          It is easiest (but more expensive) to get a pool lift. You might be able to find one used. Here are some good resources for information:

          An add-on ramp may be possible in some situations. You would also need help to use this. Some use an old wheelchair, but a shower chair will work too.

          There are also a number of different bouyancy products. It would be best for you to work with a certified adaptive swimming instructor if possible to determine the best equipment for you, and also to teach you some basic water safety (such as how to get yourself on to your back independently). Is there a program near you (college, MS Society, etc.) that you could attend for a couple sessions?

          Here are some resources for bouyance equipment too:

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          • #6
            I think someone mentioned in the sports topic that they get in an appropriate chair and have friends lower them down the stairs in the shallow end. Sounds a little risky to me, but if your friends have water shoes with good traction it might also be a workable solution.
            AB wife of T8 complete para


            • #7
              Up and down steps in a junky chair works great. The process is no more difficult then if you were out of the water.

              Brian C/5


              • #8
                Don't hate me because I'm a T/5. I swam in college and was a certified Lifeguard way back when. I was sure my first dunk in the pool at rehab was going to be my escape from SCI hell and a return to a place where I was again in control and could perform well. HA! I was an out-of-control weeble bobbing for apples if left alone. Holy cr*p was I frightened until I was taught was how to deal with being face down in the water. You want your arms to turn you into a windmill that literally spins you over. I've since tried this with arms folded on my chest to see if just flinging my torso would work for my quad friends. It does. Once you conquer the fear of drowning i.e. loss of control - then you can play with pool flotation toys to suit yourself. After A LOT of experimentation in my aqua sessions I have been able to do laps on my back with a noodle under my neck and belt high under my upper back. Tired of watching the ceiling, last week finally discovered that cuffs on my upper arms was all it took to allow me to kind of "tread" water. It took constant balance work flailing my arms so it was a great workout - and I much preferred being F2F with others in the pool this way. YMMV indeed.