New swimming program for older Aussies

Royal Life Saving WA has a new water safety and lifesaving skills initiative for people over the age of 55, labelling the new course the “grey medallion”.

The course is aimed at encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle and reducing the incidence of drowning in Australia.

Participants will develop skills in water safety techniques, resuscitation, rescues, aquatic exercise, and personal survival.

A trial course involving 14 participants finished last week in Joondalup.

RLSWA community education co-ordinator Francesca Amoroso said the participants were excited about returning.

“They were so enthusiastic about the program and they actually asked us if they can do the re-qualification next year because they want to keep doing it every year and refresh their skills,” she said.

“They start with some gentle exercises and swimming techniques, then go through safe entries and exits in the pool, rescue initiatives, and then they will do CPR, so they will learn resuscitation.”

According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report for 2014/15, there were 89 drowning deaths of people aged 55 years and over, accounting for 33 per cent of all drowning deaths.

Ms Amoroso said it was essential older adults learnt lifesaving skills.

“It is so important for them because they usually look after their grandchildren, so that’s why we thought it was important for them to learn some vital skills,” she said.

“You never know when you will be in that environment and you need to actually use those skills to save a life.”

To find out more or to get involved in the Royal Life Saving WA grey medallion program, click the link below.