How to Swim with a Physical Disability?

Picture a hot summer day and finding relief in a cool swimming pool. Now picture that scenario if you are physically handicapped. Seems impossible, huh? Fortunately, this is not the truth and those with physical disabilities can enjoy swimming. Disabled swimming equipment is available to make the impossible, now possible. All you need is the right guidance in order to find the appropriate equipment you need to dive on in!!

Swimming Aids

Don’t Be Left High and Dry

The act of swimming can be extremely therapeutic for those with disabilities, both physically and psychologically. The natural buoyancy of water can relieve strain on those with physical limitations. This can allow them to move more freely and without total assistance. It can also stimulate all the functions in those that have a disability. Also, it can enhance the competitive nature of just about anyone when they compete against others with physical handicaps. This can be especially true for children with special needs. Swimming increases one’s physical activity level, develops self-confidence, and coincidentally teaches a lifesaving skill. Turns out a lot of us live near water!! Swimming can also help children improve their family relationships and social skills since sharing a pool while swimming can enhance community spirit and increase social contacts. Cannonball!!

Sprint Aquatics 36 Inch Adjustable Bar Float Sprint Aquatics Childrens Mat
Sprint Aquatics 36 Inch Adjustable Bar Float Sprint Aquatics Childrens Mat

Best Swimming Aids for People with Physical Disabilities

For those that have a physical disability or handicap it may seem impossible or even dangerous to consider jumping into a pool, lake, or ocean. Obviously, your handicap will dictate what level of participation is appropriate for you. For instance, if you are a quadriplegic you just won’t want to jump in the pool without the proper equipment. Swimming with any physical disability or handicap can be achieved using equipment designed for each person’s limitations. Somebody who is a paraplegic may benefit from something as simple as a pool lift which allows a handicapped person to be secured in a seat and raised or lowered into a pool using hydraulics. This is similar to a Hoyer lift for patient transfers, but in this instance it’s for enjoying cool, refreshing water. Those with limited mobility can also benefit from a pool access chair which is simply a wheelchair that can be rolled into water. Cool off with no need for transfers or easily transfer in the water!! Small children can benefit from a safety vest, which is designed to keep children safe in and around water. Usually these are optimized for children weighing between 30-50 pounds. Everything from swim noodles to tubes to flotation devices are available for every level of swimming disability. If necessary, you should consult your occupational therapist to determine what would be right for you.

LiftVest Adult Swim Vest Aqua Creek Portable Pro Pool Lift DeBug Aquatic Pool Chair
LiftVest Adult Swim Vest Aqua Creek Portable Pro Pool Lift DeBug Aquatic Pool Chair

Swimming is awesome, both physically and mentally for those with physical handicaps or disabilities. Find the proper equipment you need and get back in the water to cool off on these hot summer days. Remember, do not underestimate your limitations and be honest with your therapist in order to safely enjoy the water.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.