Simon, a resident at MHA Abbey Park care home in Coventry, recently rediscovered his love for scuba diving as he took a dip in the local pool for the first time in nearly 7 years.
The 60-year-old, who has been diagnosed with dementia, made the plunge in full diving gear and was joined in the water by his wife Fiona at The AT7 Centre on Monday 20th January. Having been scuba diving in his younger years while on holiday in Egypt, Simon was a natural and took to the water as if no time had passed.
Simon was able to fulfil this dream as part of MHA’s ‘Seize the Day’ scheme. Residents are asked what one thing they would love to achieve, and the initiative then helps this become a reality.
An engineer in his youth, Simon lived a very active life – he loved walking, cycling and taking dips in the sea. In fact, Simon enjoyed himself so much in the pool that the home is now planning to make swimming sessions a monthly occurrence!
Simon’s wife, Fiona, said: “It was lovely to see Simon reconnecting with a skill he’d mastered in his younger days. When he got in the water, it really seemed to calm him down and before we knew it he was kicking around like a natural diver.”
Tina Thompson, Home Manager at MHA Abbey Park, said: “We were delighted to be able to fulfil this wish for Simon and Fiona – giving him the opportunity to go back into the water again was a great way to help him reconnect with his past.
“For those living with dementia like Simon, leisure activities such as these are hugely beneficial for both mental and physical wellbeing. They have a therapeutic effect as the resident is often transported back to their younger years, when they were regularly active and taking part in sports.”