Joondalup over 55s lap up new water safety skills

19 May 2021

Seniors practising CPR on a manikinAlmost half of those who drowned in Australia in 2019-20 were aged 45 and over, and as our population continues to age this figure is likely to increase further in the years to come. In order to tackle this growing issue Royal Life Saving WA has recently launched the Aqua Skills 55+ program, teaching those aged over 55 vital swimming and lifesaving skills to stay safe around the water.A man diving into the pool with others watching on

The course is structured as a four-week refresher suitable for people of all skill levels, so whether you're an everyday swimmer or only dip your toe in occasionally - this is for you! This very practical program will provide you with the skills to deal with emergency situations, personal survival techniques and a thorough understanding of water safety knowledge to reduce the likelihood of drowning. It's a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have fun!Seniors int he water floating with a variety of items

The new course was recently held for the first time at the Joondalup Arena, with 24 people attending and having a blast! The course was run by Royal Life Saving WA Community Trainer Isabel Franzoni, who is very experienced in teaching courses for older adults and makes those attending feel super comfortable and confident in the water.

A woman rescuing another woman in a poolParticipants first complete a session of resuscitation and out of water skills before then taking on three in-water sessions. Caroline, who attended the Joondalup program, says it was a real eye-opener for her. “Before the course I thought I could save my grandchild if they were drowning but I learned that in reality I actually wouldn't have been able to."Trainer Isabel Franzoni with flowers and a plaque gift from her students

Throughout the four weeks some strong friendships were formed, and participants showed great camaraderie as they completed each activity, encouraging each other along the way. They even presented Isabel with a thank you award and flowers at the end of the course for the amazing work she did teaching them such important skills.

The Aqua Skills 55+ program is run across Perth and is currently FREE for individuals over 55 years. You can find out about upcoming sessions and register at the link below.

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