It’s only once you start thinking about taking a disabled child to the swimming pool that you realise quite how much is involved.
How do we move Quinns around inside the pool building? He’s too big to carry (or at least getting that way). What do we do with the Bug? We need it to transport him around but we don’t want it to get wet. Nor do we want its big dirty outdoor wheels in the nice clean swimming area. We really need somewhere to keep the Bug and an alternative for wheeling him around the pool. Remember he can’t sit up unaided so a standard wheelchair won’t work.
He’s too big for baby change tables (well technically he can still fit but he’s not very happy about it and I worry that if he pushes his feet against the wall hard enough he might catapult himself off head first). The main thing he needs is an adjustable height bench for changing. One that is big enough for him to lie on and at the right height so that I don’t hurt my back.
We’ve not ventured into the world of hoisting yet but we know it’s just around the corner. Once he’s too big we won’t be able to transfer him from his Bug onto a bench and back so we’ll need a hoist.
Unfortunately a pool having a hoist into the swimming pool itself doesn’t mean that the pool is accessible to everyone.
On a more positive note we recently went to a pool that had everything we needed. A large room with adjustable height bed, hoist, shower, toilet, trolley for transporting to the pool, sensible exit to the poolside and additional help and support from the staff. It made such a difference. If only it was a little bit closer to home!