29th Jun, 2022

Simon 'seizes the day' as scuba diving dream turns to reality after dementia diagnosis

A 60-YEAR-OLD Coventry man with dementia has rediscovered his passion for scuba diving.

Simon, a resident at MHA Abbey Park care home in Coventry, took the plunge at the AT7 Centre pool in full diving gear for the first time in seven years.

He 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.

Simon’s wife, Fiona, who joined her husband in the water, 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.”

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.

An engineer in his youth, Simon lived a very active life – he loved walking, cycling and taking dips in the sea.

Simon enjoyed himself so much in the pool that the home is now planning to make swimming sessions a monthly occurrence.

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.”

MHA is a national charity, running 90 specialist care homes with 18,500 residents and members, 70 retirement living and 62 vibrant community groups and befriending.

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