Nothing feels more like summer than dipping your toes into a swimming pool – any swimming pool. At Sunbeam, there is always that glimmer of summer when the warm air hits you as you walk onto their pool deck.
In 1985, the renovations to the main building at 2749 Kingsway drive included the therapeutic pool, gym and 3 classrooms.
The 100% accessible pool is the only one of its kind in and around Waterloo/Wellington. Due to its unique, specialized nature, Sunbeam rents out the space to the community, and sees users travel in from as far off as North Perth and North Halton. Between 40-70 guests are making use of the pool daily.
There are amazing benefits to those who use it. While most accessible pools are limited to chair accessibility only, Sunbeam’s pool uses a high-tech series of ceiling lifts and trolleys that allow individuals with greater mobility support needs to be showered and lowered safely and directly into the pool. This ability for everyone to shower onsite before and after their swim is a great benefit to the use and the facility.
Not only can the pool support the mobility needs of a wide range of guests, but the space has also been designed to stimulate users with a wide range of sensory inputs – ceiling hangings and other visuals are noticeable all around; the pool water is kept at a comfortably warm temperature; and music is always playing in the space.
Each user’s support person works with them to find the type of activity that is most beneficial, and the most fun! A wide variety of floatation devices are available, allowing each person to use a support that best fits their needs and is most comfortable. This ability to customize really allows for increased independence, as many participants are able to move freely throughout the pool (which only reaches a depth of just over 4’), in a way that they may not be able to on solid ground. An amazing example of this increased independence can be seen in those who use wheelchairs to assist with their movement on land. In the water, many are able to reach with their legs and touch the ground, giving them the sensation of standing and sometimes even of walking or dancing in the pool. The freedom that this opportunity brings can cast a smile across almost any face.
Michelle and Giselle, who oversee the pool’s activities, describe a wide range of games that pool users can play – a selection that helps them to have fun and hone skills like fine motor skills.
If the pool feels too social, or for those who need increased relaxation, the Snoezelen Spa is available for use by Sunbeam individuals and community guests daily. With twinkling lights, and bubblers for visual stimulation, the increased warmth and quiet helps people to relax and enjoy some quiet time.
The pool area is available for community groups with increased needs to rent between Monday and Friday, 9am – 8pm. For more information on the pool, contact Michelle or Giselle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-893-6200 x 239.