Dementia Friendly Swimming

Better are supporting the Amateur Swimming Association with a pilot programme for Dementia Friendly Swimming.

This project has been developed to enhance the swimming experience of those living with dementia, along with their carers, by improving facilities and removing potential barriers to swimming.

Together with the Alzheimer's Society, our staff have undertaken dementia awareness training to improve the service we provide and to ensure participants are able to attend the sessions comfortably, with all the necessary support they need.


Swimming Programme

We have been working with local community partners to choose suitable times for the sessions. Our current dementia friendly swimming sessions are listed below;



Manchester Aquatics Centre
2 Booth Street East
M13 9SS


Moss Side Leisure Centre
Moss Lane East
M15 5NN

Moss Side is closed for refurbishment until October 2018

East Manchester Leisure Centre
60 Grey Mare Lane
M11 3ND




Wythenshawe Forum
Forum Square
M22 5RX



Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre
Yew Tree Avenue
M19 3PH

2.00pm - 3.00pm

North City Family & Fitness Centre
Upper Conran Street
M9 4DA
11.00am - 12.00noon 
Hough End Leisure Centre
480 Princess Road
M20 1HD
12.00noon - 1.00pm
Abraham Moss Leisure Centre
Crescent Road
M8 5UF
11.00am - 12.00noon




For more information or to book a session, contact your local Better Manchester leisure centre direct.



Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re interested in joining us for a dementia friendly swimming session, please read the FAQs below which we hope will answer any questions you may have.

 For more information or to book a session, contact your local Better leisure centre.


What makes the session dementia friendly?

 A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t mean you have to stop taking part in the activities you enjoy. Swimming is a great all-round activity that is beneficial to everyone. It is particularly beneficial for people living with dementia as the sensation of being in the water can provide a calming and soothing effect. Our dementia friendly swimming sessions allow you to continue doing something you love, or even give you the chance to try something new, in a safe and supportive environment. Because we know that you might need a little extra help during your visit, we have specially trained staff and volunteers on hand to support you, all of whom completed dementia awareness training. You will be offered support if you need it at reception, in the changing area and on poolside, giving you the confidence to enjoy swimming as part of an active lifestyle.

 We’ve also been working on improving our facilities to help make things easier for you. This varies from pool to pool but may include better signage, highlighted trip hazards, and identifiable wristbands. Some sites may even provide refreshments for you before or after your swim, giving you the chance to socialise with others who are in a similar situation to you.


Is it possible for me or my carer to swim alone if the other doesn’t want to? Is there support to help with this?

 Yes. There is an option at most of our pools for you or your carer to sit on poolside or in a gallery area overlooking the pool whilst the other one swims. Please check with the pool beforehand as support may vary.


Do I need to be able to swim?

 Ideally yes, but don’t worry if it’s been a while since you were last in a pool. As long as you have some previous experience of swimming and feel comfortable about getting in the water, then you’ll be fine. We always try to provide a space in the pool without lanes, too, so that there is no pressure for you to swim in a straight line if you don’t want to. You can discuss any concerns you have about your swimming ability with us beforehand and we’ll be happy to advise you on which swimming session would be best for you to attend.


Should I register my interest in attending with someone at the centre?

 For your first session we would like to offer you a tour of the facility and have a member of staff available to meet and greet you. Therefore, if you could let us know when you plan to attend, we can ensure that someone is available to welcome and support you.


Do I need to check with my doctor before attending?

 If you live with another medical condition such as a heart condition, respiratory condition or have a muscular/joint injury and you are not used to being active then it may be worthwhile checking with your doctor to see if you’re ok to exercise