What should a ladder look like that guarantees safe access for the elderly to the pool?

Diving into the water of a pool is a pleasure on the hottest days that also offers the possibility of doing some healthy exercise in the most fun way. Swimming is one of the most recommended aerobic activities for older people, as the Spanish Heart Foundation recalls (@caringheart), among other reasons, because in the water the impact of exercise on your joints decreases.

Leisure and sport together, perfect … the problem arises when accessing the pool. The narrow stairs and in absolute verticality, that is, glued to the wall, for an elderly person who has a mobility problem or who is simply not as agile as 20 years ago, they can be a real challenge.

Safe pool ladders for everyone

There are different models of stairs for swimming pools and any of them must include basic elements that guarantee safe access. The steps, its width and level of slip resistance, the railings and gripping points and the design of this element itself, with more or less progressive unevenness, are the three keys for the ladder to be comfortable and give you stability you need when getting in and out of the water.

In a first classification, you have two types of stairs for swimming pools: the fixed or work, integrated into the structure itself, and the mobile phones, which can be removed at a certain time, generally after the end of the bathing season.

The masonry ladders are especially suitable for an older adult to enter the pool comfortably. The main reason is that they do not require lowering “back”. On the non-fixed stairs, the usual thing is that you turn around to start the descent. In the fixed ones it is not necessary, you can lower them like any other non-“aquatic” ladder. For these items to be absolutely safe, the rungs must be wide enough so that the foot steps safely and of course they must be non-slip. In addition, a fixed railing, at a suitable height, so that you can hold on without any difficulty, is also a basic requirement.

swimming pool stairs

Regarding metal ladders (aluminum or stainless steel), the most advisable models, for their comfort and safety, are the “land” type. They follow the same structure of a work ladder, that is to say, the steps follow one another until they reach the same floor of the pool, so that you can go up and down without doing “balances”. Each of them is a small ramp, which must have the appropriate inclination and a distance between them (partition) that achieves the perfect height (not too much, not too little) so that the up and down movement is fluid and avoids dangerous tripping. It is important that the ladder has a good width and that it has ergonomic railing so that you can hold on easily (the best ones are those with a double railing, at two heights).

Finally, you also have different types of hydraulic lifters designed so that anyone, even those with very reduced mobility or who need a wheelchair, can enjoy a pleasant bath and all the benefits offered by gentle exercise in a pool.

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