Therapy pool considered

A Vernon kiniesiologist wants to test the interest waters for a new warm therapy swimming pool downtown

  • Jan. 31, 2016 5:00 p.m.

A Vernon kiniesiologist wants to test the interest waters for a new warm therapy swimming pool  downtown.

Minda Chittenden, who is also a gerontologist, works for Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting Inc. She is collaborating with HH Total Care Services, the Kamloops-based company building a new residential and commercial development on the Bennett’s lot on 29th Avenue.

The developers, she said,  have realized the need for a warm, public pool in downtown.

“The need for aqua therapy is growing as the community ages and in the winter months where safe recreational activities are scarce for frail individuals,” said Chittenden.

“HH Total Care is wanting more community support for the pool and have asked for a meeting.”

A date for the meeting is expected to be finalized this week.

Chittenden has researched such pools in the province and feels Vernon would be well-served with a 15-metre pool with salt water (for buoyance, more natural environment) with a temperature of approximately 34.5 C and depth of seven feet at one end, ramp entrance at the other.

More potential features include a lift to enter the pool and change table in change rooms; hand railing in the water along the edge of the pool; easy access from parking area to pool change rooms, which would also be wheelchair accessible.

The proposed pool could also feature scheduled blocks of time such as a quiet environment for people sensitive to loud noise, or a darker environment for people with light sensitivity.

“There could be therapy times for clients with concussions, brain injuries, arthritis and other needs that would benefit from a warm pool,” said Chittenden.

“There could be group therapy for children. The (Vernon) Kokanee swim team’s younger swimmers could host mini-meets. Downtown workers can swim on thier lunch hour. And it could be open to the public for their own use.”

Chittenden said her next step is to host a meeting of interested community groups with the developer.

If an organization or business would like to attend the meeting, contact Chittenden at 250-307-6772 or e-mail minda.chittenden@meridianrehab.ca for details.