The Grey Medallion program is a water safety and lifesaving skills initiative for older adults. It aims to encourage a healthy, independent and active lifestyle through the development of essential skills in order to participate in aquatic recreation activities safely.
This practical program provides older adults with personal survival techniques, improved swimming skills, skills to deal with emergency situations and a thorough understanding of water safety knowledge in order to reduce the likelihood of drowning.
Unfortunately, older Australians (those aged 55 and over) make up a large proportion of the drowning statistics in Australia and as the population is ageing this continues to increase. According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report for 2015, there were 89 drowning deaths of people aged 55 years and over which accounted for 33% of all drowning deaths. Open water environments particularly rivers, creeks and streams are a concern to this life stage and with the diversity of activities they are participating in, drowning prevention becomes a challenge.
Essential water safety information for a range of aquatic locations and recreational activities is the focus for this module. The prevention of emergencies depends on your understanding of, and ability to apply simple water safety actions.
Some of the areas of interest for discussion are:
- Australia drowning statistics
- Identifying hazards in aquatic locations
- Safe practises for aquatic activities
- Drowning awareness campaigns
- Individuals’ role in drowning prevention
Knowing what to do in an emergency situation will more likely result in a positive outcome. The first person on the scene of an emergency is most often a family member so you could one day find yourself needing to provide resuscitation or emergency care.
Ask yourself, would you know what to do?
This module aims to teach the following:
- Recognising an emergency
- Understanding resuscitation and when it’s required
- DRSABCD action plan
Aquatic exercise is ideal for older adults because of its low impact nature making it suitable for both active people and those with restricted mobility. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart attack, improve blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even help to prevent falls and injury. Sessions will aim to further develop your swimming skills in a fun and non-threatening way and is tailored to cater for a range of abilities.
Included may be the following activities:
- Water movement skills
- Gentle exercise
- Correct swimming techniques
- Exercised to improve endurance and fitness levels
Lifesaving skills are not just for those at the local pool or beach. Everybody should have some essential personal survival techniques and basic rescue skills. You never know when these skills may need to be put into practise either to ensure your own safety or to assist somebody else in trouble.
Skills taught will include:
- Safe entries and exits
- Survival techniques and strategies
- Rescue principles
- Non swimming rescues