Problem Solver - August 2007
Find a printable version here

Improving Pool Accessibility

We want to provide better access to our pool for disabled and elderly patients.

Many doctors, fitness trainers and therapists recommend swimming as an ideal exercise because all muscles are worked without any weight-bearing strain. It's especially beneficial for disabled, elderly and those going through physical therapy due to an injury. Providing safe and convenient access to your pool by patrons with a physical challenge of some kind is important. You'll find a full line of lifts in the industry that will allow patrons of every ability to enter and exit your swimming pool with ease and dignity.

Some of the most advanced units on the market today comply with laws and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), related to public facilities that feature swimming pools and spas. Lifts with molded seats provide extra comfort, while a wide-web seatbelt further ensures safety. A single anchor point eases installation and removal, and stainless-steel construction is a secure and low-maintenance option. Many have a 400-pound load capacity and yet are still easy to operate with handset points, multi-function armrests and self-adjusting footrests.

If you're looking for a unit that may be easily installed on new or existing pools and spas and can be moved from one location to another in a matter of minutes, you'll find plenty of choices as well. Typical operation requires just the push of a button to raise and lower the seat. And setbacks of 12 to 24 inches allow for installation on pools and spas with large gutters and copingstones.

Ideal for institutional use, water-powered and manually rotated units provide a gentle ride for patients, while avoiding unnecessary effort for the attendants. Durable design features include a dual passivation process that ensures maximum corrosion-resistance. Some have load capacities of up to 500 pounds and require only 55 psi of water pressure, with no battery, oil or electrical connections needed.

One leading lift manufacturer also offers a vertical travel platform lift that has a 600-pound load capacity. It's water-powered and travels up to 48 vertical inches, allowing stabilized entry into pools. Safety gates are provided with all units, and the lift itself is tailored to suit your pool.

For assisted access to above-ground pools in an institutional setting, look for stainless-steel construction that's truly built for extreme use to smoothly and safely transport patients, even over high walls. You can find these models in both manual and powered rotation. Other lifts include units that provide convenient, effective access for side-by-side in-ground pools and spas—or for dock-to-boat transfer—where only one lift may be used to gain access to both bodies of water. If you're on a tight budget, there are also lifts for you. Often with 300-pound lifting capacity, these are built for safety, stability and comfort. Some even feature complete armrests, self-adjusting footrests, molded seats and wide-web seatbelts. Dual lift operating controls allow operation from the deck and pool.

Spectrum Products: