Calling over 60s - brush up on water safety and learn emergency skills

Older residents can take advantage of a free water safety program that benefits their health, offers lifesaving skills, and provides emergency training that could save the life of grandchildren in their care.

The Grey Medallion is a water safety and lifesaving skills program for over 60s. It aims to reduce drowning and aquatic related injury in older Australian’s and encourage healthy independent and active lifestyles.

Shellharbour City Council will hold the program every Thursday for four weeks at Oak Flats Pool, starting 1 March from 10am to noon.

The course has four modules: water safety knowledge; aquatic exercise; resuscitation and emergency care; and personal survival and lifesaving skills

The program is offered free through a grant from Coordinare - South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network. 

Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said older Australians and young children were regarded as being more vulnerable to drowning risk.

“The Grey Medallion is tailored for all abilities and provides a great opportunity for participants to exercise and have fun while learning skills that might one day save a life – their own or someone else’s,” Cr Saliba said.

“The program is particularly useful for those who look after grandchildren, or seniors who’d like to refresh their water safety knowledge and learn vital resuscitation skills.”

“These days, grandparents are typically bearing more of the responsibility when it comes to looking after grandchildren, so they’re often best placed to respond to emergency situations and potentially prevent drownings.

A 2016 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report showed there were 58 drowning deaths of people aged 65 years and over, representing 21% of all drowning deaths. This is a significant increase against the 10 year average.

To register phone Oak Flats Pool on 4256 1362.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: To organise photos/interviews please contact Kelli Wells 4221 6038 or 0448 361 008.