Potters Bar care home fulfils 95-year-old’s dream to swim again

PUBLISHED: 13:34 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 09 August 2017

Cuffley Manor member of staff helping Joan Tweed to swim.

Cuffley Manor member of staff helping Joan Tweed to swim.


A 95-year-old woman from Potters Bar shed tears of joy after carers took her swimming for the first time since her husband died.

Cuffley Manor staff with Joan Tweed. Cuffley Manor staff with Joan Tweed.

Cuffley Manor’s staff have started taking some of the residents swimming, despite them needing care, being in their 90s and having not swum for years.

Joan Tweed, 95, was one of those who jumped at the opportunity, and with her son’s blessing the staff bought her a swimming costume.

Although she hadn’t swum since her husband died 17 years ago, Joan had been a keen swimmer since she was five years old and has all of her original certificates in her room.

A Cuffley Manor spokeswoman said: “On the first visit, Joan was very emotional, even tearful because she couldn’t believe she was swimming after so many years.

Cuffley Manor member of staff helping Joan Tweed to swim. Cuffley Manor member of staff helping Joan Tweed to swim.

“She told us that she felt like she was ‘living a dream’ and now keeps her photographs close by and shows them to everyone to prove that she can still swim.”

The care home’s residents now enjoy weekly sessions – specifically for people with disabilities – at Potters Bar’s Barracuda Swimming Club in the Furzefield Centre, every Sunday between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

The spokeswoman added: “Of course, the main reason we started the swimming club was to help our residents live out their dreams, but there are so many benefits in swimming for older people.

“For example, swimming can improve heart health, it’s so gentle on the joints, it increases flexibility whilst improving muscle strength and tone, it boosts mental health, and of course, it’s fun.”

She added: “A couple of our residents had always enjoyed swimming and we thought that shouldn’t stop now, just because they needed extra care.”

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