The best therapy pool should be selected by considering how many patients will be using it, its safety features, its purpose and its accessibility. Therapy pools can be freestanding or sunken into the ground, this depends on access requirements and the space available. A therapy pool should be an appropriate size for the intended number of users, and the water depth should be no more than chest height and the pool floor must be non-slip. Look for a pool that is adaptable to add a hoist or platform for easy access. Overall, the pool must be be sturdy, watertight and pleasing to look at.
A therapy pool resembles a small swimming pool or large hot tub and is used to perform exercises using water resistance to gently build muscle and joint strength. Choose a pool large enough to comfortably fit the intended number of users. A physical rehabilitation center would purchase a larger pool to hold around 10 or more people, whereas a therapy pool for the home would be much smaller.
If you are choosing a pool for patients, a therapy pool sunken into the ground can usually be easier to access. Patients can be lowered into the water if needed by using a special hoist, eliminating the problem of getting over the side of the pool. It can be more useful however, to have a freestanding pool where therapists on the outside can coach individuals inside the pool at eye level. This is useful for people with disabilities who might require help and guidance. Glass sides are sometimes installed so that a medical professional can assess a patient's progress while he exercises in the pool.
A freestanding pool is usually easier to set up within the home, eliminating the cost of having it sunken into the ground. The pool must be supplied with good maintenance and filtration equipment to keep the pool hygienic and safe. Find out if regular servicing is available from the therapy pool suppliers, to ensure that the pool remains in good working order. The suppliers should instruct you on how to care for your therapy pool once it is installed.
Water depth in a therapy pool should be around chest height when standing on the bottom. The pool floor must be flat and even, with no deep or shallow areas, and textured to prevent slipping. Choose a pool made of good quality materials that are thick and durable. Check display models to ensure there are no leaks and that the outer surfaces are free of sharp edges.
Quality therapy pool manufacturers usually offer a range of exercise equipment to accompany their pools. Hand paddles and dumbbells can be used to enhance water resistance. Aquatic treadmills allow the user to walk gently, while exercising muscles throughout the body. Look for a good selection of accompanying products to enhance the use of the pool.