Adding life to years
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Senior Swim Program

Senior Swim Program

Status: Ongoing


New York City United States of America
Print this page City population: 840583716% over 60Practice started in 2011


When Age-friendly NYC, a partnership of the Office of the Mayor, the City Council and the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) spoke to several thousand older adults throughout the city, many said that they were craving a place to cool off, to socialize and to get some exercise. A pilot project, Senior Swim was developed in 2012 with one city pool, in which several hours a week were dedicated to seniors only for swimming and aquatic exercises. It was such a success the city extended it to 14 pools in 2013 and 16 pools in 2014 and 2015.


Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Other target group(s): Disabled

Sector(s): Urban development

Desired outcome for older people:
Be mobile

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:

Other Issues: Social participation, community support and health services, respect and social inclusion

Contact details

Name: Goldman, Lindsay

Email address:

Preferred language(s): English

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Local authorities

Older people’s involvement: Older people were involved in the age-friendly practice at multiple or all stages

Details on older people’s involvement: The older adults attended the Senior Swim pool hours and brought their friends and neighbors to participate.

Moving forward

Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analysed: Yes

Please share with us what you found in detail:
Seniors who participated were very happy and looked forward to next year’s program. Their health and their social well-being were enhanced.

The seniors love Senior Swim. Some of the comments were: “After a fracture I felt weaker. Swimming helped a lot.” “I am more flexible” “I have more energy and I look forward to coming even though the water is cold.” “I am more happy and outgoing.” “Its easier to relate and to make friends.” “I can walk faster.” “I feel overall better than at the start of the summer.”

Expansion plans:
Yes. The project started with 1 pool, then expanded to 12 pools the next year then to 14 pools the following year and then 16 pools. The city hopes to expand the program to more pools next year.

Looking back

It was a joy to work with many of the organizations and to hear their reactions of the announced pool hours. The parks Department was very accommodating and enjoyed working with the seniors as well. Good new friendships were created among seniors and park personnel (lifeguards included). There is nothing we would change to implement this project.

The only obstacle to the project which presented a challenge was transportation to the pools for many seniors. A few senior groups organized car pools 9vans) but most took public transportation if not in a walkable distance.