With the temperature slowly dropping and the occasional sight of snow, what better way to escape the cold weather than by jumping into a swimming pool?
No, I’m not going crazy, and I’m not just talking about any swimming pool. I’m referring to the new 92 degree therapy pool inside the Kay and Jim Morrissey Advanced Therapy Center at Home of the Innocents, 1100 E. Market St.
Last week, I stopped by for a quick dip in the salt-water pool that is now open to the public – so long as you have a signed physcian’s consent form.
Just over a year ago, the pool was installed at the non-profit agency as part of its Phase II expansion, a $33 million capital campaign for Home of the Innocents.
While the pool is open for recreational purposes, it is also utilized for various programs at the center and has been an enormous help in assisting medically fragile children, those facing trauma and children with autism. It has also become a part of the Open Arms Children’s Health program, which integrates different health care services, including those in medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy.
“We want our disciplines to work together,” said Gordon Brown, president and CEO of Home of the Innocents. “We want our therapy department to know what our dentists are doing and so on, and the pool can become part of the treatment program.”
Therapists will bring children into the pool in order to help them become acquainted with an unknown medium – in this case, the water. By using the pool, improvements have been seen in children who are sometimes intimidated by unfamiliar or uncomfortable environments, such as a dentist’s chair or doctor’s office.
“With it being 92 degrees, they’re more relaxed,” said Mickey Baron, a physical therapist and director of the Kay and Jim Morrissey Advanced Therapy Center. “It gets them over a lot of their fears.”
With the variety of equipment located near and in the pool, the facility can accommodate just about any want or need for children at the Home of the Innocents. The pool is one of only a few in Louisville that offer a stretcher lift for those who are unable to sit up fully on their own and also provides a ramp, chair, exercise benches, splash area for kids and floating vent for those on a ventilator system.
If you’re looking to shoot some hoops in the water, the pool also has a basketball goal set up along the edge. You can lay around on one of the many flotation devices stored in the pool closet, as well, or bring out the volleyball for a game of bump, set, spike.
After enjoying the warm water, you can then relax in the locker room filled with handicap accessible showers and spacious changing rooms. In addition to taking a swim, you can dry off with a quick game of basketball on the full-length court inside the auditorium or grab some food from the catering kitchen.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly encourage you to escape the cold and head downtown to the heated pool at Home of the Innocents. But, don’t forget a medical release form, which is required by the center. You can get your daily exercise in by swimming a few laps and spend an afternoon in a family-friendly center with all you need for a day filled with fun.
For more information, visit www.homeoftheinnocents.org.
The Kay & Jim Morrissey Advanced Therapy Center at Home of the Innocents
1100 E. Market St.
Arthritis class: Wednesday and Friday: 12:15 to 1 p.m.
Water Pilates: Thursday: 6 to 6:45 p.m.
Mother/Baby Swim: Saturday: 10:15 and 11 a.m.
Additional Classes: Adult and child swim lessons, swim lessons for special needs, Parkinson’s aquatic classes, Fit and Fun classes for youth, parent and caregiver classes (bring a child for therapeutic play).
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Monday and Wednesday
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Tuesday and Friday
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Thursday
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Saturday
(Hours are gradually being expanded)
Cost per 1-Hour Visit:
General Admission: $6 or 8 visits for $40
Attendant Admission: $4 or 8 visits for $30
Therapist Admission: $10 or 10 visits for $90
Family: $60/month (individuals and their attendant qualify as family)
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.498.2051.