New lease of life for Burnside resident

Burnside Nursing Home resident May Kelman.
Burnside Nursing Home resident May Kelman.

A Burnside Nursing Home resident has hailed the benefits of swimming after her life was transformed and it eased the symptoms of her dementia.

May Kelman’s speech has been quite seriously affected by the disease. She often struggles to find the words that she wants to say which leads to increased anxiety and stress.

A former marathon runner, May is well used to exercise but having recently had a knee operation, was finding walking distances quite difficult. The team knew that May used to swim in her younger years and suggested that this might be an alternative exercise as it would put much less pressure on her joints.

May’s first reaction was ‘I don’t think I could do that’ but in the true spirit of a person used to working towards sporting goals, gave it a go. She is now swimming weekly and the difference in her strength and mobility is significant as well as the boost it has given her self-confidence and mental wellbeing.

Emma Steel, enablement co-ordinator from Burnside Nursing Home said: “The most amazing outcome of the regular swimming has been the discovery that May can talk clearly when she is in the water and has no problem in finding the words she wants to say. What a great result.”

Burnside Nursing Home is based in Laurencekirk, and is a purpose-built facility with en-suite rooms and spacious living areas, where residents receive a friendly service and have an active lifestyle supported.

The health benefits of swimming are well documented, andit is also reccommended to help with ailments such as arthritis and painful joints. It is also thought to improve bone strength - especially in post-menopausal women.

Swimming can also reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce blood pressure.

What do you think? Get in touch with your views, email us at, or phone our editorial team on (01569) 762859.