The conversations of life

Making waves: 91-year-old aged care resident and former champion swimmer returns to the pool


A decade ago, Don Muir was ranked the 10th-fastest swimmer in the world for his age group, but a 2013 diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a condition that stiffens the muscles and makes it difficult to move, had slowed him down.

Moving into the Uniting Mayflower aged care home at Gerringong, Don continued to swim for the next couple of years, but eventually was forced to retire from his swim team.

Since then, Don had stayed on dry land – until the home’s lifestyle coordinator Margaret Darling found a swimming pool with disabled facilities.

“When I realised what a swimming champion Don was, I knew I had to find a way to get him back in the pool. It was an incredible day and he really loosened up and was able to move his legs a lot more freely than out of the water. I’ll definitely try to arrange it again,” Ms Darling said.

Daughter Kellie Goodridge says it was lovely to see her father back doing what he loves. “He has lost a lot of expression in his face but I can see past the condition and recognise a little smile,” she said.

Care homes again helping residents to live their best life.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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