(Frequently Asked Questions)
IS THE POOL WARM?
The hydrotherapy pools at Aspley are indoor pools and the water is kept at thermoneutral temperature of 34°C in one pool and 30°C in the deeper fitness pool. The pool at Jindalee (run by Sinnamon Village) is indoors and 34°C. Water at 34°C feels comfortably warm and is a very pleasant environment to exercise in while 30° is a little cooler but is suitable for vigorous exercise.
CAN THE PUBLIC ACCESS THE POOL?
The Hydrotherapy Brisbane pools are not public pools (like the local council pool) but the public can access the pools. Due to our high proportion of rehabilitation patients, frail, aged, special needs and clients recovering from injury or surgery we have a strict safety code. Everyone who uses our pools fills out a form which has a health screening component, and has to show that they are capable of using the pool independently and safely. This means that they have to initially see a physio, join a class, attend an aqua aerobics class or have a personal aquatic training session. A person’s medical or physical condition may predict who they would need to see. They can then continue to attend in one of the following ways:
- if they need individual attention (such as after a recent surgery or injury), they may require further physiotherapy sessions or attend classes after initial consultation
- if no individual attention is needed, they may attend classes or be given a program and attend the pool independently in certain hours.
Safety is our priority. You don’t actually have to be able to swim to attend independently but you have to show certain water confidence strategies. If you aren’t confident in the water we have options for you to attend. This can include attending with a carer, attending a group or even having water confidence training sessions. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.
We do reserve the right to refuse entry, or suggest alternate means of attendance to anyone who we feel is unsafe or requires increased supervision. We have a strict safety code, and over time some peoples water confidence and safety may change or deteriorate (just as their walking may deteriorate). If this occurs more supervision may be required. Age or ability is no barrier in our pool. Our youngest child is 3months old and our oldest is 93 years old. We have footballers, mums, grandmas, 12 year old boys attending to carry out a specific exercise program for weight management, strength and fitness!
We are committed to a safe, accessible pool. Please contact us to find out how you or your loved one can access the pool.
ARE THERE CHANGE ROOMS ON SITE?
There are male, female and disabled change rooms on site at both facilities. The change rooms at Jindalee are not large and several of the patients who live reasonably close to the facility will come and go in their swimsuit with a tracksuit over the top.
DO I NEED TO PUT MY HEAD UNDER?
Most treatment sessions and classes do not require you to put your head under at all. Sometimes the physiotherapist will do exercise or treatment techniques that mean the back of your hair might get a little wet but if you do not wish this to happen you can tell the physiotherapist or wear a bathing cap.
CAN I WEAR MY GLASSES IN THE POOL?
Yes, since most treatment sessions and classes do not require you to swim or put your head under at all. Occassionally your glasses might get splashed but we have towels handy to wipe them. Sometimes you will be required to read the list of exercises that the physiotherapist has designed for you so your glasses may be required.
WHAT DO I WEAR TO THE POOL (I DON’T OWN SWIMMING TOGS)?
We ask people to wear pool-suitable clothing, this can include commercial swim wear or gym wear. Heavy fabrics (such as cotton t-shirts) absorb water and become heavy, lighter weight polyesters tend not to absorb so much water. Boardies (surf shorts) and a rashie (surf top) are easily found and suitable for the pool. On your first session any swimwear, gym-wear or light-weight shorts and top would be fine. We can discuss with you other options after you have experienced your first session. If you are worried about what to wear one of our very experienced staff members is happy to speak to you over the phone. Being in pain, certain surgeries or being over-weight can all make the idea of swimwear less than pleasant but we have ways to make this easier for you.
DO YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM TO DO HYDROTHERAPY?
Being able to swim is not essential when doing hydrotherapy. Initially the physio will be with you, and in fact, depending on your condition swimming may not be the best thing to do. As you progress there are several possibilities. These may include group or class opportunities, buddy situations, independent exercise or other possibilities. Depending on your condition, water confidence and swimming ability we will discuss the best option for you.
WHERE DO I PARK?
The pool is built on the top floor of a shopping centre with a supermarket, chemist, coffee shop and more!!!! There is a large car park underneath with both a travelator and lift to the shopping level or a lift straight to the pool level. The parking is free at present.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
We offer many different services from individual pool use to classes to aquatic physiotherapy, so prices vary according to individual circumstances. Please contact us so that one of our friendly staff members can provide you with more information. The vast majority of private health funds offer rebates for Aquatic physiotherapy treatments (although it’s always wise to check directly with your insurance provider). We have HICAPS facilities onsite, enabling us to process the health fund rebate on the spot for most major funds.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM MY DOCTOR OR SPECIALIST?
Generally you don’t need a referral, but that is dependent on your method of paying/funding. If you are self-paying, or using your health fund you don’t need a referral. If you are using Medicare, DVA, Workcover or Third Party insurers you will need a referral specific to that funding body. Better Start users are required to be registered with Better Start and have a CRN number before starting treatment.
CAN I GET A HEALTH FUND REBATE OR IS THERE ANY FUNDING TO HELP COVER THE COSTS?
Fees are generally payable at time of treatment.
Private health fund rebates can be claimed from most health funds for Physiotherapy, Aquatic Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy. We have the facility to process most claims at the time of payment.
We accept DVA, Third Party and Workcover patients, with appropriate approval or paperwork. Third Party and Workcover patients are responsible for payment of their accounts should funding cease.
Medicare rebates for Physiotherapy, Aquatic Physiotherapy services are available for patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs on referral from their GP. Through Medicare (EPC/Teamcare/Chronic Disease Management) and with appropriate paperwork you may be eligible for partial funding for up to 5 sessions with a physiotherapist in a calendar year (dated from your first session). We do not bulk bill, so there will be a gap payment. Ask you GP or speak to us for more information.
Better Start funding is available for children under the age of 13 with appropriate paperwork. Better Start users are required to be registered with Better Start and have a CRN number before starting treatment.
I HAD A STROKE 6 MONTHS AGO. CAN I STILL IMPROVE WITH HYDROTHERAPY?
The easy answer to this is yes. And if you don’t try you will never know. Anecdotally you will hear lots of stories of people improving years after events such as a stroke or ABI (acquired brain injury), yet mainstream medicine is often required to cut funding/treatment for rehabilitation very early on in the course of rehabilitation after such an event. As with any therapy discuss with the therapist, plan goals, and if you don’t see improvement or some benefit don’t continue with the therapy. Having said that, no therapy will be miraculous and sometimes gains are small but worth working for.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I COME?
Frequency and length of sessions will depend on your condition and the goals you discuss with your therapist. Other treatments you may be having will play a role in planning the optimal frequency. Some conditions benefit from 2 or 3 sessions weekly initially, others may need only one or 2 sessions a week. We have a special pool pass for those people who may need to attend daily for a short period of time to reduce swelling or pain.
CAN I BE SEEN IN MY POOL AT HOME?
We can do home visits, depending on where you live and the problem to be treated. The use of other pools can on occasion be limited by access, depth, equipment and temperature. Where possible we prefer to see you at a purpose built hydrotherapy pool, where we have all our equipment on hand, and can give you our best possible treatment. We may then be able to work with you to create a home program, then do a home visit, train a carer or whatever is appropriate. We are happy to discuss your own specific needs with you.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR ME TO EXERCISE LONG TERM?
Many patients/clients continue to use the pool after their treatment has ended, or work independently between their therapy session or maybe progress to being able to attend a balance and mobility class, a fitness or “Poolates” class. Many people use the pool as their (water based) gym and attend independently. Pool use passes are available. As this is not a public pool all patrons will need an initial session with one of the hydrotherapy staff or a specific referral from their own physiotherapist before using the pools independently. Please inquire regarding the exact requirements.
I’VE HAD EAR PROBLEMS / EYE SURGERY / SKIN PROCEDURE AND MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I COULDN’T GO SWIMMING. CAN I STILL COME TO HYDROTHERAPY?
Most doctors imagine you get your hair and face wet when coming to the pool. Few of our patients get their ears or hair wet, or swim (though some do for a therapeutic purpose). If you have been attending previously you will know if you regularly leave with dry hair/ears etc and can safely attend. It would be useful to explain to the doctor that it is hydrotherapy, not swimming, and your head is out of the water. For those with eye issues a pair of sunglasses or safety goggles can be useful, for those with ear issues a scarf, cotton cap or similar can be useful against splash. We don’t suggest you wear a plastic cap as you may get warm with that on and that can increase sweating and wet your ear that way.
I’D LIKE TO USE THE POOL FOR EXERCISE BY CAN’T MAKE CLASSES. ARE THERE ANY OTHER OPTIONS?
.So you can’t make it to one of our aquafitness classes as you schedule doesn’t allow it? No worries! Ours is not a public pool, but we have public access. That means that once you have attended a class (or 2 or 3 depending on your safety and ability to perform the exercises correctly) we can give you a program that will allow you to attend at a time to suit yourself. To attend independently you do need to be water confident. You may not be a swimmer but you may be able to demonstrate the ability to move with confidence in the water. (Otherwise you would need to attend a class or come with a carer.)
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A CARER IN THE WATER?
.There are many reasons why someone may need a carer. Some people may have unstable medical conditions, for example epilepsy, or diabetes. They may still need to exercise and because of other risks the water may be the best place. A carer would stay with in arms reach and in face-to-face supervision to allow that person to continue their exercise program. You may be older and frailer and may not swim as you used to, or you may not swim but need the rehabilitation benefits of hydrotherapy. After having physiotherapy treatment it may be possible to continue your exercise program with a carer to ensure safety. We have many “grandies” whose children or grandchildren bring them to the hydro pool for weekly or twice weekly exercise.
A carer does have to get in the pool, and does have to demonstrate good swimming skill.
SHOULD I JUST JOIN A CLASS? HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A SPECIFIC TREATMENT?
.Most classes are reasonably generic and will give a full body work out/stretch/exercise or whatever is appropriate, usually for general maintenance of a condition such as arthritis. For example in most arthritis classes you would do range of movement and strength exercises for many joints (eg neck, shoulder, hands, knees, hip, feet). If you have a specific problem there is little evidence to support that a generic approach will help. Certainly any exercise is better than no exercise, but if you are looking at improving a very specific knee issue then an individual session, with the focus of your time being spent on the lower limb and knee, is likely to have a better outcome than a class where you will spend time exercising the shoulder, elbow, feet and hands.
Also no two people are the same. If they were, life would be easy and we could solve all aches and pains easily by following a recipe. A class is a bit of a recipe, it’s a great way of maintaining gains, keeping mobile etc, but even class members who get a painful knee will often have an individual session to make sure they spend time focussing on the knee, and maybe modifying what they do in the class so as not to aggravate their condition. Balance is another great example. There are many reasons why people’s balance deteriorates, and why they may fall. There is no one-size-fits all answer to improve balance. Finding out what needs work is essential and one would need an individual session to work that out. Pain is another reason to see someone for an individual session. Classes me help to decrease the general pain of a condition but may exacerbate the specific pain of a new and irritable condition such as a painful knee. Don’t hesitate to contact us to ask about your own problem.
I DON’T HAVE ANY SPECIFIC INJURIES, BUT AM LOOKING TO IMPROVE MY FITNESS. IS THE POOL FOR ME?
Absolutely! There are so many reasons to use the pool as part of your fitness regime. And you don’t have to be injured. In fact for some it helps prevent injury. Athletes and fitness fanatics use cross training to vary the exercise and prevent injury from repeated movements (over-use) or repeated impact (eg. running or jogging). Deep water fitness is perfect for this and there are many reports and studies of the use of aquatic exercise for this purpose. There are also many reports and studies that look at the cardiovascular benefit of water exercise in any population. You may not be able to achieve an aerobic level of exercise on land due to arthritis, weight or pain, or you may just be bored with your current regime and want variety. Aqua aerobics and deep water fitness are perfect alternatives. They are year round alternatives to hot pavements, rainy days, too much sunshine or in winter those windy, cold footpaths.