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Old 11-02-2016, 08:16 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,643 posts, read 17,615,071 times
Reputation: 27711


I've had an odd day and ran into this bizarre situation at a YMCA tonight. This is more of a health topic but specific to seniors so I thought it would best fit here among a senior audience.

We have two YMCAs in my area - one built in 2013 without a steam room, sauna, or a hot tub, and an older one in Bristol, TN with these amenities. I was a member of the Bristol facility from like 2010 to 2013 as it was on my way to work at the time, but mostly frequent the newer one now - if I want to sit in the hot tub, I make a special trip to Bristol. The older facility has a well-established clientele, with a large senior cohort, and I've seen many of the same people there before. The steam room, sauna, and hot tub are in a separate, large room adjacent to the men's lockers - no women are in there.

The hot tubs were closed "until further notice" and there were multiple layers of caution tape barring people from entering the hot tub, which is in a small room offset from the rest of the space. According to the other patrons in the sauna, a 90 year old man was in the hot tub Sunday and was in there for about fifteen minutes - another patron asked if he was fine and he nodded his head. Someone else found him unresponsive about an hour after that, 911 was called and he was pronounced dead at the YMCA. Back in the winter, the other patrons said an 80 year old man who was recovering from a major heart operation was also unresponsive in the hot tub and died at the hospital. Several years ago another man died on a massage table after getting out of the hot tub. A friend of mine who used to work there confirmed that to me a few minutes ago on Facebook.

The YMCA has now closed the hot tub and are thinking of closing the sauna and steam room. One of the senior patrons said they are likely concerned about liability, but any gym these days has a liability waiver. There have always been warning signs outside these units that people in questionable health should not use them and to use at your own risk. That's not even counting your own common sense. I told him I didn't think there would be any reasonable case at all for holding the Y liable for the man's death. I've never had an issue with the tub but I'm thirty or more years younger than most of the patrons.

The frequent patrons are going to the board of directors to address the situation and have a petition up already to keep the tub open - the facility CEO wants it closed permanently. I can see opening the hot tub room to where people in the tub can be seen outside that small room (you'd never know if anyone is in there without entering that small room), but beyond that closing it is stupid.

One of the men in the sauna said he was 75 and that people of that age have to be extraordinarily careful in these fairly extreme situations. If you have a medical condition, stay out or only use when others are present. Another was 66 and said he was there when another senior passed out in the steam room. It seems these folks are not being careful at all using these facilities.

As a senior, are you extremely cautious in steam rooms, saunas, or other temperature facilities? I honestly don't see how a person could be in extreme danger if they used these facilities responsibly. If you are 80-90, you should be very conservative with the usage, especially if you are alone, but I don't see why anyone should be responsible other than the user if the facility is working as designed.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:02 AM
234 posts, read 178,098 times
Reputation: 321
When I lived in Dallas,there were lots of older people in the dry sauna at the 24 hour fitness. I'm in Los Angeles now, don't see many in there. But that's probably because Jerry Brown has chased them all off. Just saying.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:24 AM
5,431 posts, read 3,458,283 times
Reputation: 13714
What does it mean that "Governor Jerry Brown has chased them all off"??
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:07 AM
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,688,776 times
Reputation: 35450
Spa and Hot Tub Health Risks for Seniors - Big Splash Hot Tubs

This is what an expert says.
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