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DIVING OVER 50 YEARS OLD

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine Q&A' started by clarkey, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. KeithG

    KeithG Guest

    I think most of us readers are missing a few fine points? Or maybe I am totally out to lunch?

    All training courses require a medical signoff. When I went to get certified I got my first medical ever. So stop beating the OP up for requiring a medical for training courses.

    Their other requirement is for divers over 50 to display evidence of "dive insurance" (not a medical - the first few posts confused me so I may be wrong?) Every LOB I use requires us to provide evidence of appropriate medical insurance (not dive insurance as that is just stupid!)
     
  2. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

    5,721
    463
    Last I knew all recreational/non-commercial/non-professional scuba certification programs in Canada (and the USA and most other countries) only require completion of the standard Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) medical questionnaire (https://www.padi.com/documents/padi-courses/2.1.5 rstc medstate v201.pdf). If all responses are in the negative, the diver is good to go. If any of them are in the affirmative, physician clearance for diving may be required.

    Perhaps I am mistaken or out-of-date?

    I'm a bit confused by this as dive insurance policies, particularly the top tier ones, include both very generous dive accident and reasonable non-diving medical coverage, as well as a number of potentially quite valuable related coverages at surprisingly reasonable prices, e.g., Dive Accident Insurance — Guardian Plan — DAN | Divers Alert Network, DiveAssure Diving and Travel Insurance Travel Insurance.

    Am I perhaps missing the distinction that you are trying to make?

    Cheers,

    DocVikingo
     
  3. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    3,209
    1,301
    It was suggested that people over 50 not be allowed to scuba dive. Personally that concept is way beyond unacceptable. Next is someone going to tell me I can't have sex because I might die? These are two of the things that, for me, make life worth living. If someone wants to require some kind of release of liability for older divers then for me that's a big "whatever" as long as I can still go diving. I will not live my life based upon over-caution. If I did that I would never get on the jet airliner in the first place to get to the great dive destinations. I'm not going to stay and home and be "safe" because of some miniscule chance that I might ruin someone's day. Staying at home would ruin my day. Nor am I going to do anything unnecessarily reckless that is beyond my limitations.
     
    dead dog and gfaith like this.
  4. Cali_diver

    Cali_diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: California
    1,015
    582
    I have never been on a LOB that asks for medical insurance. Only Dive Insurance, and all of them highly recommend trip insurance (which can have a medical portion as well).
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  5. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    7,473
    4,650
    I would agree that such a general restriction is definitely WBA. But, that didn't come from the OP starting the thread. All clarkey is proposing is requiring a 'real' medical for divers over 50 wanting to take classes through his shop, and possibly requiring a medical for all divers over 50 diving through his shop, or at least proof of insurance that covers diving.
     
  6. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    6,374
    1,290
    No, you are correct.

    However, the "clearance" is required in the event of a "yes". A "yes" does not mean you can't dive, a "yes" simply means you need ensure that you are okay to dive.
     
  7. tep

    tep ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Diego CA USA
    505
    211
    As many have pointed out, the DAN study isn't set up, or doesn't have the data, to answer the questions we're all trying to ask.

    Yes, it's likely more risky for us to dive as we get older for lots of reasons. How much riskier, no one can quantify. Enough additional risk that dive operators should take some (possibly draconian) steps to protect themselves, or even will it pay off for them to do so? Can't tell.

    My anecdotal (eg, crappy and not statistically valid) evidence is that there are more older (say 35+, even 40+ or 50+) divers on dive trips than younger ones. I could guess at lots of reasons. I certainly have had more time and money to dive now than when I was in my 20s and had 2 kids.

    Now, are senior people healthy enough to dive? Another question that DAN (or scubaboard users) can't answer. DAN doesn't have the data and scubaboard users are a self-selecting bunch. I would tend to believe that the average "more mature" scubaboard person, who is diving regularly, is healthier than at the median for their age. Active, engaged, and concerned about their health seems to be a "thing" here. Not for everyone at that age. Scubaboard attracts enthusiasts, and from the (usual) level of discussion, usually pretty engaged and aware.

    Personally, I'm in better shape now than I was 8-10 years ago. By a long shot. But that's not typical in the overall population.

    My answer: DAN insurance is well worth it. Dive within my limits. Avoid operators that don't have available medical, just because I'm at increased risk, not because they aren't good operators, or in a wonderful dive location. There are thousands of amazing and wonderful places in the world I will never dive. Because of my limitations, not theirs.
     
    Hawkwood and Colliam7 like this.
  8. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    6,374
    1,290
    @tep that was a nice, well reasoned comment.
     
  9. redacted

    redacted Guest

    It is my impression that it is older diver, like myself, who tend to have both the time and the money to go diving. I don't pay dive ops to give me a hard time.
     
    dead dog likes this.
  10. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    3,256
    3,244
    Since I last commented here, some of this stuff has hit close to home... My long time (35 years+, perhaps 1500 dives together) buddy has discovered that he's a FOB. (Fat Old Bastard). He was on a trip recently where he suffered an IPE which resolved successfully. However, this lead to trips to his Doctor of course, and then a Cardiologist. After some preliminary tests, the Cardiologist believes he has a serious cardiac blockage. He is slated for further tests and speculation is that an angioplasty (minimum) or bypass surgery will be required.

    Why I raise this is that all of this came as a big surprise to him, although not to me. Bear in mind he is obese, hasn't exercised really at all for as long as I have known him, and has a horrible bachelor's diet (one large restaurant meal a day). His fitness level has been a concern of mine for years and I wasn't sure how to deal with it. On the upside, he's an excellent diver, and he isn't afraid to call a dive if he thinks conditions aren't favourable. He is taking this seriously though and has bailed (at some expense) on two planned trips. As much as I hate to see him unable to dive, I am hopeful that this will be the impetus to start to look after himself. Although it will be a long haul.

    My point in raising this is only that in his mind, he was perfectly suited to dive. He felt his skill level and experience would make up for any lack of fitness. This guy routinely participates in "big dives"... 220' - 260' trimix. On the dive where he experience the IPE, he completed 18 minutes of deco (on O2) with his lungs effectively filled with fluid.

    I suspect that he is not atypical of many of "us"... we were fit at one time, and we remain moderately fit to this day, but a "fit" 50 year old is not the same as a "fit" 30-year old for the vast majority. Up until age 45 or so, I was running on average, 40 - 50 miles a week on rugged, hilly terrain. Fifteen years later, I still consider myself "fit" but I base that on successful completion of an hour on an elliptical trainer and a little light weight training. I have a decent gym in my house and I use it. Most of us are in a certain amount of denial about our true fitness level.

    Back to the original topic of this thread, I agree completely with what the OP is considering, but short of insisting that prospective guests have a legitimate diving physical including a stress test, I don't know what good this will do, other than damage his business by redirecting a large demographic elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016

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