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Healthwatch 16: 65 Forward keeping seniors healthy through pandemic

When COVID-19 hit last year, gyms and fitness centers were affected. That affected some older people in the area who used them to keep up strength and mobility.

KINGSTON, Pa. — It's time for a chair yoga class at Geisinger 65 Forward health center on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston—a moment of Zen in an otherwise busy day.

But Jack Dunn will tell you this is part of why he's living so well at 87 years old.

"I don't feel like I did when I was 18. but I'm gettin' along."

Jack started off by telling us he's a farm boy whose early life was filled with the physical rigors of farm life.

"beef Cattle, a small dairy, we had chickens, we had hogs," Dunn said.

Last December, Jack was diagnosed with COVID-19. He says the gym at his assisted-living facility closed for safety reasons, but he managed to get his workouts in here.

"Our main goal is to really try to prevent falls and emergency room visits. Everything we're doing with the patient is to help with balance, coordination, muscle strength, flexibility, mobility," said Wendi Cerra-Hand, the senior wellness coordinator at 65 Forward.

She says as we age, we naturally lose strength and balance, and the goal here is to ward that off. She adds the social component is important too.

Jack takes advantage of physical therapy, speech therapy, nutritionists, even x-ray services to watch his lungs since he battled the virus.

Wendi loves seeing him in class as many as three times a week.

"He's actually a really big inspiration to me and to the other patients here because he has really pushed through a lot of different health issues and concerns."

A work ethic perhaps learned on a farm all those years ago.

"Thanks to the care I get here at 65 Forward, I'm doing pretty well.

Find out more about 65 Forward here.

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