Easing the Pain of Arthritis

Easing the Pain of Arthritis

May 17, 2019
Joan Katz takes part in an Arthritis Class at Glenmeadow.

Joan Katz was diagnosed with arthritis six years ago—about 18 months before she came to live on our Glenmeadow campus. While she had no pain in her arms or hands, she felt ample throbbing and tenderness in her hips, back, knees, and feet.

Walking was extremely painful. A labor. Then, in early spring this year, Joan enrolled in a new Arthritis Class brainstormed and offered by our certified personal trainer, Deb Padden. Roughly a month later, she began telling us that Deb had changed her life.

“I’m stronger, more sure of myself,” Joan says. “I was walking with my face to the floor, and now I am walking with my head straight again. I’m walking so much easier. The pain level has subsided. The exercises have enabled me to use muscles and joints I didn’t think I would ever be able to use again. Life is a lot easier.”

Joan adds, “Deb is a magic lady. We are so lucky to have her here.”

Our mission at Glenmeadow is to serve older adults in Greater Springfield in the place they call home by enhancing their lives in body, mind, and spirit. Caring for the body is Deb’s expertise. She leads our fitness classes, runs the fitness center, and always keeps an eye on our residents and their specific needs.

She understood that many could benefit from a class that focused on easing the pain of arthritis.

Joan signed up as soon she learned about the new program. She said it’s offered every Thursday at 9: 30 a.m., and the room is always full, with roughly 20 older adults in attendance. She says gentle music plays in the background as Deb calls out instructions.

“Everyone is seated in the class,” Joan adds. “Deb starts by working your head, flexing muscles. She describes what each movement is doing, what group of muscles it is helping in your body. She works down the body to the neck, arms, elbows, fingers, lower back, hips, knees, feet.”

Joan moved to Glenmeadow four and a half years ago. When her three children were young, she traveled around the country with her late husband, George; his work kept them on the go, and they lived in states such as New Jersey and Texas.

When the two older children were college-age and living in the region, and the youngest was in high school, Joan told George it was time to settle down. They moved to this area, and Joan has lived here since. She now has seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Even before her pain subsided, Joan remained active. She continues to keep busy, but now, her activities are not as painful.

“I’m very involved at Glenmeadow,” she says. “I’m on the resident’s board. I work in the store. I play canasta, and I go out. It seems I’m constantly involved in something.”

At 86, Joan feels Glenmeadow keeps her young with its programs, services, compassionate staff members, and lively and active residents. “It was a wonderful day when I moved in here,” Joan says. “Glenmeadow extends life.”

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