Water Therapy Brightens Her Days
by Sandi Fahy
Photo by SANDI FAHY
Five years ago, Cate Zielenski, now 75, had knee replacement surgery on both legs. While still in rehab, she fell and had to undergo a second operation. There were complications, she said, and since that time, she has been unable to walk. That is, until she started taking the water exercise classes at the Long Center in Clearwater not long ago.
"When I leave (the pool), I feel like a new person," Zielenski stated earlier this week. The lady who requires a power chair and a lift chair to get around has discovered that she can walk while in the water. "Martha's special exercises have helped tremendously," she noted. Martha is instructor Martha Dupes, an Indiana University graduate with a B.S. degree in physical education and M.S. degree in health and safety who has also taken physical therapy courses. She follows the Arthritis Foundation program of water exercises in her classes (10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday). She conducts a "healthy recovery" class for persons recuperating from surgery or strokes from 2 to 3 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday.
Zielenski, who also has arthritis and epilepsy, advises she cannot swim but is thrilled to be able to move her legs in the water. She enters the pool via a lift chair. Once in the water, she can't stop smiling, she says. Back at home she is still confined to a power chair. She has a caregiver who assists her.
She is driven to the Long Center one to three times a week, depending on who is available to take her. "I'd come more often if I had the transportation," Zielenski said.
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