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Community Concern for the Future of the Wellness Center

Meadows Memorial Medical Center Health Corporation of America Although it is sad to lose our local hospital as we have known it, the public has been assured that there will be many benefits to a large entity, such as HCA, taking over. However, I have some things on my mind which also concern several friends. Giving credence to rumors and speculation is a waste of time and only brings resentment and confusion and is not really my style anyway.

The topic here is Meadows Wellness Center. Several years ago, I was referred to the Wellness Center’s Physical Therapy Center and have needed it more than once. When therapy was completed, I was told the pool in the Fitness Center would be very beneficial to my joints and spine. Arthritic problems that plague so many of us at a certain age-and youngerbenefit greatly from water exercises. There are many benefits and minimal, if any, joint damage.

In the classes I attended, our instructor didn’t let us stop one minute for a solid hour with varied types of exercises that targeted different parts of the body. As a result of these classes and the special camaraderie that flowed between us, it was almost difficult to tell if the wonderful benefits were more physical or mental. Both are essential to the well-being of seniors, especially. In addition to the pool offerings, there were exercise classes conducted sitting on chairs for those who needed that, as well as other types of classes. And, in the weight and track room many Senior (and non-senior) men and women worked out diligently. Some were moving into Dementia, and the social and physical benefits were clear. We were all strong, healthy and happy.

Since the Covid shutdown, we have all gained weight, lost balance skills and strength. There have been falls and other injuries that didn’t happen while we exercised in the pool. We are stiffer, slower and feel more fragile; and, some of our sense of purpose and fun are missing. We have heard that the Wellness Center will be closed permanently and are very upset. In his letter in the paper several weeks ago, Mr. Kent stated that HCA would be very mindful of the needs and well-being of the community, and that was reiterated last week in another letter. The closure of the Wellness Center is far from considering the needs and well-being of the community and will be detrimental to very many.

If it is true that the Wellness Center is slated to close permanently, please, please reconsider and think hard about the Seniors in the community. If it is not true, that is great news. Respectfully, Hallie Leach Webb Ailey, Georgia

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