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Dolly’s Story

July 14th, 2020

When COVID-19 caused organizations across the city to close, Dolly lost all of her social outlets. As a long time widow, 82-year-old Dolly relies on church gatherings and swim classes at Turnstone to stay engaged with friends her age.

About five years ago, Dolly discovered Turnstone when she visited a swim class with Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. With a love for swimming, Dolly was excited to learn that Turnstone offered group fitness classes in their warm water therapy pool.

As someone who uses a walker, Dolly enjoys coming to Turnstone because of the accessibility of the equipment and facility. Today, she has found the same benefit to be true with Turnstone’s introduction of virtual programming. Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, Dolly has remained encouraged through weekly Zoom calls with her Turnstone fitness class.

Because of continued support from donors like you, Turnstone is able to offer expertise in active living and comradery through group fitness classes led by trained fitness specialists. Our fitness specialists knew that the significance of these classes would continue to be critical during the pandemic for people like Dolly.

Dolly’s fitness instructor and Turnstone staff member, Amber, said, “Clients need to maintain the work they have put in while exercising at Turnstone. If they did nothing, there could be a drastic decrease in many areas of their health. The importance of exercise, to stay healthy and independent, doesn't just go away because there is a pandemic.”

Dolly has especially appreciated the weekly at-home challenges Amber issues their virtual class. One week, Dolly was prompted to get her gratitude journal back off the bookshelf and has continued to use it even after the challenge expired.

Amber shared that Dolly’s perseverance in her fitness journey has been evident through her consistent attendance on Zoom and dedication to seizing each challenge. She also claimed that all of her group fitness participants have shown tremendous adaptability in transitioning to an online platform. Dolly will admit that clicking on the Zoom link was easier than she anticipated!

Thanks to continued gifts to Turnstone, the closure of the building has not stopped clients from pursuing their goals. Donor-supported Virtual Turnstone programming has allowed people like Dolly continued access to Turnstone’s resources and staff from the safety of their home.

Although she is staying at home, Dolly has not allowed the COVID-19 crisis to slow her down. She has loved seeing her friends through the computer and the encouragement in staying connected virtually, but is anxious to get back in the pool – and like many of us, back to her normal routine.


Dolly's Story was originally published in Turnstone's 2020 Summer Empower Newsletter. Click here to read the original publication. 

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