by Paula Fanken
It’s not unusual for Liz and Rick DeStefano of Scranton to spend three or four days a week at 65 Forward, taking a class in the morning, staying for lunch with friends and then taking another class in the afternoon. “Before we joined 65 Forward, we spent a lot of time sitting around at home,” Ms. DeStefano explains. “Now we have plenty to do, and we’ve made many new friends — lifelong friends. The people at 65 Forward have become our second family.”
Liz and Rick DeStefano take part in an arts and crafts class at Geisinger 65 Forward in Scranton.
Each 65 Forward location has a state-of-the-art exercise facility as well as a clean modern space devoted to classes, lectures and social activities. Yoga, cooking, circuit training and arts and crafts are just a few of the offerings. There are also card and board games, and longer courses designed to address specific health needs such as managing diabetes and dealing with balance issues as you age.
Lou and Barb Borino of Harding are members of the 65 Forward in Kingston. Joining 65 Forward was an easy decision for them. They followed their primary care provider, James Tricarico, DO, when he left the Geisinger Pittston clinic for Geisinger 65 Forward in Kingston.
“Dr. Tricarico is very caring. He looks you right in the eye when he’s talking to you. He’s never rushed,” says Mr. Borino. “We’ve been to other places where doctors are always typing — no eye contact. Everyone deserves to be treated the way we’re treated here.”
As with the Scranton location, Kingston members have an entire team devoted to their care. “I have some medical issues, so the team designed a program to fit my needs,” says Mr. Borino. “The nutritionist tweaked my diet and the wellness coordinator designed an exercise program just for me. And the weight is coming off — I feel better than I have in years.”
Lou and Barb Borino lift weights during a group fitness class in Kingston. The gym and classes offer people age 65 and older a welcoming place to work out, no matter what their fitness level or goals are.
If a patient has medical issues that require talking to a specialist off-site, the team helps facilitate those appointments. Some consultations can even take place through telemedicine, from the comfort and convenience of the clinic. Lab work and other testing services are right on site, so members don’t have to travel to get that work done either. And results come back quickly, which means interventions happen sooner.
“At 65 Forward, you meet people who are going through the same things you are. The camaraderie is amazing,” says Ms. Borino. “I used to imagine what 70 would feel like and I’d picture something completely different than the way I feel today. Age is just a number. Get up, get moving, stay active and stay involved. 65 Forward helps with all of that.”
“The people at 65 Forward have become our second family.”