• Kernes Memorial Pool Provides Water Therapy

    by Peter Mounteer

    On Tuesday, April 23rd, members of the public and the staff of the Josephine Kernes Memorial Pool held an open house event to celebrate the completion of much needed renovations to the facility. The pool is located at 15 Portola Avenue in Monterey, nearby the Naval Post Graduate School, and has been serving the unique excursive needs of disabled individuals on the Monterey Peninsula since 1972.

    The renovations were extensive, and included replastering the pool, refinishing the pool deck and replacing shower heads and fixtures. The project was begun in 2011 with an application to the Community Foundation for Monterey County for a $15,000 matching grant from the Grover Hermann Fund. A year of fundraising later, including the Splash Swimathon fundraiser put on by Kernes Adaptive Aquatics themselves, in the first weekend of October and the nonprofit had $50,000 to spend on pool renovations. Also key was what amounted to $35,000 in donations from the public. The actual renovation process took six weeks, and was completed in two three week sessions, with one occurring over the Christmas holiday and one over the Easter holiday. The two biggest parts of the project included replacing the flooring and the decking, which required a dry environment, and the plastering which required a wet environment, which according to executive director Lynn Young, was entirely self-coordinated by the staff at Kernes.

    Kernes Adaptive Aquatics serves individuals of all ages, and Young has seen patients at the pool as young as three months of age, and as old as 102 years. There are three program levels available to pool users. The first are the Full Assistance programs geared toward people of all ages who require continuous aid in the water; Partial Assistance programs serving adults who need help entering and exiting the water or wish to have some guidance during exercise; and Independent Time, for those who do not need assistance in the pool. Also available are Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program classes conducted by certified staff members of the Kernes facility teaching medically approved exercises developed by the National Arthritis Foundation.

    The exercise offered at Kernes Pool is warm water based, in a pool heated to around 90-93 degrees Fahrenheit. The pool has a lift for assisting non-ambulatory clients as well.

    Warm water exercise has a variety of benefits that other exercise regimens do not offer. Among them is the buoyancy provided by water facilitates near zero-impact exercise, so those engaging in intense exercise sets need not worry about doing damage to already frail joints. Additionally, water-based exercise also facilitates a wider range of motion than land-based exercise, and the warm water helps loosen up arthritic joints to make exercise more enjoyable. Other benefits include improved cardiovascular health; increased metabolism, strength, range of motion, balance, flexibility, posture etc; builds lean muscle and slows muscle loss.

    Pool use requires referral from a medical doctor and filling out a simple application. Placement in a program involves being assessed by certified Kernes staff and paying small fees to enroll in one of the various programs available.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 8, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News, Peter Mounteer

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