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Cardio drumming seniors set to shine in Tulsa

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 10:37:51-04

TULSA, Okla. — A weekly jam session is in progress for a unique band that's ready to rock.

"Who would have ever thought that would be something I would do at age 90?" says Dot Miller.

Miller is one of the many Aberdeen Heights Assisted Living residents ranging in age from 70 to 98 who have come together for cardio drumming. It's a fast-paced workout designed to improve heart health. Miller describes it as, "It's a big black ball sitting in a laundry basket, and we have sticks, drumsticks, and just sit there and go do do do do do!"

Lifestyle Director Amber Stickles brought this life-enriching exercise routine to the residents here.

"It builds muscle, helps with mobility, dexterity, and eye coordination, and helps with memorization and cognitive thinking, which is great for seniors with dementia," says Stickles.

At 98 years young, Audrey Cartwright jumped right in. "Amber asked me, and I said yes!" says Cartwright.

She's not alone. The class has quickly become one of the most popular.

"I would say it's in the top 3 or 4 along with bingo and happy hour.. as resident's favorite activities," says Stickles.

"I love it!" exclaims Claire Sanwick.

"Plus, it gives us good exercise for our hands and arms," Miller says.

What's happening here is more than exercise. It's also entertainment. The residents here are getting ready to put on a show.

"It's called, Drumming through the Decades. Our program will start in the 1950s and go up to the early 2000s," says Stickles.

Family and friends will fill the audience as the cardio drummers perform seven songs with a few props and dance moves.

"New York will be calling wanting us to come up there," Miller says jokingly.

The Seniors are excited to take the stage in this stage of life and grateful to Stickles for striking up the band.

"I love her for doing this," says Sanwick.

Stickles says the group is inspirational with an important message too. "It's OK to try new things. Sometimes we don't know if it will go over well, but it's always great to take a chance because it might just be something you enjoy."

Just ask these sassy seniors who don't miss a beat.

"Life doesn't end by age. You are what you feel and make yourself be. You make your happiness," says Christia Kenslow.

"My motto is: use it or lose it. So I'm using it!" says Gloria Puckett.

The cardio drumming performance is on July 26 at 2 p.m. at Aberdeen Heights Assisted Living. To learn more, click here.

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