Arbors residents garner support, love from community, staff members
Some of Rusk’s Arbors Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center residents are making a joyful noise, as members of the center’s resident choir.
Thanks to choir director and music teacher Margie Adams and her army of volunteers, numerous Arbors residents are able to entertain and reach out to their fellow facility residents.
“Ms. Adams and her volunteers are a very devoted group,” Arbors Director Cindy Eastepp said. “And the residents really do love it. They have a great time and it gives them a real sense of accomplishment that they’re doing something they enjoy and remember.”
Studies have shown the effects of singing and listening to music stimulates both sides of the brain, helping keep a senior citizen’s cognitive functions, like memory, strong.
“(Being a part of the choir) helps energize our residents while (listening to the choir) really seems to help residents who aren’t in the group keep from getting too isolated,” Activities Director Tassa Pitts said. “They do a great job, and everyone seems to have a good time.”
The choir, according to Adams, seems to be one of a kind in the Cherokee County area.
“We started this choir in 2014,” Adams said. “I’ve been a nursing home volunteer for 15 years and to my knowledge, this is the only facility that features a resident choir.”
Adams accompanies the choir on piano and John Ervin on guitar and Carol Kilman on lap harp rounds out the band. Adams said she also regularly features her piano and organ students as guest musicians.
The group also travels to other nursing care facilities to put on concerts for residents in those homes.
“We’re always ready to accept invitations to other facilities and events,” Adams said.
Adams said she tries to keep the choir’s repertoire fresh by interspersing hymns with old time rock n roll.
“We’ve done ‘The Twist’ and songs like that, along with the popular hymns,” Adams said. “We even invited our local ‘celebrities,’ like County Judge Chris Davis and Mayor Angela Raiborn, to join in – Judge Davis was up here doing the Twist with us, dancing away – it was great fun!”
Call the facility, (903) 683 1076 to find out how to become a volunteer.
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