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Cabarrus Magazine

From CPR to Zumba, Cabarrus County's Senior Health & Wellness Expo Delivers Beats

Mar 08, 2017 04:00PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Health matters to Cabarrus County residents who are 50+. This was evident at today’s Senior Health and Wellness Expo at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. The free Expo, hosted annually by Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks Department, provided nearly 1,000 residents access to free health and wellness resources, activities and screenings.

At 68 years young, as she describes her age, Maria Karsten is intent on living past 95. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she now calls Cabarrus home.

“Living a healthy life is extremely important to me and this community embraces and encourages the lifestyle with events like this,” said Karsten. “I come to the Expo every year, but this year I’m excited to see Latin Zumba on the schedule of demonstrations.”

Karsten, an English- and Spanish-speaking American, participates in the Latin Zumba class weekly at the Cabarrus County Senior Center in Concord.

“I love the beat and rhythm of the music, and no matter what language you speak—it translates,” Karsten said. “The classes are packed with diverse groups and we dance and laugh together--just have a good time.”

While Karsten focuses on taking care of herself, across the Arena another resident learned valuable skills to possibly save the life of another.

John Ashbaugh, 71 of Concord, served in the military. He operated aircraft as a pilot, yet never got the opportunity to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Cabarrus County EMS was onsite demonstrating hands-only chest compressions, which is the most vital aspect of CPR.

“I saw the training mannequins laying on the table and gravitated to it,” said Ashbaugh. “I have grandkids. My wife and I hike often. CPR is something I need to know.”

Ashbaugh was taken through a series of steps: correct placement on the patient’s chest, body alignment over the patient and the rhythm of the chest compressions.

“These simple steps give me the confidence to step in and do something if I’m a witness to a cardiac situation,” said Ashbaugh. “Everyone, no matter their age can help. Even I can save a life.”

Like Karsten and Ashbaugh, attendees took part in life-saving wellness examinations, including blood pressure screenings and hearing, vision and skin checks, provided by Carolinas HealthCare System and other local providers. Participants also took part in fitness and fall assessments, and educational sessions on home healthcare decisions, AARP, proper nutrition and diabetes prevention.

For more information on Senior Health and Wellness Expo or services for Cabarrus County seniors, visit or call 704-920-3484.

All content courtesy of the March 8, 2017 Cabarrus County Press Release.

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