30th Anniversary Party Celebrates Grace Ridge, Then and Now

Dr. Jean Ervin’s vision of establishing a retirement community in Morganton began in 1978, but her labor of love didn’t became a reality until nearly a decade later. Since opening its doors in October 1987, close to 800 people from all over the world – from artists and educators to military leaders and executives – have called Grace Ridge home. Honoring a Milestone with Light and Goodness Throughout 2017, we celebrated 30 years of Good Moods, Good Times and Good Life at Grace Ridge, culminating with an anniversary party on Oct. 13 that honored residents, staff and friends – past and present. Traditionally, pearls are used to help commemorate a 30-year anniversary. Our Life Enrichment and party planning team kicked that idea up a few notches with a white-themed party that combined fun, reminiscence and elegance. Donning their white attire, more than 100 guests walked into an Ervin Community Room that had been transformed into a sea of white – linens, flowers, pumpkins, hanging tissue pom-poms, table settings, chair covers and party favors. “Tonight, we not only celebrate 30 years of a building or a community, we celebrate the people who have lived at Grace Ridge and those who serve here and have been inspired by our senior friends,” said Executive Director Brenda Yost. Master of Ceremonies Jerry Davis kept the nostalgia and laughs flowing throughout the evening while proudly wearing a pair of white shorts that dated back to his college days. The Burke County Chamber of Commerce president said he was honored to introduce a “small slice of the deep wealth of talent at Grace Ridge,” including...
Art Exhibit, Color Burke Support Good Moods Program at Grace Ridge

Art Exhibit, Color Burke Support Good Moods Program at Grace Ridge

The Good Moods program at Grace Ridge promotes overall well-being by addressing the many aspects of wellness, including the emotional, spiritual, vocational, social and intellectual. Recently, two events at Grace Ridge exemplified the commitment to healthy aging and focus on mind, body and emotions. Creative Age Senior Art Exhibit In June, Grace Ridge hosted the third annual Creative Age Senior Art Exhibit in honor of the 30th anniversary of the community. The special exhibit featured 45 works of art — from sculptured to watercolor, mixed media, crafts, photography and more — created by 25 artists over the age of 60 throughout Western North Carolina. Artists who exhibited included both professionals and nonprofessionals. All works of art in the exhibition were displayed on the first floor of the community, and visitors were provided with a numbered map indicating locations of the various pieces. After visitors viewed the exhibit, they could go to the Grand Lobby to vote for their favorites for the People’s Choice award. Following the exhibit, the ballots were counted and exhibit attendees voted Glory of Autumn (counted cross-stitch) as their favorite submission. Grace Ridge resident and prolific cross-stitcher Connie Wilkie claimed the honor. The exhibit was free and open to the public each day between June 8 and 21. On June 7, a private reception for VIPs and artists included introductions and a program. A number of the works of art were for sale; items could be purchased during the exhibit, but were left on display for the duration of the event. This unique art exhibit was just one example of the Good Moods events that support...
‘The Beauty of Music & Memory’ to Provide Insight into Dementia

‘The Beauty of Music & Memory’ to Provide Insight into Dementia

Are you living vibrantly as you age? Many Americans now view aging as a new phase of life that provides a wealth of opportunities for learning and engaging. May is Older Americans Month, and more than ever, seniors are enjoying new experiences, finding a voice in their communities and focusing on their independence. As part of this important month, Grace Ridge is participating in a community partnership to bring an enlightening educational event back to Burke County for a second year. “The Beauty of Music & Memory” features Teepa Snow, a nationally known educator in the field of dementia, and Ron Gregory, founder of Alzheimer’s Music Connect. If you’re interested in finding out more about memory care or dementia, you’ll want to attend this free symposium sponsored by Grace Ridge, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging and other organizations. Family caregivers, health care providers and members of the public are expected to attend the event, which delves into the connection between the mind and music. About the Presenters Teepa Snow is a registered and licensed occupational therapist as well as a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. As a leading dementia educator, her philosophy reflects her education, work history and personal experience with caregiving. With more than three decades in occupational therapy, Snow developed her Positive Approach® to Care that professionals and families around the world now use in providing care to individuals with dementia. The techniques and strategies integrated into the Positive Approach® to Care reflect the latest information about brain functionality and the changes that occur as...

Ageless Grace brain and body fitness program coming to Grace Ridge, Jan. 19-20

Juicy Joints, Gentle Geometry, Rockin’ Rockettes and Spaghetti Spine aren’t words you would typically use to describe exercise, but Ageless Grace® is no ordinary fitness program. Designed for healthy longevity of the body and brain, Ageless Grace® combines research from the areas of medicine, neuroscience, physical therapy, martial arts and fitness. The program’s 21 tools (movements) are based primarily on the science of neuroplasticity and help stimulate different areas of the brain: analytical, strategic, kinesthetic learning, memory/recall, creativity and imagination. “We’re so excited to bring this unique brain and body fitness program to Grace Ridge and the Burke County community. It’s a perfect complement to our Good Moods and Well4Life programs, which are also centered on staying active and vibrant while having fun,” said Evelyn Beaver, life enrichment director. She added, “All the movements have creative and imaginative names, like Shake it up Baby! and Zoo-ology, so they are easy to remember. They are designed to be performed seated in a chair, but they can also be done on a bed, standing near or behind a chair, down on the floor or standing. Almost anyone can do them, regardless of their physical condition, and they are simple to do at home.” The Ageless Grace® program was founded and created by Denise Medved, a leader in the fitness world and trainer for movement modalities for the last 27 years. Each of the 21 Ageless Grace Tools (movements) emphasizes different anti-aging techniques: joint mobility, spinal flexibility, right-left brain coordination, bone density, kinesthetic learning, cognitive function, systemic health, balance, fall prevention, self-esteem, confidence and playfulness. Anti-aging program comes to Grace Ridge in January...

Senior Wellness Fair celebrates healthy aging, living longer and growing stronger

Not only does September signal the beginning of the fall season, it’s also a time to focus on healthy aging. If you want to find a one-stop shop for all your health, happiness and wellness needs, there’s no need to look further than the Live Longer, Grow Stronger Senior Wellness Fair at Grace Ridge. As a continued celebration of Healthy Aging Month, we’re hosting the second annual Good Moods event on Friday, Oct. 7, as a chance for seniors to explore techniques, strategies and tips for aging well. “By bringing together our community’s happiness, health and wellness specialists, Grace Ridge is celebrating seniors and helping them build healthier habits to thrive and stay active,” said Brenda Yost, executive director. Here’s a sampling of our Senior Wellness Fair offerings: Complimentary health screenings, including cholesterol, respiratory, hearing, blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes. Be sure to pre-register by Oct. 5. Flu shots in our rooftop solarium with magnificent mountain views. Don’t forget to bring your Medicare Part B card, medical insurance card or other form of payment. Presentation on the unique needs of older adults and a chance to meet Dr. Golnush Sharafsaleh, MD, MS, a specially trained geriatrician with Carolinas HealthCare Systems – Blue Ridge. Medication education booth, where you can learn about medication-medication and medication-food interactions. Demonstration highlighting Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention (Sept. 22 is Falls Prevention Awareness Day). Nutritional information and recipes from the culinary team. Tasty samples and a presentation on the benefits of dark chocolate. Balance and senior fitness testing by Phifer Wellness Center staff. Soothing sounds and relaxing chair massages in our state-of-the-art theatre. The...

Grace Ridge Friendship Garden: Good for the body, therapeutic for the soul

“Sitting in a tranquil garden is good for the body and therapeutic for the soul. Through the ages, gardens of all varieties have been revered as a place of tranquility and peace where one can escape to reflect, rejuvenate and connect with friends. Connecting with nature reduces stress, enhances memory and gives one a feeling of freedom, independence and happiness.” These thoughtful remarks and observations by Ron Martin set the serene tone for the recent Grace Ridge Friendship Garden dedication, where more than 75 people gathered under an overcast sky to celebrate a three-year labor of love – and friendship. “Several years ago, Grace Ridge and the Blue Ridge HealthCare Foundation wanted to improve opportunities for residents to enjoy socializing in outdoor areas by upgrading an existing garden,” said Martin, Grace Ridge resident and foundation board chair. “They decided the garden, which was located between memory care and assisted living, would be transformed into a more colorful, open garden area with a wider walkway and water feature that all Grace Ridge residents could enjoy.” Designed by Appalachian Naturescapes, the garden complements the peaceful and mountain lodge feel of Grace Ridge and features harvested boulders made of Virginia Fieldstone. It also boasts a variety of colorful and fragrant plants, flowers and trees, including maple, conifer, azalea, camellia and hydrangea. “This project has been in the making for about three years. We envisioned great landscaping in this area and to make it more user-friendly and welcoming for friends and family to gather together,” said Brenda Yost, executive director. More than $50,000 was raised in partnership with the Blue Ridge HealthCare Foundation...