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...
Healthy Aging at Grace Ridge

Healthy Aging at Grace Ridge

What does healthy aging mean to you? At Grace Ridge, healthy aging takes many forms, including physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and vocational. As part of our Good Moods program, we focus on a variety of activities that help our residents thrive. Here are some of the latest ways we’re promoting healthy aging at Grace Ridge. Senior Wellness Fair On Oct. 6 from 8 a.m. to noon, Grace Ridge hosts our senior wellness fair — known as Live Longer, Grow Stronger — for the third year. The event will feature a number of attractions, including presentations on maintaining your wellness along with screenings and assessments for glucose, blood pressure, hearing, cholesterol, balance and fitness, and cognitive testing. Presentations focus on timely topics like identity theft and scams, healthy lifestyle choices, allergies and asthma, essential oils and macular degeneration. In addition, you can enjoy a chair massage and get your flu shot, offered through Maxim Health Systems. To get your flu shot, you’ll need your medical insurance card or Medicare Part B card. The fair is free and open to individuals over age 60. If you’d like to attend, please register by Oct. 2. For more information, call (828) 580-8402. Yoga Awareness Month September is Yoga Awareness Month — an annual event intended to raise consciousness among the public about the many health benefits of yoga. At Grace Ridge, residents can participate in our yoga class as they learn to bring their mind, body and spirit into harmony. Our class meets Friday mornings with our certified instructor from Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge’s Phifer Wellness Center. A growing body of research...
‘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...

Good Assessment: Grace Ridge’s Brenda Yost shares, gains knowledge as CARF surveyor

With a nursing and administrator career spanning four decades, Executive Director Brenda Yost was eager for the chance to share her vast clinical and leadership expertise with others in the aging services field, while also learning how to improve the quality of services at Grace Ridge. The perfect opportunity presented itself in 2011, when Grace Ridge underwent its reaccreditation process with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the leading independent and nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. “I joined Grace Ridge in 2009 so the reaccreditation process in 2011 was my first experience with CARF,” Yost said. “I quickly became a believer in the organization’s mission, vision and values and found it to be well organized, stakeholder-focused and continually striving for excellence.” During their three-day trip to Grace Ridge, visiting surveyors observed Yost’s consultative approach and commitment to the accreditation standards and processes and recommended she consider applying to become a surveyor herself. In 2012, after an intensive week of training in Arizona followed by two surveys as a surveyor-in-training, Yost joined the cadre of 1,400 highly qualified professionals responsible for conducting the peer-review survey component of the accreditation process. “Participating in surveyor training, conducting surveys and keeping up with continuing education activities requires a commitment from both the surveyor and their organization. I’m fortunate that Blue Ridge senior leadership supported my becoming a surveyor from the very beginning,” she said. More than 8 million people are served annually by CARF-accredited providers, which include aging services, behavioral health, child and youth services, employment and community services and medical rehab. Through active involvement with providers, consumers and...

Good Globe-Trotting: On the Road with Grace Ridge for “Go on a Field Trip Month”

If Grace Ridge resident and travel lover Mildred Rader had a theme song, it would be Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” “I started traveling after I retired and I haven’t stopped. If I don’t answer the phone, my kids will go to Facebook and see where I am,” she said. “My son says it’s the only way he can keep up with me!” Along with dozens of other residents, Rader makes the most of Grace Ridge’s abundant and diverse travel opportunities – whether it’s taking in a Charlotte Knights baseball game, visiting Mayberry, exploring Charleston or cruising along the Saint Lawrence River. “October is National Go on a Field Trip Month, but our residents stay busy year-round with day, overnight and mystery trips,” said Evelyn Beaver, life enrichment director. “Not only does travel help keep the brain active and the heart healthy, it also helps promote our Good Moods way of life.” Later this month, residents and staff will explore the railways and music of West Virginia on a three-day motor coach with Christian Tours. Other field trips have included zip lining at Catawba Meadows Park, hiking in Pisgah National Forest and visits to Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, Tryon International Equestrian Center and Dellinger Grist Mill. “Evelyn, her staff and the travel committee are always busy pulling strings, plotting, making plans and arranging more adventures for us,” said resident Byrd Cornwell, a frequent Morganton News Herald contributor. In early December, a group of 40-plus residents, staff and volunteers will head to New York City. On the way home from the Big Apple, the tour bus will pass...