Airborne Pathogens Be Gone! New Purifying System Helps Protect Residents

Airborne Pathogens Be Gone! New Purifying System Helps Protect Residents

Most of us know the importance of taking steps to ensure we stay healthy and protect ourselves against infections and illness. We scrub surfaces, we scrub our bodies and we scrub our hands. But what about scrubbing the air? Novaerus, an air purification technology that’s been implemented at Grace Ridge Retirement Community and throughout Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, is doing just that.  “This unique technology quietly scrubs away harmful pathogens in the air. It helps us ensure our residents and staff members are protected from infections and illnesses that are caused by airborne viruses, bacteria, allergens and mold,” said Executive Director Brenda Yost. Yost noted that because Novaerus doesn’t produce harmful byproducts, it’s safe to use around vulnerable populations, such as older adults. “We have two portable units set up in our main lobby. It’s a great location because it’s a high-traffic area and can make the most impact for our residents and guests.” Healthy Air Benefits Benefits of the healthy air system are numerous and include protection against viruses like the common cold, norovirus and the flu; reducing bacteria to prevent infections; removing odors; destroying dangerous C-Diff spores that can cause illness; and eliminating pollen, mold and other forms of irritating allergens. The company’s website notes the technology has an “extremely high kill rate” and has been independently tested and proven to be effective. Yost noted that Grace Ridge will add additional Novaerus systems, as needed, and interested residents can rent or purchase a portable unit for their apartment or villa. Allergies & Asthma in Older Adults Grace Ridge’s investment in healthy air technology comes at an...

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 Happenings at Grace Ridge: Accreditation, Inspiration and Awards

CARF-CCAC Accreditation When it comes to improving the quality of our services, programs and good moods way of life, we welcome the opportunity to open ourselves to outside scrutiny. Not only does this show we’re accountable to the community, but it also demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible quality of life for our residents. As such, Grace Ridge was bustling with more activity than usual during the last week in April, when we invited a team of onsite surveyors to perform a rigorous peer review and evaluate our conformity and commitment to internationally recognized service standards and best practices. The result was being awarded our third consecutive five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities/Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CARF-CCAC). “We’re very proud of this accreditation because it demonstrates that we value the input of our residents and employees and are committed to putting the needs of our residents at the center of everything we do,” said Executive Director Brenda Yost, who noted Grace Ridge was also surveyed in 2006 and 2011. In their report, surveyors emphasized the meaningful and innovative programs offered by Grace Ridge to keep residents active, showcase their talents and enrich their lives. Additionally, the report complimented the teamwork exhibited by Grace Ridge leaders and staff, noting that it “leads to an environment wherein all residents, teammates, visitors and vendors feel welcome and immediately part of the family.” The visiting surveyors also highlighted the great partnership Grace Ridge has with Carolinas HealthCare System, the beautiful characteristics of our community’s building and grounds, our recent renovations, “stellar reputation” in the region and “excellent...

Live Longer, Grow Stronger and Celebrate Healthy Aging Month

Ask any senior for advice on how to age well and you’ll likely hear some standard answers: eat healthy, stay active and get enough sleep. Unless, of course, you ask 110-year-old Ruby Clodfelter, in which case you’ll hear, “Eat junk food!” But what about some other lesser-known tips for living longer, say, eating chocolate, petting a dog and clearing your mind through relaxation exercises? In celebration of Healthy Aging Month, Grace Ridge is hosting the Live Longer, Grow Stronger Senior Wellness Fair on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 8-11 a.m. We’re bringing together happiness, health and wellness specialists to highlight a variety of techniques and strategies for aging well – from routine health screenings to a presentation on the benefits of eating chocolate. Residents and members of the community can take advantage of several free health screenings – cholesterol, hearing, bone density, blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory – as well as balance assessments, fitness testing and emWave HeartMath testing. Have questions about your medications? Head over to the medication education booth to learn about medication-medication and medication-food interactions. But here at Grace Ridge, our wellness events don’t just focus on revitalizing the mind and body; we’re also all about promoting Good Moods! Be sure to visit the refreshment station, where you can grab a smoothie, hear some nutritional tips, learn how to grow your own herb garden and pick up a few healthy recipes. Wind down with a mind clearing relaxation class, make your way to a massage chair or perfect your downward facing dog with a yoga demonstration. And speaking of dogs, be sure to say hello to the...

Healthy Living at Any Age

Tips and insight in honor of National Women’s Health Week 2015 National Women’s Health Week (May 10-16, 2015) is an observance led by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH). The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. It’s also a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. To commemorate, Grace Ridge is spreading the word about the initiative and sharing helpful information and healthy living tips for women at any age. Many women are surprised by the facts on women’s health today. For instance, did you know: Research shows a healthy lifestyle matters more than genes in helping avoid poor health. By age 75, 1 in 2 women does not engage in any physical activity[1] 30 minutes of brisk walking each day is enough to lower your risk of breast cancer.[2] Eating 2 ½ cups of fruits and veggies per day is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.[3] So, what can women, whether in their 60s, 70s or 80s and beyond, do for better health? Here are a few steps to take, as well as some real-life tips for each: Get active. Take a walk with your neighbors. Attend a fitness class. Take a dance lesson. Take up an outdoor hobby like gardening or hiking. Be proactive. Schedule regular checkups and preventive screenings. Talk to your doctor about your risk for conditions like osteoporosis and take preventative steps to help keep your bones strong. Attend a wellness seminar or workshop. Eat healthy. Eat in more often. Take turns cooking healthy meals with friends and family. Sip...

A CCRC in NC: Decide Your Future at Grace Ridge

As a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in NC, we can help you decide your future before someone else does. The older we get, the more our long-term care plans weigh on our minds. We know you don’t want to think about it, but just think of the relief when YOU make a decision, not your children or another loved one. At Grace Ridge Retirement Community, we are here to help you decide. It’s smart to choose a place to retire BEFORE you or your spouse need long term health care. Benefits from moving before a life-altering health event include: If one spouse needs care, their partner is on the same campus and close by. As a resident of the retirement community, you are already familiar with the area and possibly some of the care staff in the event you need nursing care. You are settled so admission to the long term care or nursing facility is not so nerve-wracking. After all, it’s your neighborhood. You know that you will be admitted to a quality facility instead of playing chance with which facility has an opening. Within a community, the staff will work with you so that the transition INTO and then BACK OUT of the nursing area is seamless. Grace Ridge is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and we offer a LifeCare agreement. It’s priceless and brings a peace of mind. Retiring to a CCRC with a LifeCare contract is an insurance product that guarantees cost of future health care and is a way to protect hard earned assets.  Grace Ridge is only one of 10 CCRCs...