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...

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...

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...