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...

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...

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 residents blaze a trail for Older Americans Month

The contributions that older adults make are varied, influential and inspirational. Seniors are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities and leaving their positive mark on the lives of people of all ages. As Grace Ridge celebrates Older Americans Month and its “Blaze a Trail” theme, we highlight a few of our residents who are blazing their own trail and leading and inspiring others. Sharon Everhart A self-proclaimed “gypsy at heart,” Sharon Everhart lived on a boat for a decade and spent another 8 years traveling in an RV. We’re glad she chose Grace Ridge not only as her new home, but one where she can put her business acumen and volunteer experience to good use. While serving on the Grace Ridge Residents Association, she worked on an 18-month strategic plan project where she helped identify ways to make communications and technology easier for residents. Now serving a two-year stint as board president, Sharon recently assisted with a weeklong onsite survey by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Sharon’s trailblazing also takes the physical form and she makes it a point to exercise on a daily basis. A fan of yoga, she loves the Good Moods at Grace Ridge focus on total well-being – mind, body and mood. “There are so many activities going on around here, it’s hard to keep track of them all,” she said. “It’s really inspiring – many of the other residents are older than I am, but you’d never be able to tell when talking to or looking at them.” Byrd Cornwell Byrd Cornwell has many talents and loves...

Good Name: Grace Ridge adopts Life Plan Community designation

Good Moods at Grace Ridge is all about life. Planning it. Living it. Loving it. That’s why we opted to “retire” the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) moniker and adopt Life Plan Community as our new designation. “For years, the name Continuing Care Retirement Community has given people a misleading impression of what communities like Grace Ridge are,” said Brenda Yost, executive director. “They looked at CCRCs as being all about ‘care,’ when in reality, the people who move here are all about getting the most out of life. This new name is an important shift from passive care to more active living and planning.” Nearly 35 years ago, the term CCRC was coined to describe communities that provided a continuum of living and care options for older adults – apartments and homes where residents could live independently, then assisted living and skilled nursing residences that residents could move into if and when their health needs changed. However, today’s Life Plan Communities are nothing like the CCRCs of more than three decades ago. “We’re certainly proud of our health care services, but we offer so much more – from fitness and wellness programs to creative dining and diverse social outings. Everything we do here fosters total well-being – mind, body and mood.” Jeff Bright, director of marketing, echoes Yost’s sentiments. “We’re really excited about the shift to Life Plan Community because it draws attention to Grace Ridge being about life, not just care,” he said. “People who move here tend to be planners; they like to know they’ve made decisions that ensure they have a solid plan in place...