Seniors and their families often have a number of questions as they evaluate the best retirement communities. So we’ve answered some of our most common inquires about active retirement living at Grace Ridge to help with your decision.
What entity operates Grace Ridge?
Grace Ridge is owned and operated by Grace Life Care Inc., an affiliate of Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge. A retirement community offers a wide array of residences and amenities, and a complete health care continuum—from independent and assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care. Residents, prospective residents and industry experts agree that a retirement community provides the greatest financial security, value, flexibility and peace of mind for residents and their families.
Are all retirement communities the same?
Absolutely not. Retirement communities differ in many ways, including amenities, contracts, agreements, refunds and the overall ambiance of the community. North Carolina offers basic types of agreements: Life Care, Modified, Fee-for-Service and Equity-Based. When comparing communities, make sure you compare similar types of agreements. Also, each senior living community has its own special personality based on location, residents and programs offered. We suggest you spend one or more nights at a community to see if it feels right for you.
What is a Life Care contract?
With its mountain backdrop and active senior lifestyle, residences at Grace Ridge represent a sound investment. However, the real benefit of your real estate contract is insurance. In fact, all North Carolina retirement communities are overseen by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. As part of your Life Care contract, you would receive lifetime rights to live at Grace Ridge, even if you can no longer live independently, have health issues or need financial assistance. This reassurance is invaluable when planning for life’s unforeseen circumstances and ensuring the health of yourself or a loved one.
What are the benefits of a Life Care contract?
Benefits of the Life Care concept are best illustrated when a resident requires assistance. Should your health and wellness needs alter, your entrance fee assures that you’ll receive high-quality supportive services and care in a professionally staffed environment. More importantly, you’ll receive this level of care for essentially the same cost as living in your residence. This means you can protect your assets from the potentially catastrophic costs of assisted living, nursing care /or memory care. You’ll also be better able to predict monthly living expenses due to only a minimal increase in your Life Care monthly service fees – even when you require extensive health care. In addition to assured residency, your entrance fee allows use of all common facilities, services, programs and amenities at Grace Ridge.
Is Grace Ridge associated with any national or state professional associations?
Grace Ridge is a member of LeadingAge of NC, a state chapter of the national LeadingAge Association. A union of 5,400 non-profit organizations, LeadingAge dedicates its efforts to expanding opportunities and possibilities for an aging population. Through its affiliation with LeadingAge, Grace Ridge is committed to inspiring, serving and advocating for seniors. You can learn more about LeadingAge here.
Is Grace Ridge accredited?
Recently, Grace Ridge Retirement Community earned another full five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), the only accrediting organizations for retirement communities. Only 18 senior communities in North Carolina have been accredited by CARF-CCAC.
Is Grace Ridge affiliated with a health care system?
Yes. Grace Ridge, affiliated with Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, is one of two retirement communities in NC that is affiliated with a health care system.
Is Grace Ridge affiliated with a religious organization?
No. Grace Ridge is not affiliated with a specific religion and welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs. We invite you to attend one of our non-denominational worship services in an idyllic setting that inspires spiritual connections.
Who qualifies to live at Grace Ridge?
As with many retirement communities, there are a few requirements for residency at Grace Ridge, including qualification by age, assets, income and health. All prospective residents must be at least 60 years old and be able to live safely in an independent setting. Financial requirements vary according to age, health at the time of entry and residence selection.
What services are offered beyond independent retirement living?
While residents of Grace Ridge initially enter as independent living, we offer a full continuum of health and wellness in case your care needs change. Assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support care services are provided in the same building as apartments, ensuring the care you need is always nearby.
How would you describe residences at Grace Ridge?
Grace Ridge cottages and apartments are large, airy and designed to complement today’s active senior lifestyles. Each two-bedroom cottage includes a compact yard and patio or deck. Each apartment building houses one- and two-bedroom residences with one or two baths. All residences have nine-foot ceilings, fully equipped kitchens and bright, spacious bathroom(s). Some residences include a den, depending on the floor plan selected.
Each residence has been designed for comfortable, distinctive living with careful consideration given to specifications that ensure maximum security, safety and accessibility. These features are not always noticeable in day-to-day living, but they will give you additional peace of mind.
What features do your residences include?
While our residences differ slightly in layout and design, most include the following features.
- Plush carpeting
- Vinyl flooring in kitchens and baths
- Spacious walk-in closets
- Fully equipped kitchens with a frost-free refrigerator/freezer with ice-maker, garbage disposal, range/oven and generous cabinet space
- Large bathroom(s) with a shower, tub or combination and vanities
- Television cable, telephone and data port outlets
- Emergency call system in bathrooms and bedrooms, connected to our central system for 24-hour security and nursing
- Fire and smoke detectors and a sprinkler system in our Health Care Center and expanded areas
- Individual heating and air conditioning system controls
How is Grace Ridge expanding to meet future residential needs?
With so many people discovering that Grace Ridge offers the ideal retirement destination, we’re renovating and/or expanding our facilities each year. (Fortunately, our crews make every effort to minimize disruptions so residents can live without interruptions to their services.) Our most recent renovations include an elegant and modern dining room, and a state-of-the-art movie theater.
May I furnish and decorate my apartment?
Certainly! We expect residents to furnish and decorate their apartments and cottages to reflect their own personal tastes. Grace Ridge also offers comprehensive finish options so you can customize your residence, and we would be delighted to work with you as you plan your décor. Structural changes or additions beyond standard features are also possible; however, these must be approved by Grace Ridge management and are the financial responsibility of the resident.
May I bring my pet(s)?
Please do. Grace Ridge is a pet-friendly retirement community. However, there are certain areas where pets are not permitted so residents who have allergies or who are not animal enthusiasts can have their personal space as well.
What kinds of amenities and common areas are available for residents?
Grace Ridge offers numerous areas and amenities, most of which are housed on the main floor of our community to allow easy access for everyone. Here are some of the features that foster Good Moods each day:
- Gracious lobby and gathering area with 24/7 coffee bar
- Spacious formal dining room
- Private dining room for special occasions
- State-of-the-art theater
- In-house exercise spaces with fitness equipment and classes
- Beauty salon and barber shop
- Game and billiards room
- Card rooms
- Meeting and activity spaces
- Library and reading rooms
- Auditorium with 200-person capacity
- Sewing room
- Television/media lounge
- Rooftop solarium and lounge with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
- Outdoor garden with raised flower/vegetable beds
How much are the entrance fees to become a resident at Grace Ridge?
Because our contracts and residences vary, entrance fees vary as do our monthly fees. However, most entrance fees are easily covered by the revenue received from selling your home before moving to a retirement community. Likewise, monthly fees are generally less than typical fees for food, utilities, health care and activities.
What is included in the monthly service fee?
Your monthly service fee covers a minimum of the following programs, services and amenities: (*Also available under fee-for-service agreement at additional cost)
- One meal per day in your choice of dining venue with flexible meal programs available*
- Access to onsite registered dietitian and nutritional counseling
- All utilities except for your telephone and cable TV
- 24-hour security, emergency call and response systems
- Smoke detectors and sprinkler systems in common areas
- Regular housekeeping, including dusting, vacuuming and cleaning of kitchen and bath areas*
- Weekly laundering and changing of bed and bath linens (bi-monthly for cottage residents)*
- Washers and dryers in all new apartments and cottages
- Laundry facilities in the main building for washing and drying personal laundry
- Landscaping and maintenance of lawns, trees, shrubbery and garden areas
- Maintenance of all facilities, buildings and parking areas
- Scheduled transportation
- Complimentary subscription to The Morganton News Herald delivered daily to your door.
- Good Moods activities, including social, recreational, spiritual, educational, cultural, activity and special interest programs
- Planned events and trips to exciting destinations
- Campus Health Care Center providing home care, emergency response from the health center, assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory care for dementia-related disorders (with a minimal increase in monthly service fee through Life Care benefit)
- Use of campus amenities such as lobby, 24/7 coffee bar, formal dining room, private dining room, 24/7 library, Table Rock Lounge and rooftop terrace, fitness area and exercise equipment, beauty and barber shop, arts and crafts areas, meeting and activity rooms, card and game rooms, TV and media lounge and billiards room.
- Complimentary memberships to Phifer Wellness Center and Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club
Do you have a health and wellness program?
Indeed, and it’s included in your monthly service fee. Called Good Moods, this program caters to all components for healthy senior living: mind, body and mood. To stimulate the mind, we offer onsite classes and lectures through Grace Ridge University and classes (at little or no cost to you) at Western Piedmont Community College, less than five miles away. For the body, we provide onsite fitness and membership to Phifer Wellness Center with an indoor pool, membership to Mimosa Hills Golf Club, and a wealth of opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation. Finally, we promote Good Moods through emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Whatever puts you in a Good Mood, from gardening and volunteering to fitness and games, you’ll find it at Grace Ridge.
Is the monthly service fee fixed or subject to change?
Monthly service fees are subject to change and reviewed annually by Grace Ridge’s Board of Directors and management. In most cases, fees are adjusted to cover actual operating costs. However, Grace Ridge strives to maintain low fees consistent with sound financial practices. Historically, annual increases approximate the annual cost of living and medical expenses, which affect the population of the area. If monthly fees increase, residents receive a 60-day written notice in advance.
Are other services available at additional cost?
Yes, additional services and programs are available to residents, including but not limited to: additional meals, guest meals, special transportation, home care, barber and beauty shop services, catering for resident parties, massages and other concierge-type services as are deemed appropriate by the community.
Are entrance and monthly fees tax-deductible?
Since the IRS considers that you are “prepaying” part of your future health care cost by acquiring a Life Care or Modified Agreement, you can deduct portions of your entrance fee and monthly fee as medical expenses. Please see IRS form 502 and your tax professional for details.
Does Grace Ridge offer entrance fee refunds should I leave the community?
Yes. Grace Ridge offers 90% refundable entrance fees for both Life Care and Modified contracts. However, persons over age 80 are ineligible for refundable fees.
Do you have an emergency response system and onsite security?
We wouldn’t expect residents to live without it! Every Grace Ridge resident has access to our emergency response system at any time. By request, we can also offer a manual daily check-in for apartment residents and phone check-in service for cottage residents.
What if I need some assistance, but don’t want to leave my apartment or cottage at Grace Ridge?
In addition to assisted living, Grace Ridge offers Enhanced Care, which provides in-home assistance within apartments and cottage. In-home services may include delivered meals, bathing and dressing assistance, medication and medical treatment, and routine monitoring of temperature, blood pressure, pulse and blood sugar levels. Typically provided by a certified caregiver, these services incur an additional charge depending on the amount of assistance needed.
How does Grace Ridge determine when a resident should move to assisted living or skilled nursing care?
The decision to ask a resident to move to another, more safe level of care follows a long, thoughtful process. Grace Ridge encourages residents to age in place, but sometimes, resident safety requires us to consider other levels of care. These decisions and discussions are based on mental and physical health and made in consultation with our Medical Director, Director of Health Services and our Executive Director using professional assessment criteria. In addition, we consult with the resident, his or her family and personal physician to make sure everyone takes part in the decision.
In the event of a health care status change, would a resident be asked to give up his/her residence?
Often, when residents need care at Grace Ridge Health Care Center, the stay is only temporary so there is no need to give up a residence. In fact, we design our move and transfer policies to enable residents to remain in their apartments and cottages as long as possible, while still assuring the safety and well-being of the resident and community. In the event of a need for hospitalization, most residents utilize nearby Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge Morganton Hospital for these services.
Is there a Residents’ Association?
Yes, the Grace Ridge Retirement Community Residents’ Association plays an active, integral role in community planning and interacts with management on many facets of campus life. Resident committees include decorating, planning and events, spiritual life, scholarship, library, landscaping, safety, fund development and welcoming committees. The Association meets monthly and officers are elected annually.
How would I benefit from living at Grace Ridge Retirement Community?
Grace Ridge offers carefree, active retirement living without the stress and maintenance of home ownership, so residents can find their Good Mood every day. Our Good Moods wellness and events program makes each day rewarding. And if your health needs change, you’ll have the assurance that you can live at Grace Ridge as long as you like.
How do I become a resident?
It takes just four easy steps to become a resident at Grace Ridge so you can start living the active retirement life you always imagined.
- Choose your preferred residence; complete your residency application; and make a refundable $1,000 reservation deposit
- Wait approximately 30 days for your application to be reviewed and approved
- Following approval, submit the Residences and Services Agreement with a 10% deposit (less your $1,000 deposit)
- Plan your move so when your residence is ready (typically within 60 days from the time your 10% deposit is received), you’ll be ready to move in and pay the remaining 90% of your entrance fee
How can I take the first step?
People today recognize the importance of planning ahead for retirement. Your next step is to schedule an appointment with our Marketing Director Jeff Bright. Jeff will help you learn more about Grace Ridge Retirement Community so you can determine if our active senior lifestyle meets your expectations. To schedule an appointment, call 828-580-8330 or send your request to info@GraceRidge.org and our marketing staff will coordinate a visit for you.