Mother & Daughter Enjoying Life as Retired Roomies

🔊 Listen to This Blog. When Nancy Hendrickson, 65, and her mom, Jeanne, 94, were holed up in a hotel room after evacuating from Hurricane Irma last September, they began fantasizing about hurricane-free places to move. “I never liked living in Florida anyway and wanted to go somewhere with less traffic, decent weather and a little bit of all the seasons. I knew mom didn’t want to live in Kissimmee anymore because it was too hot and humid and she was tired all the time,” Nancy said. “We asked ourselves, ‘What about North Carolina?'” And so began a seven-month search for a retirement community where mother and daughter could live together for the first time since Nancy headed to college. Retirement choices, choices, choices Nancy took her relocation homework seriously and researched more than 50 retirement communities online before deciding to visit four in person. The Hendricksons’ decision to move in together was a financial one, so affordability was at the top of their checklist. Retirement Community Tips What advice do Nancy and Jeanne have for older adults looking for a retirement community in North Carolina? While Jeanne is quick to respond, “Come here!” Nancy offers a more deliberate answer. “There are a lot of questions you need to ask other than ‘Are the people nice?’ and ‘Can I afford it?’ Make a list of the things that are really important to you and make sure you get those questions answered. It’s also important to stay a night or two to test the place first.” Other must-haves were easy access to nature, a full kitchen, outdoor space and close...

Explore the Wonders of Wellness at Senior Fair, Oct. 4

🔊 Listen to This Blog. September marks the beginning of fall, but it’s also a time to focus on healthy aging. Explore the wonders of wellness and learn how you can build healthier habits for an active lifestyle at Grace Ridge’s Live Longer, Grow Stronger Senior Wellness Fair, Oct. 4. “This is a continued celebration of September’s Healthy Aging Month and our 4th year of bringing together community specialists in happiness and health,” said Kelli Huggins, wellness director. “Helping our residents build healthier habits to thrive and stay active remains our top priority and hosting this fair helps us meet that goal.” She added, “It’s also a chance for Grace Ridge to give back to the community by providing Morganton and Burke County seniors a chance to explore techniques, strategies and tips for aging well. The event is a one-stop shop for health, happiness and wellness needs.” Wellness Fair Highlights Flu shots. Don’t forget to bring your Medicare Part B card, medical insurance card or other form of payment. Complimentary health screenings and assessments for balance, spine and sleep apnea. Medication education booth, where you can learn about medication-medication and medication-food interactions. Nutritional information and healthy samples from the culinary team. Physician Presenters Dr. William Bell from EmergeOrtho specializes in treating adult orthopedic problems from the shoulder to the hand. Dr. Catherine Galida specializes in osteopathic manual therapy and acupuncture. Dr. Steven L. Smith from Hickory Chiropractic Clinic specializes in chiropractic care with an emphasis on wellness. Allison Thompson, PT, specializes in treating women who are having problems with pelvic floor health. The Live Longer, Grow Stronger Senior Wellness...

New Technology Makes Resident Connections, Communications Easy

🔊 Listen to This Blog. During a recent late-night visit to Grace Ridge Retirement Community’s health care wing, Executive Director Chris Romick got caught up in a lively game of “Name That Tune” with assisted living residents. “It was hilarious because they blew me away with their knowledge of 1950s music. And the best part is, we didn’t need any complicated devices to play. All we needed was a simple remote control and television,” he said. Campus-Wide Entertainment and Engagement Games are just one example of the on-demand activities available through LifeShare Technologies. The campus-wide system is designed to enrich residents’ living experiences and help them stay better connected with family and friends. Large televisions in independent living, assistant living and memory care play videos, music, faith programs, news, weather and podcasts. The technology also displays photos, menus, activity calendars, announcements, birthdays and memorial recognitions. “Both residents and staff are responding well to this new communication system, especially since it’s so easy use. Everyone loves seeing photos from all the events and activities happening in and out of our community,” Romick said. Mobile App Offers Constant Connection The system’s mobile apps – designated for independent living, skilled nursing and memory care – give family members a convenient communication tool to stay connected with loved ones and care providers. “Once family members download the free app, they can see scheduled activities, dining menus, photos and any community announcements as soon as they’re made,” Romick said. “Guests coming to visit a resident for lunch can look at the app to see what’s on the menu and what events are planned for that...

Grace Ridge Starts $15 Million Renovations

🔊 Listen to This Blog. When you have sweeping views of the breathtaking Blue Ridge mountains, you don’t want to waste any opportunities to catch a glorious sunset or take in the scenic landscapes. That’s one of the driving forces behind Grace Ridge’s $15 million master renovation plan – to better connect the community’s lodge feel with the “nature’s playground” offered just outside its doors. “We’re working in collaboration with GMK Associates on campus-wide enhancements, which will include revamping the community spaces on the third, fourth and fifth floors to create more user-friendly areas for art, meetings and sports viewing,” said Chris Romick, executive director. Additionally, several independent living cottages are getting a facelift and Romick noted one of them sold even before the renovations were complete. “They’re going to be gorgeous, in-demand homes. We’re tearing down walls, opening up the space and giving them a whole new modern look and feel.” Heart of the Community The most significant upgrade residents will experience is the transformation of the first floor – from a “blank hallway” to a welcoming and vibrant café and lounge. The café will offer lighter, grab-and-go fares like pre-made salads, sandwiches and baked goods, as well as beer and wine. The focal point will be an outdoor seating area with a retractable awning for sunshade, propane fire circle for chilly winter nights, unobstructed mountain views and plenty of fresh air. “It will be a place where residents can sit and relax with an ice cream cone, or stop in to pick up a morning coffee and fresh croissant before heading out for the day,” Romick said....

Grace Ridge friends and family make the best neighbors!

🔊 Listen to This Blog. For a limited time, both current residents and newly referred residents can enjoy one month of free service fees. The details: Must be a new referral not currently in the Grace Ridge database. 10% deposit must be made in 2018. Incentive ends Dec. 31, 2018. Free monthly service fee applied. 30 days after new resident takes possession of apartment or cottage Contact us today for this can’t miss offer! Call 828-580-8336 or complete our Contact Us...

Conley Mitchell: A Gardener for All Seasons

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Resident Guest Blog by Frank Juliano While most men give their sweethearts flowers from time to time, Conley Mitchell goes one step further. When Conley presents Millie with a bouquet, he often has grown the blossoms himself. The lifelong hobby gardener prefers zinnias and marigolds, but his real specialty is fruits and vegetables. “I’ve grown vintage varieties of several vegetables, and I once had a 65-pound pumpkin,” he said in a recent interview. Tomatoes are a particular specialty now, and Grace Ridge residents have shared in the bounty, as Conley often puts his home-grown produce in the mail room, free for the taking. “I’ve enjoyed gardening all my life, and my family and my parents always had gardens,” he said. Although he has a pickup truck and until this year a small plot of land in town, Conley said he is strictly a gardener, not a farmer. “Farming is a business. Gardening is a hobby,” he said. A retired executive of Drexel Heritage Furniture and a Grace Ridge resident for seven years, Conley said his other hobbies are golfing and fishing. But it’s when he talks about growing fruits and vegetables that a twinkle comes into his bright blue eyes. He gets three seasons out of his garden plot; the fall produces collards, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. This year Conley is doing his gardening in the raised beds here. But besides his tomatoes, Grace Ridge residents seem to have a favorite among the vegetables Conley shares. “People here really seem to like okra,” the veteran gardener...