At Your Service! Grace Ridge Concierge Program Lends Helping Hand

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Make anniversary dinner reservations. Check. Schedule dentist appointment. Check. Shop for Christmas presents. Check. Book flight to NYC. Check. Get oil changed in car. Check. Buy tickets to CoMMA show. Check. Thanks to Grace Ridge’s new concierge program, these services – and so many more – are available to residents with just one phone call. Residents focus on enjoying retirement. We’ll handle the rest. “When you’re retired, you don’t want to deal with frustrating errands and spend all your time waiting on hold to make appointments – you want to relax and have fun,” said Evelyn Beaver, life enrichment director. “That’s why we’ve developed this concierge program – to enhance our residents’ lives,” she said. “By eliminating the day-to-day worries and other stressful responsibilities, they can focus on living vibrantly.” From bill paying to bucket list adventures Concierge services are divided into six primary offerings to help residents manage their daily schedules, activities and tasks: personal, home, shopping and errands, entertainment and leisure, travel and technical. Personal services include making salon and spa reservations, providing respite for family members, pet sitting, housekeeping and companionship. Home services include meal preparation, ironing, assistance with organization projects and house sitting. Personal shopping and errand services include private transportation, grocery shopping, purchasing gifts and prescription pick-up. Travel services include airport transportation, packing assistance, and hotel, rental car and flight arrangements. Technical services include smartphone and computer support and helping residents set up the LifeShare mobile app. Entertainment and leisure services include making dining reservations, acquiring sporting and event tickets and helping residents make their bucket list dreams come true....

Webinar Explores Aging Well, Maintaining a Healthy Body & Mind

🔊 Listen to This Blog. “Just because you age, it doesn’t mean you have to be sick,” said Dr. Golnosh Sharafsaleh. “Healthy aging and preventative care are crucial in maintaining independence and promoting the best quality of life that a person can have.” As director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Dr. Sharafsaleh is dedicated to transforming the delivery of health care for older adults. The geriatric medicine and preventative care specialist shared her expertise on health promotion and preservation during a presentation on Nov. 13 at Grace Ridge Retirement Community. Dr. Sharafsaleh discussed health issues that affect older adults and ways to age gracefully and live a longer and healthier retirement. Topics included: chronic disease, depression, preventative care, immunizations and screenings, vision and hearing loss, nutrition, dietary supplements, falls and physical activity. Watch now:   Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Grace Ridge is a Life Plan Community spanning 52 pastoral acres in Morganton, NC. Come for a visit and find out why our community repeatedly garners awards, high rankings and superior satisfaction ratings as one of the best retirement communities in North...

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...
Airborne Pathogens Be Gone! New Purifying System Helps Protect Residents

Airborne Pathogens Be Gone! New Purifying System Helps Protect Residents

🔊 Listen to This Blog. 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...

Good Assessment: Grace Ridge’s Brenda Yost shares, gains knowledge as CARF surveyor

🔊 Listen to This Blog. 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...

Senior Wellness Fair celebrates healthy aging, living longer and growing stronger

🔊 Listen to This Blog. 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...