Good Safety: Resident security “assistant” makes debut at Grace Ridge

🔊 Listen to This Blog. There’s a new “assistant” at Grace Ridge named SARA and her job is simple: Give residents peace of mind so they can continue living active, vibrant lives without worrying about getting immediate help if they have an emergency. SARA, which stands for Situational Awareness and Response Assistant, is a newly implemented program that integrates with Grace Ridge’s current emergency and security systems. Residents wear a call pendant that notifies the appropriate first responder in real-time, while simultaneously alerting staff during emergency situations. “Many of our residents are always on the go and spend a lot of time enjoying various activities throughout our campus – whether it’s taking a Conductorcise® class, playing bridge or attending worship service,” said Executive Director Brenda Yost. “If residents fall or have some other emergency, it’s not necessarily in their bedroom or bathroom where they can use their emergency pull cord. We’ve enhanced our emergency call system with the installation of SARA, which is designed to work anywhere on campus.” In the event of an emergency, residents simply call for help using their pendant; the web-based system identifies their location at the time of the event. The pendant features a hands-free, two-way talking device, so if residents are unable to press the pendant they can still call for help. When a distress call is placed, it alerts a Grace Ridge first responder, who will identify the location of the call and quickly respond to that area. The system is continuously monitored by Status Solutions, which sends daily reports on alerts and the battery life of each pendant. “The goal of...

Good Globe-Trotting: On the Road with Grace Ridge for “Go on a Field Trip Month”

🔊 Listen to This Blog. 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,...

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...

Good Eats: What’s cooking in the Grace Ridge kitchen for National Nutrition Month

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Grace Ridge Executive Chef Jeremiah Brown and his culinary team are dedicated to smashing misconceptions about bland retirement community food: one roasted shallot and mushroom flan, sake and ginger glazed salmon, and mango sorbet with green tea whipped cream at a time. Tasty, creative and visually appealing cuisine is a big slice of the Good Moods at Grace Ridge pie, which means there’s no plopping a scoop of cold mashed potatoes on a plate or serving mass-produced and perfectly shaped loaves of chicken cordon bleu. “Even before you eat it you can tell when something is premade or comes from a box or can. People are more demanding these days and want to know what’s going in their food and how it’s made,” Brown said. “We’re always adapting recipes and figuring out how we can make them better, more flavorful and healthier by making as much as we can in-house.” For National Nutrition Month, the culinary team will embrace the “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” theme by featuring new recipes focused on fruit, veggies, whole grains, herbs and spices. Also planned is a Chef’s Table to highlight featured ingredients and test residents’ ability to identify different greens, grains, legumes and herbs. Additionally, Grace Ridge is partnering with Western Piedmont Community College to build an herb garden in the spring. “It’s about getting people to think about what they’re eating and giving more thought to where their food comes from and what it does for them. That’s what we’re here for – to help them make those changes,” Brown said. While the culinary team...

Coloring, dancing, eating and laughing? There’s more than one way to evoke a Good Mood at Grace Ridge!

🔊 Listen to This Blog. Walking into Grace Ridge’s Color Me Happy party on Feb. 12, it was impossible not to break out in a smile that spanned from ear-to-ear. Tables were strewn with markers, pencils, baggies filled with sweet snacks, crisp white paper and bright blue, yellow and orange paper hats scrawled with feel-good quotes. Good mood-inducing songs like the Happy Days theme and Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” played, while colorful helium balloons bounced around the room and the scent of homemade chili wafted through the air. Seated at the tables were 80-plus Grace Ridge residents, friends, sisters, mothers and daughters who enthusiastically colored while chatting, laughing and reflecting on what makes them happy. For some, happiness was spending time with family, while others were just happy to wake up every day or have the chance to enjoy good food and friends. Meanwhile, resident Glenn Lloyd embraced his role as the token male and donned a hat that read, “Happiness is being the only man at this event.” Organized by Evelyn Beaver, director of life enrichment, the event was a coloring party and art lesson rolled into one. An artist and painter, Beaver demonstrated how to shade and blend colors and also highlighted the importance of lighting and paper quality. “The great thing about coloring is it’s so broad that anybody can do it,” Beaver said. “You can pick a design that best fits with your abilities, the acuity of your vision and the steadiness of hands. It can be a very simple design or a complex one – all that matters is that you enjoy it.” Resident...