Mountain Views: Residents Share a Peek into Life at Grace Ridge

Old Folks Sitting in the Dark Resident Guest Blog by Annette Smith 🔊 Listen to This Blog. The power in our senior living apartment building just suddenly went off. There is really nothing to worry about; I’m always prepared with extra candles and flashlights. We’ll be okay … it’s still daylight, at least for another 45 minutes. It has been announced that we will be on generator power until the city can figure out the problem. It is now within 30 minutes of our evening meal and they have let us know that the fried chicken breasts will be replaced with sandwiches and chips because they do not know when the power will come back on. There are no lights in the building except for the emergency lights. This is still fine … we will be okay! But, even though “all is well,” I just realized that I cannot get out of my lift chair – it’s operated with electricity! And, Bill is at full recline and with his Parkinson’s disease, it will be difficult for him to get out of his chair. And, he just said that it was time for him to go to the bathroom. And, oh, my goodness. He says it’s urgent. He has now made a proclamation to get out of his chair and he is proceeding to lift one leg over the side of his chair in an effort to get out. He says all he has to do is get the other foot on the floor. Then he suggests that I might like to get his walker and be ready to take...

Mountain Views: Chronicling the Lives and Times of Grace Ridge Residents

🔊 Listen to This Blog. The 1988 inaugural issue of the then-nameless Resident’s Council Newsletter was a sparse, three-page document that highlighted the opening of the Mountain House Library, the “ready for use at all times” chapel, a stamp fundraising project to feed hungry children, location of the new soft drink machines and member list for the Sunshine and Ice Cream Parlor committees. The newsletter also described what life was like at Mountain House (renamed Grace Ridge in 1991): “Each of us has different interests – whether we participate in the exercise class, take advantage of the arts and crafts room, participate in the various games, or simply enjoy the company of others as we gather for meals – we are not regimented. We are each free to do his own thing.” Nearly 30 years later, the diverse interests of residents remains unchanged, but what has evolved is Mountain Views. Now a 12-page newsmagazine, it offers a colorful, insightful and meaningful glimpse into the good moods, good times and good life at Grace Ridge. The publication’s mission is simple: “Be a voice of, by and for the residents to provide information about our community and to serve as a permanent record of our lives and times.” Its cost? Priceless. What makes Mountain Views unique is that it’s produced by the Grace Ridge Residents Association and features original content written by residents. Every other month, 350 copies of Mountain Views are printed and distributed to residents and staff, friends and family of residents and prospective residents. The newsmagazine committee meets regularly to brainstorm theme ideas and assign an editor to...

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,...

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...