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Harvest Fest latest on Hickory Valley Retirement Community’s social calendar

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014

Hickory Valley Retirement Community threw the party of the season Oct. 10, celebrating the arrival of cooler temperatures and changing leaves with a Harvest Fest celebration. Attendees feasted on a Low Country boil and seasonal desserts, sipped apple cider and danced and tapped their feet to tunes from a live band as the afternoon passed on.

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“It’s our Oktoberfest,” said Mia Preston, sales director at Hickory Valley Retirement, an assisted and independent living community for seniors. “In the spirit of fall, we’re trying to do something different and fun for the residents.”

But they weren’t the only party-goers.

Family members, friends, prospective residents and anyone who wants to come is welcome to attend the community’s themed social events, which are held every three or four months, Preston said.

“We’ve done everything from car shows to luaus, and we’re trying to do different things. We’re going to do a “Great Gatsby” themed party at the beginning of the year,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity for people who are interested in the building to come try our food and see what we’re all about and see how our activities go.”

The East Brainerd retirement community contains 118 units offering flexible options. The independent living arrangements accommodate residents who lead active lives but want to live in a community setting with the comforts that come with it – like social events and staff members who take care of cooking, cleaning and maintenance.

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    Daily activities and seasonal events make for a fulfilling, fun and healthy lifestyle at Hickory Valley.

The assisted living arrangements also allow residents to live in their own private apartments, but with a 24-hour emergency response system, scheduled transportation and personalized services.

Prospective residents can choose from five apartment floor plans, and once they move in, they can enjoy amenities like an in-house coin-free laundry room and hair salons.

Preston said activities like the seasonal parties are put on for the enjoyment of both groups of residents. But Harvest Fest and the like are just one part of the buzzing social calendar. Residents can take advantage of local outings, guest speakers, shopping trips, exercise classes, movie outings and more.

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And the diverse food served at these events is delicious, prepared by the retirement center’s regular chef and kitchen staff – a testament to the community’s caliber, Preston said.

Hickory Valley Retirement also hosts educational events throughout the year that can be very beneficial to residents, she said, like veterans’ issues seminars and memory fairs.

“In a memory fair there is a panel of a nurse, home care provider, family member and a doctor, and you can sit and ask your questions about dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Preston explained.

Activities and educational sessions aside, the very nature of Hickory Valley Retirement is such that simply living there is a social event. A true community feel and easy socialization are priorities, which is evident from the many common areas, the restaurant-style dining room and the hobby groups and casual conversations that occur in the living rooms.

“Every member of our staff tries so hard and is so invested in what they do, and it makes this place truly like a home,” said Preston. “A lot of other communities are kind of clinical feeling and go exactly by the book. Here, we really cater to individuals and try to make everything the most enjoyable experience for them.”

This philosophy comes from years of industry experience. In fact, the upcoming “Great Gatsby” party won’t just celebrate the arrival of the new year, it will also mark Hickory Valley Retirement’s 30th anniversary.

“All the people who have lived here and worked here have been here a long time, and I think that speaks to its quality,” Preston said.


Hickory Valley Retirement is located at 6705 Ballard Drive, off Lee Highway. Call 423-855-0508 or more information or visit to learn more about the retirement community’s independent and assisted living options and amenities. A contact form on the website can put you in touch with the community’s staff via email.

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