In spite of the heat of summer, residents at Hickory Valley: A Senior Living Community are still getting out and enjoying all that the Scenic City and its surrounding areas have to offer.
"With this age group especially, getting out and staying active is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle," said Hickory Valley sales director Mia Preston. "It's good to stay busy to combat depression and keep your spirits up."
Being stuck sitting around is something you will not find residents of Hickory Valley doing. Whether it's shopping at Hamrick's and grabbing lunch or participating in an on-site exercise class, there are many options to help occupy residents' time and keep them healthy and active.
The community's activities director is Melissa Gadd. She says that if you stop laughing you stop living, and that's not something she or any of the staff at Hickory Valley will let happen.
"She offers so many different outings and activities that the calendar is completely full every month," Preston said. "Every outing always fills up too, which says a lot about the great job she does finding things to get people out and enjoying themselves."
Favorite outings for residents include trips to Hamrick's, Target, Kohl's and local restaurants. But Gadd also makes it a point to schedule visits to places that residents may not try on their own to help get them outside their comfort zone in a good way.
"They recently went to Kanpai of Tokyo for one outing and to Rain Thai Bistro for another," Preston said. "People got to try new food they haven't before and might not have otherwise.
"There truly is no limitation to the trips and activities that residents are doing this summer and throughout the ear. A resident committee gets together once a month to share input about where they'd like to go and what they'd like to do, and it's all taken into account, said Preston.
"Someone recently shared that they wanted to do some trips to Cleveland and Ooltewah, so we added that to the calendar," she said. "We go outside of our immediate area to help avoid getting stuck in the same places and routines."
Changes in season also bring new flavor to the community's outings and activities. During the summer, The Melon Patch in Chickamauga is a big hit, while the fall brings visits to the Apple Barn.
"Holidays are important to us too, and we always have parties and get-togethers where residents an invite friends and family," Preston added. "We never want them to feel bored or secluded from their loved ones."
In all they do, transportation is key for the Hickory Valley community, and unlike its competitors, Hickory Valley offers a personal driver five days a week who takes residents to doctor appointments and more.
"Most other facilities only have that available two or three days a week, and that can make it difficult for people," said Preston. "Transportation is one of the first things family members ask about so that they have the assurance someone is available to help their loved ones get where they need to go."
Residents who may not wish or be able to get out for the planned trips also need not worry. Hickory Valley staff arranges for plenty of outsiders to come on-site for events, including vendors for
shopping, therapy dogs, those with local food samples and presentations, and more.
"Everyone can still be active and participate even if they can't get on the bus and go on an outing," aid Preston. Monthly birthday parties also get folks in the community up and moving and help them remember that they are valued and not forgotten in any way.
"All of us, the head staff, our nurse and everyone, gets a chance to be a part of every activity with the residents and be a part of their lives," Preston noted. "We keep things personal here that way."
Hickory Valley: A Senior Living Community is located at 6705 Ballard Drive. For more information on the community and its activities or to schedule a tour, visit hickoryvalleyretirement.com or call the office at 423-855-0508.