1) Life Care Center of Banner Elk Makes Room for More Rehab
The Life Care Center of Banner Elk has begun an expansion of its rehabilitation department, putting an increased emphasis on physical, occupational and speech therapies. The facility is moving the rehab wing from one side of the building to the other to provide more room for therapy sessions. Its staff of in-house therapists has grown, eliminating the need for contract therapists and offering more consistent treatment for patients coming in for everything from post-stroke rehab to recovery from knee replacements to treatment for vertigo and other balance issues. With this growth comes the need for more space. The move will also include a new, separate entrance for outpatients and separate space for speech therapists to provide one-on-one care. According to Life Care Center of Banner Elk staff, the change will be a boon for the building’s Ready… Set… Go! program. The program, designed by the facility’s parent company, Life Care Centers of America, is intended to help short-term rehab patients get home safer and more quickly. Patients practice real-life skills in realistic settings so that they’re fully prepared when they go home. Expanding the rehab gym will provide the space needed for an ADL (activities of daily living) suite, furnished and decorated like a real home setting. Patients will be able to practice the skills they need to return to their normal lives, like cooking, laundry and making the bed. “A lot of our neighbors may not realize it, but many of our patients come to us for just a short time, get better through therapy and go back to their homes,” said Radd Nesbit, director of marketing and community relations. “We are not just a nursing home. We take care of patients with a variety of needs – from patients with Alzheimer’s who need caring nurses to look after them, to younger, active community members healing after surgery.” Goode explained further the importance of rehabilitation in the community: “Therapy is a key component to preventing re-hospitalizations. It’s also key to assisting those seniors who are more active and want to remain active as long as they can, even after a setback from an injury or illness. As therapists, we educate patients and their families to help them understand the recovery process, and if they understand it, they do better.” For more information about rehab or the renovations at Life Care Center of Banner Elk, please call 828-898-5136. Life Care Center of Banner Elk, located 185 Norwood Hollow Road, is one of two skilled nursing facilities in North Carolina operated or managed by Life Care Centers of America. Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. With headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, Life Care operates or manages more than 220 nursing, post-acute and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states. For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.
2) May Programs at Grandfather Mountain State Park
- Spring Wildflower Hikes: The popular weekly spring wildflower hikes in Grandfather Mountain State Park are back! Hopefully spring will be along soon. The rich, humid coves of the lower Profile Trail will soon be lush with herbaceous spring wildflowers and each week provides new blooms, buds or emerging leaves to discover. Park Rangers Sue McBean and Luke Appling are ready to get out on the trails and start leading excursions to see what is blooming. Walks are Thursday, May 1 at 2 p.m.,Saturday, May 10 at 1 p.m. and Monday, May 19 at 5 p.m.
- The Monarch Butterfly: On Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4 at 5 p.m., join a park ranger to learn about the Monarch Butterfly’s life story and what makes this butterfly so special from most others. The program will discuss the markings, habitat, life cycle and other adaptations specific to this butterfly.
- Gems of the Forest: On Saturday, May 10 at 9 a.m. join a park ranger for a woodland walk among southern Appalachia’s forest gems: wildflowers and songbirds. Spring wildflowers are blooming in abundance and the Neo-tropical wood warblers have returned to their summer nesting grounds.
- Ten Essentials to Day Hiking: On Monday, May 12 at 3 p.m., meet a ranger and learn about the classic ten essential items of backpacking. Dress appropriately for the weather.
- Volunteer Trail Work Day: On Saturday, May 17 at 9:30 a.m., Join the Park’s staff for a day of trail maintenance and get a feel for what goes into managing a highly popular hiking destination. Volunteers will learn how to safely and effectively use tools, be shown sustainable trail design techniques and become familiar with trail labor. Work will be based on experience and skill level of volunteers and will range from easier low level physical activity to advanced highly physical trail construction. This volunteer day is suitable for adults and children above 12 years of age. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal adult guardian present. Volunteers should be dressed in appropriate clothing for outdoor work, bring work gloves, wear closed toed shoes and bring food and water for refreshment during the day.
3) Watauga Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s Team Up for National Women Build Week
More than 13,000 volunteers are expected to partner with 300 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country to help build affordable housing in their local communities in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 3-11. Now in its seventh year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to the effort to eliminate poverty housing. In Watauga County on May 3, 12 volunteers and Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers will work on the Critcher family’s new home. Longtime event partner Lowe’s will also offer in-store how-to clinics where volunteers can learn construction skills in preparation for the build event.
4) Chapel of Rest Hosts Wayne Henderson & Friends and Piney Woods Boys
The Chapel of Rest will host two old-time string bands in concert at the Chapel in Happy Valley on Sunday, May 18 at 4 p.m. The concert will be followed by barbeque suppers on the lawn from Tipton’s Barbeque in Wilkesboro. Wayne Henderson is a musical legend known worldwide for both his lightning fast “pinch picking” guitar style and the beautiful guitars, mandolins and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, VA. Wayne was honored at the White House in 1995 for both his craftsmanship and playing as a recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Award. He has toured widely in Asia, Africa and the Middle East under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute and the Office of Arts America. He has won every guitar competition in the region so many times he has quit competing, and he holds a record for the most 1st place finishes of any contestant in the history of the huge Galax, VA Old Time Music Competitions. Helen White is an old-time fiddler and folk singer in her current home in SW Virginia and her native North Carolina. She is founder and served from 2000 to 2013 as Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAM) which introduces mountain children to their musical heritage. She continues to serve as Director for Alleghany County, NC JAM and provides consultation and training services for other interested communities to develop similar programs. Wayne and Helen have been playing together for eighteen years. Her simple, strong guitar backup provides a solid foundation for Wayne’s amazing guitar wizardry. In November 2006 they were featured performers on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion. Herb Key is a seasoned guitarist, bassist and singer who has played with Wayne for over forty years. He recorded with Wayne and Ray Cline on the classic 1977 Heritage Records recording which introduced all three musicians to the old-time and bluegrass worlds. Also a guitar repairman, Herb works in his own shop and assists in Wayne’s shop. He is a beekeeper, avid gardener, and skilled artisan in many of the old-time ways. The Piney Woods Boys play southern stringband music that arose before the labels of “old-time” and “bluegrass” were used to differentiate styles of playing. This was the sound that caught the ear of Jim Collier, Matt Haney and Wayne Martin, and led them to perform, teach and document this music. Jim Collier has been playing old-time and bluegrass music on banjo, fiddle, guitar, autoharp and mandolin since high school in Raleigh. Influenced early on by visits with Roscoe Holcomb, Virgil Anderson, Clyde and Ralph Troxell and Gaither Carlton, he developed interests in the deep musical traditions of the NC and KY mountains. While living in Boone, Jim had the good fortune to spend several formative musical years with Arnold Watson and experience the rich musical legacy of the Watson Family. He has appeared on Prairie Home Companion with the stringband “Big Medicine.” Matt Haney was introduced to bluegrass and old-time music by his parents in his home state of Minnesota. Taking up the fiddle in 1969, he hitchhiked east and saw Bill Monroe perform with Kenny Baker and Tex Logan. Trips to SW Louisiana since 1983 have fostered a continuing interest in Cajun music and recordings with the Midwestern favorites the “Bone Tones.” Wayne Martin spent his early childhood in Georgia where he heard family members sing shape-note hymns and play country music. In high school in Raleigh, NC, he heard stringband music and began to visit old-time fiddlers and eventually learned from musicians in the mountains, piedmont and coastal regions of NC. He has recorded with Etta Baker, A.C. Overton and Lauchlin Shaw and has produced numerous recordings of traditional musicians including Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Marcus Martin, Doug and Jack Wallin, and Joe and Odell Thompson. Seating at the Chapel of Rest will be limited, and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets for the concert and BBQ supper are $30 / person, and $15 / person for the concert only. Checks payable to the Chapel of Rest should be sent to the Chapel at PO Box 997, Lenoir, NC 28645. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Chapel is located nine miles north of Lenoir on Scenic Highway 268 in Happy Valley, adjacent to The Patterson School. The concert is supported by the Caldwell Arts Council and by a grant from the Grassroots Arts Program of the NC Arts Council, a division of the Dept. of Cultural Resources. Doors will open at 3:30pm. For more information call (828) 758-0906.