WEST JEFFERSON — After weathering the virus at Forest Ridge Assisted Living, staff and residents said they’re excited for the New Year.

“Seeing our Forest Ridge family fight the virus and the effects has been one of the hardest trials we’ve faced,” said Heather Samudio, director of community relations at FRAL. “We learned how strong our team members and residents are and how kind and supportive the entire Ashe County community is.”

According to Samudio, other businesses, agencies, churches and individuals showered the Forest Ridge family with everything from gifts and food to phone calls, texts and prayers.

Community members sent gifts, cards, food and drinks, and several individuals throughout the county adopted a resident to send gifts and encouragement at Christmastime and throughout 2020.

In addition, businesses, organizations and individuals brought cards, trays of food and drinks for staff and so much more.

“Being quarantined to your room, with visits restricted, and not being able to see family or neighbors, is hard to endure for our residents and their families,” Samudio said. “Visits are a cherished past-time in communities like ours, so it takes an emotional toll when they aren’t allowed. That can go on to affect the physical well-being of residents. We were able to do video calls and socially distanced window visits, but for anyone with seeing or hearing difficulties or those living with dementia, those visits can be hard to navigate and very confusing.”

FRAL is open again and is doing admissions. Being open allows the facility to resume essential caregiver visits and socially distanced activities.

Since re-opening, FRAL has been holding multiple admissions. The staff maintains all guidelines, suggestions and rules in accordance with the health department by screening and testing each admission.

According to Samudio, it is important to continue with admissions because there are so many families who are in need of senior care and for some families, waiting is not an option.

FRAL's No. 1 priority is its residents. Staff members work hard to keep them safe and provide what they need every day.

According to Samudio, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, the majority of our staff and residents received the Covid-19 vaccine. This was not a requirement for residents or team members, but the majority opted to receive it.

Samudio added that in 2021, FRAL we will be featuring an in-house therapy group called "Ageility." The group will offer physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation.

"Ageility" can also help with balance, gait, strength and coordination training. Also available through their services are pre-surgery, post-surgery and post-hospital care, personal fitness and wellness programs as well as pain management.

Home health agencies will still serve residents at Forest Ridge, "Ageility" just gives them another option. For more intensive therapy, FRAL would refer to Margate Health and Edward J. Miller Rehabilitation Center.

Forest Ridge is located at 151 Village Park Drive, off Oakwood Road in West Jefferson.

For a tour or more information, contact Heather Samudio at (336) 620-2815 or hsamudio@ridgecare.com.

For any addition inquiries or information contact Forest Ridge Assisted Living at (336) 846-1008.

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