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Grace Ridge Harnesses the Power of Music Therapy in Senior Living

MORGANTON, NC–Grace Ridge retirement community in Morganton, NC, is pleased to announce Chesley Mercado as the community’s first music therapist. In her new position, Mercado will lead all musical activities for the Life Plan Community, which provides a wide variety of lifelong learning opportunities for all residents.

Mercado has more than 30 years of music therapy experience. Most recently, she served for 19 years as a music therapy professor at Georgia College and State University.

“I’m excited to begin this new journey with Grace Ridge,” said Mercado. “Through my three decades of music therapy experience, I’ve been able to develop relationships with seniors through the power of music. It’s wonderful to see someone light up with enthusiasm when they hear a certain song or melody.”

Among the variety of programs slated to begin, Mercado hopes to incorporate drumming courses and sign language music therapy. She says courses like this could help enhance the health and well-being of Grace Ridge residents. Research shows active music-making can provide a source of enhanced social cohesion, enjoyment, personal development and empowerment, and can contribute to recovery from depression and maintenance of personal well-being throughout these latter stages of adult life.

“We’re excited to welcome Chesley to our top-notch team of senior living professionals and care providers,” said Grace Ridge Executive Director Christopher Romick. “She’ll provide a wide range of skills and expertise to our community that will continue to enhance the lives of our residents for years to come.”

A Morganton native, Mercado received a master’s degree in music therapy from Radford University and a doctorate in leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Spanning 52 acres in Morganton, NC, and nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grace Ridge is a Life Plan Community owned and operated by Carolinas HealthCare System.