Maybelle Carter Blog

Looking Back on Nashville's Rich History

Friday, 30 January 2015 11:55

It's easy to forget the most important things sometimes-- not the big iconic moments of history or the famous places that tourists visit, but the shops, restaurants, homes, and offices that made up our daily lives. These are the places that had the biggest impact on us and made us who we are, from the salon where we got our hair done to the diners we went to with friends and family. Nashville has always been a place steeped in the nostalgia of country music, so it only seems appropriate to revisit some of the places that made 1960s and 70s Nashville so memorable for anyone who spent time here:

Nashville TN retirement homeChester's was a popular hair salon for many years. Nashvillians fondly remember in the 1950s and 60s when myna birds were kept in shops to attract customers, and the many celebrity sightings that occurred at Chester's over the years. Nearby were popular eateries like Woolworth's where you could get an excellent soda.

Of course, you can't reminisce about Nashville without recalling the Grand Ole Opry House. There were no shortage of exciting new inductees throughout the 1960s and 70s, including Patsy Cline, Hank Locklin, Billy Walker, and Tammy Wynette. This was also the era of Gram Parsons and the Byrds, a rare instance of rock and roll invading the Opry's pure country sound.

nashville tn retirement livingMany a young motorcycle enthusiast got his or her start at Malone's Cycle Shop. From 1958- 1978 they were a major purveyor of bikes from Honda to Kawasaki, Husqvarna to Moto Guzzi.

Harvey's Department Store was quite the shopping destination. In addition to its five-floor spread of merchandise, it was home to The Monkey Bar and Carousel, which featured an indoor Carousel for the kids and real live monkeys. Some Nashville residents remember when Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store if there weren't many customers about. Harvey's even featured the first escalator in the city.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

5 Hobbies in Nashville Retirement Living

Monday, 29 December 2014 10:43

Nashville retirement livingWant to make the most of the next year? We put together an excellent list of suggestions for how you can spend your time, get fit, and take on new projects that will make retirement even more rewarding. Excited? So are we!

Here are five ways to kickstart your year:

1) Coworking spaces aren't only for freelancers or independent contractors. They're also a great place to put your knowledge to work for others. The Skillery in Nashville offers classes and workshops on everything from pie making to indigo dying and beyond. If you have an area of expertise you'd like to share, they're often open to suggestions. If you want to learn something new, you only need to look at the calendar and see what strikes you!

2) Painting is creatively fulfilling and therapeutic— great for maintaining dexterity and keeping your mind sharp. Basic supplies are inexpensive and available at any craft store or art supply shop. If you're in need of inspiration, gather some friends to check out East Nashville's galleries and shops, especially during Tomato Festival time. You'll see some great examples of everything from folk art to fine art that might give you an idea of what you'd like to put on the canvas!

3) Start a new fitness habit like a daily walk or regular group aerobics class. Bike riding is also easy on Nashville's gentle terrain. Whether you choose to workout alone or with a buddy, you'll quickly feel the positive benefits to your balance, strength, and endurance, making it easier to get even more out of life.

4) Try a new board game. They're back in a big way and there are more options than ever beyond the classics like Life, Monopoly, and backgammon. Try something like Settlers of Catan, Othello, Cranium, Apples to Apples.

5) Find a new way to explore the great outdoors. One of the best things about Nashville is its mild climate. That makes it easy to appreciate all sort of natural wonders, from canoeing and fishing to a gentle nature walk or even something more adventurous like trail biking. Beaman Park, Bell's Bend, Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park, Bowie Nature Park, and Cumberland Park are all great options close to downtown and with short, accessible trails.

Nashville senior careChristmas is a magical time of year for Nashville seniors. It's a time when we all act a little nicer and think of others. While some think the holiday has become too commercialized, Christmas isn't about buying affection.

It's about gaining time with people we love. Putting some thought into buying or making a present for giving to family can honor past traditions and lead to new ones. With a little preparation, we can make this year's Christmas an unforgettable holiday gathering.

At some point in the month of December, we gather with our families. For many, that involves time in and around the kitchen cooking traditional meals, baking cookies with children, saying grace and eating until we're stuffed. It's an opportunity to share family stories about Christmases past and remember elders who are no longer with us.

There's an expression "It's the Thought that Counts", and with Christmas, that's certainly the case. Simply handing over a credit card to a clerk to acquire something generic gets the job done, but gifts are only truly delightful when we pour our time and creativity into them. This can mean personalizing something like a calendar, sewing a quilt, or making a handmade craft. Or sharing an exceptional book.

Experiences can also make better presents than things. For example, a trip to a museum that stimulates a grandchild's imagination. There are so many attractions in Nashville to entertain, educate and delight a loved one. Journeys to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Ryman Auditorium, a Titans football game, or a shopping expedition to Opry Mills can make for amazing days.

Of course, it doesn't have to be Christmas to make someone feel special. A family trip can mean more memories of time spent together – and the photos from the day can generate an additional present in the form of a photo album.

Elders sustain holiday rituals, which are the things that grandchildren carry forth into their own families as they age and create new branches on the family tree. What fun things does your family do when you get together? Play board games? Sing carols? Watch a certain holiday movie?

When striving toward a great Christmas experience, families need to be appropriate in giving and receiving. It can be challenging to discover what family members want, requiring you to play detective. Remember to keep gifts age-appropriate.

The holidays bring expectations of graciousness – both in giving and receiving. Rare is the teenager these days who will take the time to hand-write a thank you note to a grandparent for a Christmas present, so don't take it personally if they show a lack of warmth when given something they probably need rather than necessarily want.

The holidays are about connecting with family and honoring traditions. It isn't about buying affection. The best gifts have thought put into them, and the gathering goes more smoothly when family members work toward harmony and humility.

With a little bit of thought, this can be one of the best Christmases ever!

Nashville senior living communityToday we are going to talk about one of the most crucial conversations that can take place between a grown child and their aging parent: discussing a move to a senior living facility like Maybelle Carter.

Sometimes it is the parent who realizes he or she needs help with routine tasks or simply wants the socialization that comes from being in close proximity to other people their age. Other times, the grown children may urge the parent to consider such a move for the sake of their health.

It's only natural to want to stay in our homes for as long as we can. Most Nashville seniors are able to stay in their homes for years with a relatively small amount of help, then gradually, it may become more difficult for them and moving become less of a choice, more of a necessity.

Once your family is sure that a move is in the senior's best interest, the process needs to be handled delicately and gradually. Parents may not be aware of the dangers of staying at home alone once health starts to decline. There may also be inaccurate preconceived notions about what to expect at a senior living community. The senior may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer.

At Maybelle Carter, we create a warm "homey" atmosphere with loving support from a friendly and well-trained staff. The senior's level of independence is carefully assessed by our licensed staff to determine how much help is needed, so the parent shouldn't necessarily dwell on doctors and medications but on our activities and social opportunities.

It's important to get these things on the table and discuss the various options that are available. This information will help start the conversation with your loved one. Information about our amenities and services can be found at

If the senior is reluctant, highlight the positives and use non-threatening talk. Seniors typically feel relieved once they see for themselves that Maybelle Carter really is a community rather than a stark "room" as we offer multiple floor plans including 1,100-square-foot two bedroom, two bath apartments equipped with full size kitchens and the ability to decorate with cherished possessions. Pets can even come along as a roommate.

One of the big worries for seniors is that they don't want to be a burden in any way to their children. They don't want to have to worry about their children paying for the move or having to visit them once they are in a new place. They may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer them.

Call us at (615) 868-2290 or visit to schedule a visit and tour. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.

Get Connected to Family Using Tech

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 17:33

Nashville senior livingSometimes it can feel as if your grandchildren are from a different planet and making arrangements to see them in-person is the equivalent of arranging a short interstellar voyage. If you want to have a greater presence in their lives, you have to go where they are and speak their language.

Here are a few tips to make that happen...

Get Smart... phone – Today's youth live on their mobile phones, experiencing everything by snapping photos for sharing on social networks and silently text messaging their friends (who oddly enough, may be sitting right next to them). This is quite a change from previous generations who are accustomed to paying friends and neighbors a visit and sharing long conversations as social gestures. If kids bring their gadgets when they visit you at Maybelle Carter, it probably isn't meant disrespectfully; most of them simply have these devices glued to their hips, figuratively speaking.

You can prove yourself to be one savvy senior by texting occasional, brief messages to your grandkids. They're more likely to respond to a brief "Hello" or a short joke than attempts to have a prolonged conversation. These days, communicating with youngsters is about competing for attention in a world full of distractions. You don't want to overdo it, but an occasional message does the trick. Be aware that teens have their own shorthand when texting. "BRB" means "be right back", for example, while "LOL" means "Laugh Out Loud". A simple Google search can help you decode their language.

Get Social (A Lil Bit) – Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be a double-edged sword. You get a glimpse into the lives of loved ones, but you may also see more than you bargained for, especially when it comes to young people who may be on their best behavior around their elders but act silly in front of their friends. Some people fail to understand that Facebook is a megaphone and treat it more like a diary, oversharing aspects of their lives. Respect their need for privacy and you may be rewarded with more frequent online interactions and a glimpse into what's happening in their world. Facebook Messenger, which works like text messaging, can be a gateway for short written conversations between face-to-face visits.

Get Skyped – Skype is the name of a video conferencing software program available on most desktop and mobile computing devices. For free over the Internet, you can broadcast from a camera and see video of your loved one displayed. This is great for situations where frequent interactions in the flesh just aren't practical. Little ones like great-grandchildren will react to seeing your face and hearing your voice so that when you visit for the holidays, you're already familiar.

Maybelle Carter offers a computer in the residence living room where they can access the Internet using the router in our offices. This allows residents to have a link to the outside world across the world wide web. Indeeed, there are several ways Tennessee seniors can use modern technology to have more frequent interactions with grown children and grandkids. 

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Adventures Abound in Nashville Outings

Friday, 29 August 2014 13:19

Nashville retirement livingOur campus sits on 7 beautiful acres where we garden, play shuffleboard and horseshoes, walk on the walking track and enjoy grilling out. We have watercolor painting classes, wii bowling tournaments, musical entertainers, and card & board games. Indeed, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy life here among one another.

But Maybelle Carter is located in Madison. This means we are fortunate to be surrounded by the Nashville Metropolitan area, which provides us with many interesting adventures. Maybelle Carter bus outings take us to a variety of places.

"We're 5 minutes from the OpryLand Hotel, Grand Ole Opry House, General Jackson Show Boat and the Opry Mills shopping mall," explained Jennifer Todd of Maybelle Carter. "Just minutes away is Nashville proper, which includes attractions such as the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Farmer's Marketing, the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, the Nashville Zoo and Loveless Café."

Our bus outings take us to grocery stores, Wal-Mart, dollar stores, Opry Mills, The Mall at Green Hills and Rivergate Mall, as well as restaurants and Summer Crest Winery. Nashville is also home to Goo Goo Cluster candy and Moon Pies. "East Nashville offers one-of-a-kind shopping and restaurants like The Pharmacy and 5 Points Pizza – our residents dine there occasionally," she said.

Faith is also an important part of most seniors' lives. Our area is home to 75 churches of varied denominations.

"Pro sports are big here as well," she said. "Our teams include the Tennessee Titans (football), Nashville Predators (hockey), and Nashville Sounds (minor league baseball)."

Being in the South, antebellum mansions also provide fascinating destinations for residents to go sight-seeing on outings. "Southern mansions include Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage, as well as BelleMeade Plantation, Belmont Mansion and Two Rivers Mansion," Todd said.

Maybelle Carter provides all of the comfort and security of small town community with all of the great adventures offered by our proximity to a major American city.

What Do I Do If I Have Alzheimer's?

Thursday, 31 July 2014 15:40

cxnIf you have difficulty remembering words and names or recalling once familiar places or people, you might need to see your doctor.

It's a scary thought, and diagnosis is best left to medical professionals who conduct a physical examination, review family history and do a blood test to rule out other causes for common symptoms.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's live 8-20 years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, depending on age and other health conditions.

If you have it in the early stages, you'll find that memory loss is mild and you will have good days and bad days. One of the most important things you can do if diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's is to get legal, financial and care plans in place. Doing so allows you to share your wishes for future decisions, and also allows time to work through the complex issues that are involved in long-term care.

This is also the time to consider future safety topics, such as what to do when driving is no longer an option.
As Alzheimer's worsens, there's a danger of becoming confused and wandering off.

For this reason, you might want to accept the unpleasant reality that you need help.

That help is available at Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community's Remembrance Village, where caregivers are specially trained to help seniors faced with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

We have licensed nurses on staff 24/7 and 3 dietitian-approved meals, plus snacks, throughout the day. We help the senior manage their medication and assist with dressing, bathing and grooming. State-of-the-art security protects residents from wandering off, and our newly designed accommodations create a stress-free, comfortable environment with less confusion. Residents can enjoy our private outdoor secured courtyard. Weekly personal laundry and linen services are also included.

For more information about Maybelle Carter Senior Living's Remembrance Village, visit or call (615) 868-2290.

The Alzheimer's Association is organizing the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's in Nashville on Oct. 11 at the Public Square Park. The event raises money to help advance Alzheimer's support, care and research. To donate and/or participate, visit or volunteer with Andrew Jackson at (615) 315-5880.

Further reading:

Alzheimer's Association:

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center:

Alzheimer's Reading Room:

The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog:

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We should not lose our sense of playfulness.Looking for a fun, free way to feel better? Then laugh!

Sounds simple, right?

A variety of studies suggest there are health benefits to adopting a sense of humor and working on improving our daily mood. If nothing else, it makes us more attractive to other people, which leads to bonding with others.

Laughter causes our blood vessels to function more efficiently, increasing blood flow and fighting the build-up of cholesterol plaque in arteries that leads to heart attacks. 

Other research suggests watching a comedy on TV or at the movies can reduce blood sugar levels for those with diabetes and decrease the intensity of pain as muscles relax tension following a good belly laugh.

Most people do not laugh enough, but just 15 minutes a day can produce positive results. This can be generated by seeking out fun people and sharing jokes or funny stories, perhaps hosting a game night or making time for bowling or miniature golf.

Sometimes it's as easy as asking someone what's the funniest thing that's ever happened to them. Keep framed photos or a scrapbook of good memories handy. Looking at snapshots can trigger laughs, just like watching a funny TV show or movie.

Worrying over things that probably won't happen causes stress, but laughter lightens our load and gives us perspective that's blinded when we feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Finding humor relaxes our muscles, allowing better sleep so the body can heal and recharge.

While laughing alone may not cure disease, it does seem to be strong medicine for the mind and body.

At Maybelle Carter, we work to create an environment where residents can make new friends and participate in fun activities that add joy and friendship to everyday life.


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Nashville assisted livingDid you know that the more doctors you have managing your care, the more you can find yourself at risk? Multiple prescriptions can mean a larger possibility for drug errors, including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages.
You are your own best advocate when it comes to your health care. Communicating clearly and effectively about your medical history with your doctors is imperative. Your ongoing health depends on it.
There are some easy ways to make sure you have made the most of your time with your physician and leave your visit knowing that you have asked all of the right questions and are aware of next steps regarding your follow up treatment.
Keeping your health information all together, perhaps in a notebook or binder, to bring to your next doctor's visit is a must. All doctors' names, phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, etc. should be included.
Ask someone to come with you at your next appointment. A friend or relative can ensure that you know when your appointments are and keep notes regarding doctor's instructions. They can also help you keep your medications in order.
Be sure to ask your doctor whether any of the medications that they have prescribed will interact in any way with medications that you've previously been prescribed.
Lastly, if have questions about anything you discussed during your appointment, don't be afraid to ask if your doctor will explain it to you again.

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At Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community, our activity room is typically busy with morning exercise groups, Wii bowling and golf and other programs. Staying in motion has health benefits for people of all ages, including Madison seniors.

Exercise can be fun, especially when done as a group activity.

You can get more benefits by talking with friends while walking rather than sitting. If you are physically able, take stairs instead of elevators or escalators when out and about in Nashville on a shopping trip.

Even a little bit of exercise can help improve the way we feel and how our bodies react to chronic conditions, even if you aren’t lifting anything particularly heavy or walking great distances.

Seniors should check with their physician before beginning any new exercise regimen. Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber, but you don’t want to overdo it. Seniors concerned about balance can sit or use a rail in many cases. Start with a routine that’s comfortable and simple to keep your heart and muscles active.

Beyond the obvious physical benefits, getting some exercise improves mood and contributes to greater happiness. Working out with others provides support and motivation while combating loneliness.

Ask us at Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community about ways we help keep Nashville seniors healthy and active. 

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