Senior Tip of the Week: Mind-Sharpening Exercises
Posted By: Kelli Bullard

Stevi Lichtie, speech therapist at Bivins Pointe, gives a few tips for keeping your mind sharp and your thinking quick.

When you’re looking through the newspaper that you get every morning or every Sunday, you can spend time on the crosswords or word jumbles.  Focusing on any kind of word tasks will help keep your brain sharp. And if it becomes too task-oriented or stressful, you can always look for a gentle word search.  Searching for those words that are currently in your vocabulary is very helpful.  You look at those mixed up letters line by line, and that helps your attention stay focused and on-task.

Also, you can try other activities such as brain teasers.  Teach yourself a new skill.  If you happen to have an iPad, or your granddaughter happens to have an iPad, you can always have her teach you a new activity using the computer-generated software.

Learning a new task, teaching yourself new things every day, keeps your brain sharp and task-oriented. Your attention skills will maintain their sharpness. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your grandchildren for extra help.

Guest Blog: 5 Creative Ways to Keep Senior Minds Sharp & Active
Posted By: Becky Davis

5 Creative Ways to Keep Senior Minds Sharp & Active

Aging not only brings about a lot of physical changes, but mental ones, too. Case in point, the 
World Health Organization posits that around 15% of adults aged 60 and up suffer from one cognitive disease or another. And while some of these changes are inevitable due to age, there are certainly a few things you can do that'll keep you and your loved ones mentally fit. Read on for 5 tips to keep a senior's mind sharp and active!

Listen to Classical Music

People have long linked classical music to cognitive functions. 
An experiment conducted by psychologists at Northumbria University have found that classical music, specifically Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, can enhance mental alertness and memory. Participants in the experiment reportedly performed better in cognitive tests, which required mental-concentration, when listening to Vivaldi's piece. What's more interesting is the most obvious increase in performance happened during the Spring concerto, which exhibits a more spry sound, as compared to the more somber Autumn concerto.

Continued Studies

 Researchers from the University of California have found that adults can get over the negative effects of cognitive aging through continuous learning. This is a big finding, as more and more seniors across America have gone back to the classroom in their golden years, either to pursue previously unexplored passions or to finish degrees they never got to complete in their youth. These days, not only do they have the time and resources to pursue a degree, but there are also more options now for avid learners of all ages. Maryville University’s guide to traditional versus online degrees points out that the two differ mostly in terms of distance and scheduling. If your retired loved one is looking to enroll in a traditional school, then it’s important to keep in mind how far their prospective university is from their homes, and what time of day their classes will be held. On the other hand, seniors with mobility issues may also consider taking the online option, which lets them learn more about their chosen topics from the comforts of their home. What’s more, here in Texas, seniors can even attend up to six hours of undergraduate or graduate courses from public universities for free if they request for the exemption.


Sleep isn't just a period of recovery for our bodies, as it's also the time our brains process everything that happened within the day. And while many adults sleep a lot less than they did in their youth due to work and other responsibilities, seniors and older adults cannot afford to do the same. That's because they have a difficult time forming memories compared to younger people. This means people that are a little more advanced in age need to adhere to a strict 8-hour sleeping schedule to maintain their cognitive functions.

Play Games and Puzzles

University of Konstanz's research on chess has found the game to be a great memory exercise. Chess incentivizes players to memorize thousands of possible moves (along with the optimal counter-moves), thereby providing our brains with the necessary activity to keep them sharp. Other puzzle games such as Sudoku have also been known to help individuals remain mentally active — in some cases even warding off the onset of cognitive impairments.


Physical exercise is also linked to your mental capacities. 
Professors from the kinesiology department at the University of Illinois have found that people who exercised regularly tended to fare better in cognitive tasks than those who didn't. Individuals who exercised on a regular basis were also observed to exhibit greater mental focus. While this option may be a little harder for those advanced in age, simply walking in the morning will suffice.


Article specially written for bivinspointe.org

By Bianca Adkins


The Benefits Of Exercising For Seniors (And Some Helpful Tips)
Posted By: Becky Davis

For seniors, staying active is important for overall health. Most people exercise to lose weight or bulk up, but fitness offers many health benefits that aren’t visible, including the following.

Exercise and Disability or Illness

It is common to experience a decline in health as one ages. Exercise can help prevent certain illnesses and disabilities, at least for a time. If you already have a diagnosis of a medical condition, exercising can help you manage the symptoms and even improve. Diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure are some of the most common conditions that can be helped by exercise.

Exercising and Your Brain

Staying active will help your brain stay fit, as well as your body. Exercising is known to help decrease the chances of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Taking the time to jog or walk can help your brain stay active, help with memory, and increase your creative skills. Physical exercise can even help you avoid depression.

Anyone can Exercise

You don’t have to be able to lift 100 pounds or run a marathon to get the benefits of an exercise routine. Low-impact exercises are great for seniors because they increase flexibility, muscle strength, balance, and stamina. Some of the best low-impact exercises for seniors include walking, Pilates, Tai Chi, swimming, yoga, and indoor cycling.

Exercising Tips

Physical activity will begin to affect you differently as you age, especially after 50. If you aren’t aware of those changes, you could end up injuring yourself. The rules of fitness will change and you will benefit from following those new recommendations.

The Important Warm-Up

Warming up before a workout is vital as it can raise your heart rate, prepare your muscles, and increase circulation. It will also increase the elasticity of your tendons. Be sure to warm up the muscles you are going to use for a specific exercise, or perform some light cardio, beforehand.


When you were younger, you may have stretched a few times a week before or after workouts. When you are older, stretching becomes more of a necessity. It is important to maintain flexibility by stretching after exercising. A total body stretch two or three times a week is also beneficial.

From Cardio to Resistance Training

After the age of 50, your muscle mass and bone density decrease. Although cardio and strength training are important, it’s helpful to also focus on your muscles and bones. A complete exercise routine includes both.

Interval Training is Valuable

Cardio helps with burning fat as well as keeping your heart healthy. Rather than doing cardio exercises for a long period of time, try interval training. This involves doing more intense exercises with rest periods in between.

Your Changing Workout Schedule

For younger people, it may only take a day to recover from exercise. Many people even choose to switch workouts out each day. They may focus on legs one day and arms the next. But if you are 50 or older, your recovery time will increase. This is because your muscles and tissues need more time to recover. The time you take between exercising will depend on your health and comfort levels.

Talk to Your Doctor First

If you are not already active, you should speak with a physician before beginning to exercise. If you have heart disease, joint conditions, cancer, heart issues, and other health conditions, it is very important to talk to your doctor.

  • The following may be indicators of serious health problems that can become worse with activity.
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness when performing daily activities like getting out of bed or walking
  • Pain in your chest, neck, jaw, or arms when at rest or exercising
  • Swelling in the extremities, especially during the night
  • A rapid heartbeat or a known heart murmur

The Benefits of a Gym Membership

Many people get their best workouts in a professional facility. Gyms are popular throughout the country, so there are plenty to choose from. Most have updated equipment, fun classes, and trainers to keep you on track. But, not every gym is tailored to seniors.

The Bift Gym in Amarillo, Texas

The Bfit Gym in Amarillo was created for outpatient rehabilitation and seniors who want to stay in shape. Staff are friendly, professional, and experienced, as well as focused on each member. If you are 55 or over, and have graduated from our outpatient therapy program, our relaxed environment will tempt you to sign up for a gym membership that you will actually keep.

To learn more about outpatient therapy at Bift, contact Bivins Pointe today. You can reach us at (806) 350-2200 or email us for more information. We offer inpatient rehabilitation and a luxury neighborhood for long-term care as well!

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Senior Safety Tips To Help Keep You Cool And Healthy In Summer
Posted By: Becky Davis

Everyone should take precautions to stay safe during the summer, especially the elderly. Even if you are healthy, the heat can cause dangerous conditions like heat stroke and hyperthermia. Here are some tips you and your family can use to stay safe and enjoy the summer!

Dress for warm weather

Protecting yourself from the rays of the sun can help you stay cool and safe. Be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You should also wear a hat to protect your scalp and face. Long sleeved clothing can also help, as long as it’s not too heavy.

Wear sunscreen at all times

Although this won’t help you stay cool, it will protect your skin from the sun. Most people wear lighter clothing and tend to have more exposed skin during the summer months. If you dress this way, always have sunscreen available. You can ask a family member, friend, or caregiver to help you apply sunscreen thoroughly.

Stay hydrated

It’s also very important to drink plenty of water. For senior citizens, it is especially vital because it’s more difficult for you to stay hydrated. Keep bottles or a filtered pitcher of water in the fridge so that good, refreshing water is readily available. Also, remember to pack water when going outdoors.

Talk to your doctor about medications

Some medications can actually be affected by temperature. You may find instructions for proper storage on your medication bottles. Pay attention to this, as the medicine may not be as effective in higher temperatures.

Not only can summer temps affect your medications, but they can also cause you to have adverse reactions to heat. This is because some prescriptions can cause you to sweat less or be unable to regulate your temperature. Speak with your doctor about the side effects of all your medicines to reduce the risk of overheating.

Keep cool, even indoors

It may not seem like increasing temperatures can affect you that badly while you are indoors. But, even small changes can be harmful. Using your air conditioning is one of the best ways to stay cool in the summer, but sometimes that is not an option. Here are some tips you can use if your air conditioner doesn’t do the trick or if you want to conserve that energy/expense.

  1. Use fans to move air around your home.
  2. Besides large fans, you can also use a personal fan that sprays a mist of water.
  3. Visit places that are well-ventilated or have air conditioners. This can also help you stay active.
  4. Eat something cool, like a popsicle.
  5. Avoid overexerting yourself on hot days, even if you think you are physically capable.
  6. If you exercise, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated, indoor area.
  7. Stay in contact with people. You should be open about your health and let someone know if you think you are in danger.

What are the most dangerous conditions caused by heat?

The following are two of the most dangerous conditions that can be caused by being hot for too long. Elderly people and those who do not stay hydrated are most at risk. It is important to be familiar with these to make sure you are safe this summer.


  • This term encompasses a number of conditions, all of which show that you should listen to your body and try to keep cool.
  • Heat cramps occur in your muscles when you are exercising or overworking them. Although your temperature stays the same, you should cool down if you begin to get cramps.
  • Heat syncope happens when you are out in hot temperatures, typically overworking yourself. You may feel dizzy or faint if you experience this condition. Heart medicines like beta blockers can make symptoms worse.
  • Heat exhaustion is a well-known condition that indicates your body cannot regulate your temperature. Symptoms include dizziness, thirst, nausea, and weakness. Sweating and a rapid pulse can also occur. If you think you have heat exhaustion, make sure to cool down as fast as possible.

Heat stroke

This dangerous condition requires immediate medical attention. If your air conditioner does not work or you overexert yourself, you can get heat stroke. Common symptoms include confusion, dizziness, an elevated body temperature, agitation, lack of sweat, a rapid pulse, and dry skin.

Staying fit and healthy with Bivins Pointe

If you love staying active during the summer but are concerned about your safety, you should speak with a healthcare professional. At Bivins Pointe, we understand that staying fit (and safe) is vital to your health. That’s why we offer outpatient therapy along with gym memberships at our Bfit Gym for people 55 and over. With over 3,000 square feet of space and specialized equipment for both exercise and therapy, there is something for everyone.

To learn more about the Bfit Gym, call us at (806) 350-2200or contact us by email. We also have inpatient rehabilitation and a luxury neighborhood for long-term care, as well as volunteer opportunities and events.

Senior Tip of the Week - Exercising at Home
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi, I'm Jessica and I wanted to share a few tips on how to stay healthy and do light duty exercises at home. If you have a can or a light object, you can do different range of motion with your arms. You can do marching in place with your legs, ankle pumps. If you need more information we have handouts available on our website or you can give us a call at Bivins Pointe (806.350.2200). You can do it! Upper Body Exercises Lower Body Exercises Laying Down Exercises

Senior Tip Of The Week: At Home Yoga Exercises
Posted By: Becky Davis


I’m Tammy and I’m going to show you a few yoga moves that can easily be done from a wheelchair, a chair, or a bed. We’re going to start with a cow pose. Just simply lift your chin, stretch that neck. A cat pose: put your chin into your chest, stretch the spine. Release the head from side to side, and release any tension in your neck. Relax those shoulders. Inhale deep breaths with each move. We’re going to do a side stretch, stretch the hips, and to the other side. And there you go! You can do it!

How To Prepare Your Loved One For Rehabilitation After Surgery
Posted By: Becky Davis

There are many things to think about when you prepare your loved one to transition from the hospital to home. They may have suffered an injury or have a condition which will require rehabilitation therapy. If so, you need to know how you can help them through the rehab process. Here are some guidelines you can follow if your family member needs rehabilitation after surgery.

Transferring from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility

The case managers at the hospital and at the rehab facility will be your best contacts for a smooth transition. They are great at communicating with you and working out all the details with each other. They are good listeners and can navigate the move with care and expertise.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved one is to communicate with the staff at the rehab facility throughout your stay there. Regular visits by you and other family members enhance their progress and cheer their spirits. You can meet with some of the healthcare providers, nurses, and physicians on your visits as well. Many offer regular care plan meetings where family can get updated progress reports and work out the details of a good discharge plan.

Talk with their doctor or discharge planner about preparing any in-home care that is needed. Sometimes it’s an advantage for someone to help them at home during their rehabilitation after surgery. You will need a clear-cut plan for their care and the costs involved, and most importantly, a successful transition home.

Planning financially

Medicare costs are something you should research because unless there are extenuating circumstances, Medicare does not cover a long-term stay in a post-surgery rehab facility. You have three choices to consider if the patient's short-term Medicare approval expires. First, see if the doctor will examine them and help you with the application for an extension of benefits. Second, you have the option of paying out of pocket for the costs not covered. Finally, you can prepare for professional home care before the patient is discharged.

Developing a care plan

The team at the rehabilitation facility should meet with you shortly after your loved one is admitted to the program. An initial care plan meeting, especially if your loved one has a limited ability to communicate, is helpful for everyone. The purpose of this meeting and the creation of the plan is to answer your questions and help you determine expectations. You will also learn how you can help with the recovery process. Discharge planning may also be a part of this meeting so that you have a roadmap to guide your family member back to independence.

Going home and to outpatient rehabilitation

Your loved one may have some difficulty once they are able to return home. If they have a caregiver to help them at home, simply having an extra person may cause some stress. Make sure that there are no personality conflicts between your loved one and the caregiver. Work with them to determine any areas of risk, like rugs, transitions from room to room, and the access to bathrooms and kitchen. If possible, do this before your loved one returns home.

Make sure that you and other family members visit frequently so that your family member feels loved and that you are there for them. Finally, you should help them prepare for outpatient care at the rehabilitation center if it is prescribed. This can be easier on them than inpatient rehabilitation.

Know what your loved one can bring to post-surgery rehabilitation

When your family member is admitted to a rehab center, and before each outpatient appointment, make sure they have the following items.

  • Their identification or driver's license
  • Insurance cards
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • A robe
  • Comfortable fitting clothes or pajamas
  • Socks
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Comfortable shoes with a non skid sole

To learn more about rehabilitation after surgery, please contact Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas. We have many Amenities, events, volunteer opportunities, and the Bfit Gym. Contact us via email or give us a call at 806-350-2200 for more information. If you would like to visit us in person, our address is 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas. We are ready to show you how we can help you and your family.

Exploring The Different Types Of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation
Posted By: Becky Davis

Physical therapy (PT) can transform your life if you need the help that it provides. It might surprise you that this therapy can have such an impact on your health and well being or in the life of someone you love. PT is a long-standing discipline that has been developed over many years. There are many different ways a physical therapist can help with the challenges that you face after an injury, illness, or surgery.

Rehabilitation after surgery

Some PT is designed specifically for post-surgery rehabilitation. A variety of techniques are used by physical therapists to help patients regain strength, coordination and motor control. There are many different types of facilities that offer PT, as well as other beneficial therapies to help with recovery after a surgery.

Physical therapy for the elderly

As your body ages, it can become weaker. This is especially true for those who develop poor posture or live an unhealthy lifestyle. Geriatric physical therapy is designed to teach older persons how to use their muscles safely and in a more efficient manner. Developing better habits of body movement will help you avoid injury as you age.

Physical therapy for balance or vestibular issues

You may not notice how your body keeps you balanced until you lose your ability to walk straight. Vestibular PT is designed to help patients overcome inner ear problems that can destroy balance. If your balance is off, it can become seriously debilitating, especially if you are experiencing vertigo and dizziness. Physical therapy helps teach your body to use its muscles for better balance.

Physical therapy for neurological conditions

The nervous system is designed to help your brain control your body. Spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, strokes, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease attack the nervous system. Unfortunately most of these neurological problems are unlikely to be cured. But you can improve your quality of life with PT. Learning to practice small and therapeutic exercises will help make managing the impact of neurological disorders easier.

Physical therapy for orthopedic problems

Recovering muscle strength after an injury is what orthopedic PT was designed for. You might be surprised how the targeted, precise exercises given to you by a physical therapist can help your musculoskeletal system over time.

Physical therapy for cardiac or pulmonary needs

If you have a serious cardiovascular or pulmonary problem, your goal may be to develop independence. Cardiopulmonary PT can help you do this. Cardiac issues include heart attack or pulmonary fibrosis. Physical therapy helps with growing strength in your most important muscles, including your heart, and increases your endurance.

Physical rehabilitation therapy in Amarillo, Texas

Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas specializes in Rehabilitation and Recovery services. Contact us today to find out more about our Bfit Gym, amenities, events, and current volunteer opportunities. You can call us at (806) 350-2200 or send us an email for more information.

You can also visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Drive in Amarillo, Texas to tour our facilities and see how we can help you and your family.

Post-surgery Physical Therapy: Benefits And Tips To Help You Heal
Posted By: Becky Davis

After surgery, physical therapy helps you manage the symptoms of pain and limited mobility. A physical therapist is trained to evaluate and treat problems with the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems of your body.

A trained rehabilitation therapist might perform massage, direct you in a regular exercise pattern, or use electrical stimulation to treat your pain. They want to help you recover from surgery or injury, while preventing you from causing additional damage.

Who can benefit from physical rehabilitation therapy?

People with a wide variety of conditions may be prescribed physical therapy. An athlete might need to see a physical therapist to help them get over an injury. Chronic conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, may also be helped by physical therapy. A person with this diagnosis can maintain balance and motor function through PT. Those with skeletal injuries, elderly persons, and others benefit from rehabilitation therapy when pain relief and mobility become difficult.

The benefits of physical therapy after surgery

You will see many benefits when you are prescribed physical exercise and therapy after your surgery. It might frighten you to think about moving your body after you have had a medical procedure. But you can build up stamina and energy by exercise, improving your mood and retraining your body.

Private gym access may be a good idea for you or a loved one as you recover from surgery. When you research rehabilitation facilities, look for this feature. Check out the staff to make sure they are knowledgeable and experienced in working with your doctor’s plans. In addition, they should be able to create their own fitness and care plans for you and your unique situation.

Overall healing

Although rehabilitation therapy after surgery may seem scary, you will actually need this to heal. Stretching, muscle strengthening and core exercises can help you recover range of motion, balance and strength. Your therapist will focus on the areas you need help with most, and ensure that you do not do any damage to the area where the surgery was performed.

Reduction of scar tissue

You may have scar tissue from an injury or surgery. It is painful to break up this material, but it can be successfully done with the direction of your doctor and a rehabilitation center. Scar tissue can be prevented after surgery with proper exercise and special kinds of therapy performed by a physical therapist.

Tools and techniques used in physical rehabilitation therapy

After surgery, you or a loved one might need help to improve muscle conditioning, range of movement, or strength. It is vital that you see a well trained physical therapist for help with this rehabilitation. This should help you with pain management, avoid future injury, perform daily living tasks, and even re-learn how to move your body. All of this can be done through the expertise of a physical therapist.

Electrical stimulation therapy

Often, a physical therapist will use a machine that is connected to sensors and wires to treat your muscles and tissues with electricity. The therapist will place patches on the skin near your injury. These are connected to the machine by wires that the electrical current will pass through.

At most, you may feel a slight tingle (but no pain) when the machine is turned on. This is not something to be afraid of. When this equipment is used the right way, you should not experience strong pain. The current alters nerve conduction and muscle contraction in the affected area. This increases blood flow to the part of your body being treated, and may even diminish the pain you experience after treatment.

Application of heat and cold to affected areas

Your therapist may apply heat or cold to the injured area of your body during your treatment. They will know if your situation calls for one or both of these techniques. Heat and/or cold can help reduce swelling and stimulate blood flow, to reduce pain.

Mental activities

Mental health is another important thing to consider during rehabilitation after surgery. Your cognition, emotional health, and memory can all be affected when you do not heal properly. Anesthesia can also affect these. This is why rehab facilities try to include fun events and activities like trivia, chess, musical and dance performances, and painting. These can stimulate the brain, improve hand-eye coordination, and give you an improved sense of well-being.

Tips to help with your rehabilitation

Taking part in all your PT exercises and fun events, as well as following all doctor’s orders, will help you heal quickly. The following tips can also help you heal, but be sure to speak with your doctor and rehab therapist before changing your diet or medications:

  • Take supplements and vitamins as needed
  • Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep track of your mental and physical health
  • Ask your family to be involved with your rehabilitation

Rehabilitation therapy after surgery in Amarillo, Texas

If you or a loved one are facing post-surgery physical therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe today. Our trained staff can provide you with more information about our Rehabilitation and Recovery services, events, amenities, and the Bfit Gym. Please feel free to visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Drive in Amarillo to find out more and tour our facilities. Contact us by email or call (806) 350-2200 to find out how we can help you or your loved one.

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5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Rehabilitation After Joint Surgery
Posted By: Becky Davis

Stiff and painful joints may have caused you to sit out of playing in the park with a grandchild or give up a favorite activity. Fortunately, you can look forward to the restored mobility that knee or hip surgery can provide. Rehabilitation after surgery is vital to helping you recover and return to an active lifestyle. The following five tips can help you get the most out of your post-surgery rehabilitation therapy.

Identify the purpose of your rehab therapy

After surgery, your therapy begins in the hospital and will continue for several weeks. Usually both physical and occupational therapy are done after knee or hip replacement. Therapy is typically done at specialized facilities.

To understand the importance of rehabilitation after surgery, consider that you are working to restore normal movement in the joint. Therapists will help you build up muscles in and around the joint, which can help reduce swelling and pain. In addition, rehab after surgery will help you prepare to return to your normal activities, avoid blood clots, and assist you with circulation.

Be aware of possible mobility issues

It is not likely that you will be allowed to drive for several weeks if you have a total joint replacement. Arrange for someone to help you with necessities like getting to the drug store, grocery store, and your appointments. You should also ask your therapist to show you how to get in and out of the car safely so that your joint is not injured.

Note milestones during your progress

Ask your rehabilitation therapist to show you a written plan for your therapy. It should include the number of days per week you will receive therapy, note specific goals, and set a timeline for the process. The goals may include walking up and down the stairs, walking without the aid of a cane or walker, and dressing without help. Your rehabilitation therapist will monitor your progress in reaching those goals and make adjustments in the care plan if you need them.

Keep going

It is common to feel tired and sore after your rehabilitation therapy, but do not give up. You can reach your goals for greater mobility by completing all prescribed therapy sessions. As you progress through the therapy, you are likely to walk longer distances without fatigue and be able to complete several tasks independently. By the end of your post surgery rehabilitation, you should be back to your old self.

Prepare and plan ahead for rehab

Before surgery, it is advisable to make your rehabilitation plan and select a rehab provider. Make a decision about receiving rehabilitation at home or at a center that specializes in providing care and therapy for patients after surgery. This may be the best thing for you, especially if you live alone.

Your overall health and the design of your home may also make a stay in a short-term rehabilitation facility the best choice for a successful recovery. If you can, book your stay at the center before your surgery takes place. You can go into the operation confident that you have done everything to plan ahead, and your recovery will be smoother.

Rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, TX

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Choosing A Short-Term Post-surgery Rehabilitation Center
Posted By: Becky Davis

Sometimes a physician may recommend that you or a loved one continue recovery at a rehab and skilled nursing facility after hospitalization. Your hospital visit could be due to illness, injury, or a planned surgery. Most people want to get out of the hospital and go home. But, taking advantage of rehabilitation after surgery at a skilled nursing facility can help prevent return trips to the hospital and improve your overall outcome.

You might ask yourself how you can best choose a rehabilitation center. By following a few tips, you can make a decision that you are pleased with.

Make sure the facility offers all the therapy services you need

It is important that the facility you choose offers everything you need. You may need a variety of therapy types after your surgery, including physical, occupational, and even speech therapy. It is best to know exactly what types of therapy you will need before your surgery so you can plan ahead for your care.

If you are getting physical therapy, the staff should be able to help you focus on strength, mobility, motor control, safety, and pain management. Occupational therapy will help you get back to doing the things you once could on your own. Speech therapy will help you chew and speak without difficulty or pain, but it can also help with language issues and cognitive reasoning.

Check the success rates at each facility

Ask questions to determine the success of each rehabilitation center you are considering. Different facilities have varying levels of experience. Find out the percentage of patients who are able to live independently and return home after discharge. Even more important, find out how many patients have to go back to the hospital.

Ask if they take Medicare

You should check to see if the rehab facility takes insurance or Medicare. Reconsider using them for rehabilitation after surgery if they do not accept these. You want to be sure that nothing, including financial stress, gets in the way of you returning to full health.

Ask about the ratio of staff to patients

This is an important question to consider when you are making your choice. Ask each facility about their ratios, because the key to quality care is a therapist’s ability to provide adequate services. When this ratio is good, the likelihood of successful patient recovery increases.

Find out about their reputation

Ask friends and family to tell you about any experience they've had with the facility you are considering for short-term care. Personal testimonies are a great source of information. You can read reviews and experiences online as well. This advice and information can help you make an objective decision.

Consider the issues of privacy and comfort

If privacy during recovery is important to you or your loved one, then make sure you understand what the room arrangements will be like. Not all locations will provide private rooms. You should be able to visit the rehabilitation facility to take a tour and ask about the extra services they provide, like spa treatments, fun events, and meals.

Think about the location

The location of your rehab center is not likely to be your top priority, but you should give it some consideration. Your spirits will be kept up if you can have frequent visitors who live nearby. If your loved one is choosing a rehabilitation facility, be sure to let them know you would like to visit them and be a part of their recovery too.

Rehabilitation after surgery at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX

Exercise And Aging: 3 Myths You Should Know About
Posted By: Becky Davis

One in four Americans aged 50 and older are sedentary most of the time. Many of these adults choose to live a physically inactive lifestyle for a variety of reasons, but some of these reasons may be based on myths. Here are three incorrect beliefs about age and exercise, and actual benefits of physical activity for seniors.

Myth #1: You do not have enough energy to exercise as you age

This claim is incorrect because energy levels depend on many factors. The more active you are, the more you will be able to accomplish throughout the day, and your tolerance for exercise will actually increase. A study done at the University of Georgia found that subjects who exercised for twenty minutes, three times a week for six weeks, had a sixty-five percent decrease in fatigue levels.

Research targeting those who participate in exercise and sports shows a positive effect on energy levels and general physical activity. Some benefits of staying active include improving blood pressure, lowering resting heart rate, and increasing metabolic rate. Blood flow increases in the body when you exercise, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and improves energy production.

Myth #2: Seniors are too old to exercise

The world's oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh, ran his last race in 2013 when he was 101 years old. He proved that your age is only a number and that it does not determine your ability to exercise. Of the runners who completed a marathon in the U.S. in 2015, forty-nine percent of them were in the 40 years or older "masters" classification.

One study looked at the effects of at home exercise programs in two hundred people aged 60 years and older. Once the program was completed, strength, balance, and disability improvement ratings were measured. The results showed that there were no negative health effects experienced by anyone who participated in this study.

Myth #3: The older you are, the easier it is to get exercise injuries

Gradually increasing physical activity levels with proper form can reduce your risk of injury. All age groups have a risk of injury during strenuous exercise. However, it is a common false stereotype that elderly people are weak and frail, and will become injured more easily.

Preventing exercise-related injuries is key for people of all ages. Muscle strains and tendonitis are two common injuries that can happen when you exercise. Warming up properly, stretching, and slowly increasing the frequency and intensity of workout sessions can help you lower your risk of injury.

Rehab, recovery, and exercise at Bivins Pointe

Fun Summer Activities For Your Senior Family Member
Posted By: Becky Davis

When the summer months reach higher temperatures, it can be difficult for seniors to find ways to stay active. Staying active is vital in keeping their minds sharp, their spirits up, and their bodies in good shape. The following are several activities you can turn to that will help improve memory and maintain general cognitive function during the summer months.

Play a game

Games are one of the simplest ways to stay busy and active during the summer months, especially if it’s too hot to go outside. There are an endless number of board games to choose from, like Scrabble, checkers, chess, and backgammon. Charades is a good way to introduce exercise and is a great way to engage a larger crowd.

Card games can also bring hours of entertainment, and are a portable alternative you can take anywhere. Consider poker, blackjack, gin rummy, and spades. If you’re lacking an opponent, solitaire is a good option. There are also games you can play with only a pen and paper, such as hangman and tic-tac-toe. There are puzzle books made for crosswords, sudoku, and word searches that can be used on rainy days as well.

Get crafty

When you have no choice but to stay near the air-conditioning, get creative. Crafts are an excellent activity for seniors because they can give them new skills and keep them challenged mentally. You can try painting, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, or even woodworking.

One soothing way to do crafts is to make art to music. Bring out some paper and artistic tools of any kind, including paints, chalk pastels, and even crayons, and turn on some music. There is no wrong way to create art, especially when listening to music.

Provided it is cool enough, you can also take arts and crafts outdoors. Maybe you know an experienced artist, or someone you can hire, to come over and lead an outdoor painting class. You can also set up a painting corner in your own garden or take a field trip to a more scenic area.

Get some exercise

Summer is the best time to get out and try new physical activities. Exercise is key for people of all ages, but especially for seniors because it can be difficult for them to stay moving. If temperatures are too high, you can take your family member to the pool for some swimming or water aerobics. This activity is gentle on aging joints. You could also consider yoga, dancing classes, or joining a league for a sport they enjoy.

If those activities require too much movement, try simply taking a trip to get them out. Many towns have local events that pass through during the summer where you can take your family. You could take them to the movies, or on a walk through the local zoo. Fairs are also good opportunities for exercise and fresh air, and provide the chance for new and exciting experiences, like experimenting with food trucks.

Photograph activities

One thing that almost always lifts the spirits of seniors is going through old photographs. Bring out an old photo album and talk about the past, encouraging your elderly loved one to share their memories about each photo. If you have a bunch of pictures that are unorganized, you could ask them to help you put them into photo albums. You can also turn the process into an opportunity for scrapbooking projects.

Spend time at home

Sometimes the easiest way to beat the heat is to stay home and get some work done around the house. Encourage seniors to declutter unneeded possessions that no longer bring them joy. Redecorating is another fun way to stay active, keeping seniors engaged while they refresh their surroundings. See if there are any minor home repairs that they can perform or help with. Many times, the simple feeling of accomplishing something can raise a senior’s spirits.

To learn more about activities that you and your senior loved one can do, contact Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at 806-350-2200 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Events and our Rehab and Recovery Services. You can also find out more about the Bfit Gym, our first-rate Amenities, and current Volunteering Opportunities. Visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Dr in Amarillo, TX to Tour our facility and see how we can help you or your loved one.