Long Term Care
Pointe Personalities: Meet Barbara Ferguson
Posted By: Becky Davis

“If a train doesn’t stop at your station, then it’s not your train,” said author Marianne Williamson.  And sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re waiting on a train until it just shows up. 

For Barbara Steele, that train arrived with an unexpected invitation – one that would take her on a lifetime of adventures she never imagined.  The year was 1953, and she had just returned to Dalhart, Texas, the hometown where she was raised. 

The only child of Herman and Erma Steele, Barbara grew up during World War II and remembers the government rationing certain items such as food, gasoline, and even clothing.  It might be her positive outlook that kept her from feeling deprived, but Barbara says she had everything she needed and more.

“My mom sewed my clothes, so I always had Sunday clothes and school clothes – skirts, not pants. We used stamps to buy shoes. And sugar, too,” she says.

Her home was a happy one. “Mom sang around the house all the time, and I learned a lot of the old songs just listening to her,” Barbara recalls.  “I used to think my friends’ lives looked like so much fun because they had siblings, but later I realized that I didn’t have to share my room or my clothes or my parents’ attention.  I think that makes a big difference in the way you grow up.”

This was the 1930’s, and there were three air bases in Dalhart so the town felt like it was overrun with people.  Weekly gatherings at the local church attracted a score of military men, and Barbara felt very grown up playing ping-pong with them. She also performed at the USO and local movie theater – ballet and tap dance were her specialties.  

She left Dalhart to attend Colorado Women’s College in Denver, where she studied Humanities, and then went on to earn her bachelors degree in Home Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.  Her plan was to pursue merchandising with a minor in business, but an illness in the family called her back home.  

After attending summer school at West Texas State University (now WTAMU), she got a temporary teaching certificate and spent the next year teaching a class of 6th graders.  She had 36 students, and she was required to teach all subjects. After that first year she didn’t return, and friends assumed the position was too demanding. But that wasn’t exactly the case.

While Barbara was getting initiated in the world of teaching, something was brewing in the small town of Stratford about 30 miles away.  Bob Ferguson, a young attorney and county judge, was finding it difficult to activate a social life in such a small town, so he started making the trek to Dalhart.  One Sunday morning, a young woman in the church choir caught his eye, and he asked a friend to arrange a blind date. Luckily for him, Barbara Steele said yes even though she had never laid eyes on him. “I was blind, but he wasn’t,” she jokes. 

They married in the summer of 1953 and settled down in Stratford.  She did some substitute teaching until their first daughter, Beth, was born in 1954.  A partnership opportunity for Bob took them back to Dalhart, where their family expanded with the births of Susan in 1956 and Lee in 1960.

Barbara may not have known she was waiting at the station for Bob Ferguson, and she certainly didn’t know that this life of adventure would involve a lot of train rides.  “Bob loved trains,” she says.  “He was like a little boy about trains.” He delighted in taking her on rail trips that spanned the U.S. and Canada – including the east and west coasts, Montreal to Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Lake Louise, Texas to California, and Utah. On one of their California trips there were docents from the railroad museum in Oakland on board, and they gave lectures which thrilled Bob. 

Bob also loved to dance, but they didn’t dance regularly for the first 25 years of their marriage. At a wedding reception, he mentioned that if she would quit leading, he would dance with her. Soon after, they took up round dancing and learned some steps that translated well to the dance floor. “Bob took two years of dance lessons,” she says, “and I used to say he was going to get his doctorate in dancing.”

In 2006 Bob retired and announced a move to Granbury, Texas, to be near their grandchildren. The announcement surprised Barbara. “He was 82,” she says.  “When I was 82, I couldn’t even move across the hall.”

Granbury became their home for the next seven years, and Bob took up walking regularly – sometimes as much as six miles in a day. He would anxiously await the arrival of the latest Texas Highways magazine, and then plan a road trip.  Port Aransas was a favorite destination, and they loved watching the porpoises and dolphins lead the boats into port. Fishing wasn’t on the agenda, but they liked to go boating with friends who lived in the area. Their road trips often included visits to museums and art galleries, a passion they shared.

A unique prayer group formed during their time in Granbury, and the weekly meetings impacted Barbara’s spiritual life.  “It really was powerful,” she says.  “It allowed us to get to know people from all walks of life.”  It also prompted them to be re-baptized, signifying a renewed commitment to the Lord. Lifelong Methodists, they met a couple who led music at the Baptist Church and decided to attend. “Bob didn’t like me saying that we went to the Baptist Church because of the music, but we did,” she explains.

In 2012 they returned to the Texas Panhandle, moving into a retirement community in Amarillo. It was in 2013 that Bob and Barbara took their last train trip together. To celebrate Bob’s 90th birthday, the family rode the North Pole Express out of Grapevine, Texas.  In 2016, Bob passed after a short illness. He was 93. Today Barbara enjoys hearing updates about their three children, eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. She feels very blessed to have lived the life of adventure she shared with Bob for 63 years.

In September 2019, she came to call Bivins Pointe her home. Life is a little slower these days, but she still sees it as a grand adventure. And she’s so very thankful she didn’t miss the train.


Pointe Personalities: Meet Jeff Messer
Posted By: Becky Davis

He preached his first sermon at age 10 to an audience of 54 people on a Wednesday night.  Jeff Messer knew he was called into ministry from a young age, but he just didn’t know exactly what that would entail.  “At the time I never would have seen myself doing what I do now,” he says.

He remembers the first time he saw Gates Hall on the campus of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview and somehow realizing it would be part of his destiny.  “I was ten or eleven at the time and I just knew I would go to Wayland, but I later discovered that you don’t just ‘go to college.’ So I had people who helped me along the way,” he says.

The first in his family to attend college, Jeff accepted a bi-vocational pastoral position while he was still a student at Wayland.  After graduation, he went on to pastor churches over a span of 28 years, in locations such as Wellington, Shamrock, McLean, and Amarillo.  

Life took an unexpected turn when he was asked to go into youth mission work for a private school in Amarillo.  He spent the next ten years facilitating mission opportunities for students at Bible Heritage Christian School.  Those opportunities included projects with City Church in Amarillo and homeless work with Mission Waco/Church Under the Bridge.  It was an enlightening experience, especially for the students. “We were serving homeless people under the I-35 bridge, right down the street from an affluent private university. It opened the students’ eyes to a way of life they never knew existed,” Jeff says.

The next unforeseen life change came in the form of a nudging from his wife, Donna.  She saw a job posting for a chaplain position at Bivins, and mentioned it to him.  “A nursing home?” Jeff asked.  Never in his wildest imagination had he considered a step like this.  He decided to fill out a last-minute application, and then a few weeks later received a call to come for an interview.

During a tour of the facility, a memory care patient said to Jeff, “Well Land o’ Goshen, when did you get in town?” 

Jeff knelt down to be eye-level with this woman he didn’t know, and said the first thing that popped into his mind. “Well, just this morning.”

“Are you going to stick around?” she asked.

“I sure hope so,” was his sincere answer.

That was in 2005, and Jeff Messer has been at Bivins ever since.  As chaplain, he enjoys leading Bible chats with the Bivins Pointe residents three times a week, holding a non-denominational church service on Sundays, and taking time to visit with the long-term residents and rehab patients every day.

 “God has graciously allowed me to journey with these people who have lived such rich lives.  Their stories are what movies and novels are made of,” Jeff says.  ‘I get to visit with people who have such rich and varied faith backgrounds, and I get to teach Bible to people who sometimes know it better than I do.”

When he’s not involved in his chaplain duties, Jeff enjoys writing, cooking with his grandkids, and spending time with his family.  He and his wife, Donna, have three adult children.  Son T.J. is minister, daughter Leigha is a P.A., and their youngest son, Dustin, is a pastor in the Dallas area.

When asked what the future holds, Jeff says he plans to be at Bivins Pointe as long as he possibly can.  His respect for the Bivins legacy traces back to his childhood when the City of Amarillo’s library was housed in the old Bivins family home.  As 10-year-old Jeff perused the book selections inside those walls, he was beginning a journey that would connect him to the Bivins legacy for many years to come. He didn’t know what lay ahead, but as he looks back on that time he is convinced there was a divine plan unfolding.

“God knew all along what I didn’t know,” he says. “I could never have imagined this, but I’m glad He could.”

By Kelli Bullard

Pointe Personalities: Meet Ann Pemberton
Posted By: Becky Davis

You might call her Miss P, or you may know her as Ann.  Chances are you called her the more formal name of Miss Pemberton if you were in her 9th grade English class, and for anyone who grew up in Amarillo those chances are pretty good. With a teaching career that spanned 35 years – from 1959 to 1994 – Ann Pemberton taught countless teens at several campuses including Amarillo High, Sam Houston, Bonham and Crockett Junior Highs.

For Ann, the decision to become a teacher was a pretty simple one.  “That was what women did back then,” she explains.  “At the time there were not as many opportunities (for women) so I just assumed that was what I was going to do.”

After graduating from Sherman High School in Texas, she attended Wesleyan College in West Virginia where she majored in education.  After college, she lived in Baltimore for one year and taught in a Maryland school district, but then set her sights on a new opportunity to avoid taking a $1000 pay cut. 

In Amarillo lived an aunt who offered her a place to stay, and the salary was acceptable.  “I made the handsome sum of $4,000 a year,” she remembers.  “It was a decent way to make a living and a good way to have a role in the community.”

The presence of women in the workforce has changed dramatically in her lifetime, and Ann remembers some significant moments along the way.   During her elementary years, The United States entered World War II, which sparked the beginning of a workplace shift.  Women who had been teaching were needed in other capacities, so a teacher shortage occurred in some areas.  The school Ann attended had to combine two classes, so 1st and 2nd graders met together in one classroom and were taught by the same teacher.

In 1940, only 28 percent of women worked outside the home; by 1945, this figure exceeded 34 percent.  Many women worked as nurses, drove trucks, repaired airplanes, and performed clerical duties. Ann remembers her mother talking about a good friend of hers who became a welder at a defense plant.  

Although the war was an ominous presence during her early years, it never caused her a great amount of fear or anxiety.  Her family lived in South Carolina, and she recalls going to the waterfront and watching the searchlights play out on the water, looking for German submarines that had strayed too close to the shore. 

Ann was nine when the war ended, and one of her cousins returned as a wounded veteran.  The postwar years brought her family back to Texas, where she has stayed other than occasional travels.  Her brother’s family is in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, so she often visited in the summer and at Christmas. 

A visit to the Mall of America made quite an impression on Ann.  “I thought it was kind of ridiculous, having an amusement park indoors,” she laughs.  “But it was something to see.” 

Ann came to live at Bivins Pointe in 2008, and she’s happy to call it her home.  The walls of her spacious private room are decorated with pieces of art that bring her fond memories: the French street scene that her aunt bought in Paris in the 1960’s, the framed photography by an old friend, the crocheted design that a friend made especially for her. 

She is a self-proclaimed Bingo fan and lover of computer games such as Solitaire, Bejeweled, and Poker, as well as a fan of crossword and jigsaw puzzles.   Bible chat is another one of her favorite activities, led by the Bivins Pointe chaplain.

“I’ve never had a hard life, and I never had to struggle,” she admits.  But she still doesn’t mind being pampered a little every now and then. 

“The CNAs and nurses are so kind and they spoil me.  I tell myself I’m being spoiled because they serve me breakfast in bed, but I take advantage,” she says with a grin.

By Kelli Bullard




The Bivins Family Legacy: 70 Years of Generosity
Posted By: Becky Davis

On December 24, 1935, Mary Elizabeth Bivins wrote a letter to her grandchildren – one that would position the Bivins family to make a significant and lasting impact on the Amarillo community.

“To my dear grandchildren, Betty, Lee, Oliver, William, and Mary Miles.  I am giving to your fathers certain mineral rights and royalties in trust for you…. I hope you will use this for the betterment of humanity and honor to yourselves.”

Your granny,

Mary Elizabeth Bivins

Fourteen years after she penned the letter, the Mary E. Bivins Foundation was established as a nonprofit, religious, charitable, and educational undertaking.  Though it began very simply as a wish on a now yellowed piece of paper, the Foundation has for 70 years touched the lives of many throughout the top 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle.

The wish of Mary Elizabeth Bivins to leave this earth better than she found it continues to be realized with each successive generation of the Bivins family – through the Foundation she created as well as through their own individual efforts.

Granny Bivins’ dedication to the cause is remembered fondly by her family members and friends. Betty Teel, wife of grandson Lee T. Bivins, remembers that Granny “wouldn’t spend any money because she had to save every drop of it for her foundation.  She couldn’t buy anything. It might rob her foundation.”

Granny had always wanted to open a retirement home or home for senior adults, since there was no such facility available at the time. In 1952, the Elizabeth Jane Bivins Home for the Aged opened its doors on a 25-acre site in east Amarillo.  Granny had passed in 1951 and wasn’t able to witness the fulfillment of her dream, but some referred to it as “the finest thing ever done by an individual in the Panhandle.”

“The home was the last and greatest benevolence of a lady who for a quarter of a century had given away so much so quietly that none knew the full extent of her philanthropy” (Amarillo Daily News, February 11, 1952).

The Elizabeth Jane Bivins Home was just the beginning of decades of service to Amarillo’s senior population.  In 1965 the Foundation made possible the Bivins Center for Rehabilitation at High Plains Baptist Hospital, and played a key role in the development of the Amarillo Medical Center.  The Bivins Memorial Nursing Home opened in 1968 to care for those needing skilled nursing care. 

Today the Bivins Foundation carries out its mission through a number of organizations, programs and partnerships, including:

Bivins Pointe: A wellness community that provides short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, an outpatient therapy clinic, and long-term residential care.

Bivins Villages: Affordable housing for senior adults that offers an independent and dignified lifestyle to its 120 residents.

The Elizabeth Jane Bivins Culinary Center: A facility producing healthy, high-quality food for Bivins Pointe and other clients.

The Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program: Scholarships for the purpose of educating ministers to preach the Christian religion.

Charitable Giving: Grants for charitable purposes that benefit agencies representing health care, education, human services, and arts and culture.

Recently the Mary E. Bivins Foundation celebrated its 70th anniversary.  While many changes have taken place over the past few decades, there is one thing that will never change:  their vision to “help each person achieve and maintain the highest standards possible in Dignity, Independence, Self-Worth and Good Health.

For seven decades, the Foundation has made good on this promise, and they’re just getting started. Granny Bivins would be so proud.

(sources: Touching Lives: The Lasting Legacy of the Bivins Family, ©2009 by Jeanne S. Archer ; Amarillo Daily News, www.bivinsfoundation.org)

By Kelli Bullard

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


Senior Tip of the Week - Funeral Preplanning
Posted By: Becky Davis


Many times when people are faced with the death of a loved one, they are really overwhelmed by how expensive it can be for them. Historically funerals have doubled in price about every 10-12 years. So when you pre-plan, you're able to lock in those prices at today's rate and keep that financial burden off your families. You can do it.

Senior Tip of the Week - Making Life Easier for Your Senior
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi I’m Casee. I’m here to give you a couple of safety tips for you and your senior. You’re gonna have your everyday glass. Our hands become weak and just don’t grip things as well when we’re older. Grab your everyday rubber bands, stick em around your glass, and that’s going to be easier to hold on to. Another tip is your furniture pads. Grab a furniture pad, stick it on your remote, on the power switch. That’s easier to feel for your on and off. You can also put some felt buttons on your volume control. As well as - these raised buttons can go on your telephone. Your mom’s gonna want to call you and even though you’re on speed dial we forget where that button is sometimes. So grab a big furniture protective pad and stick it on that speed dial. You can do it!

Senior Tip of the Week - Transfer Tips
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi I'm Sarah and I'm a registered nurse. I want to give you just a few tips on how to transfer a person who needs assistance from the sofa to a chair, or from the bed to a chair, or from a wheelchair to the commode - multiple scenarios. One of the things that's really going to help you is to get a belt. You can go out and buy a fancy transfer belt from a medical supply store or you can get a belt out of your closet. You just want to have something that doesn't stretch and you want to put it around the person's waist and be able to reach two hands underneath the belt. Put the chair and the sofa, or whatever seating arrangement is going on, at right angles butting up to one other. And with you, the assisted, you need to get a wide base of support with your feet. And you will put one foot between their feet and your other foot on their outside foot. And the wider your stance, of course, you're going to have more stability. You want to reach two hands underneath the belt and lift them to a standing position and you don't want your weight to be backwards. You want your weight to be slightly forward so if you were to fall, the fall's going to be back on the chair or the sofa. So reach under the belt, come to a standing position in your wide stance and just pivot. Just pivot. All you have to do is just pivot them, what is it that, a 90 degree turn and then gently seat them in the device or the chair in which you're moving to and make sure there's no rugs, cords, or certainly no burning candles around that could easily be knocked over in the process, but I hope that will help you with a safe and comfortable transfer. You can do it, Practice it with someone, a friend maybe, who is not so difficult to manage, and then you'll be able to do it with your loved one. Thank you so much.

Senior Tip of the Week - Brain Boosting Exercises
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi! I'm Casee. I'm here to give you a few tips about an every day activity you can do to boost your brain! And these are also mood enhancing things. So the first one I have is grab your local newspaper; inside this paper, we've got 3 puzzles. We've got the word scramble, a crossword, and some Sudoku. These are great, ummm, brain busters. And they're good for me, they'll be good for you. But doing this every day stimulates the brain and it helps us stay active. Another thing you can do is grab your iPad or your cell phone. Download an app, one I recommend is called SingFit and it is a music app. It's going to prompt you with like the first two or three words to a phrase, to a song. This will boost your mood, creates happiness, gives you a good atmosphere to maybe start with that and then work some puzzles. But these are great mind boosting things that you can do every day for yourself and your senior. You can do it.

Senior Tip of the Week - Discussing the Future
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi, my name is Becky and I want to talk to you about how to discuss the future with your parents. The future needs of your parents are going to come. Denying them isn't going to change a thing. If you notice they're starting to forget things, misplace things, get confused about different things - it's ok to know that that's not an emergency, but it's not okay to ignore it because it is going together worse; it's just a fact of aging. So the best thing you can do is begin the talk early. Engage in a conversation with your loved one, listen to them. Take heart to what they have to say. They have opinions about their own care and many times they'll be different from yours, but still okay. so have that conversation, start it early, don't be afraid. Kind and thoughtful and honest conversations about the future will actually bring a lot of peace into your loved one's heart, and into yours too. So go ahead and start that conversation you've been avoiding. You can do it.

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

The Benefits Of Choosing A Smaller Long-Term Care Community
Posted By: Becky Davis

Some long-term care facilities can feel like older people are existing there, waiting to die. When you think about this, it often makes you feel that you never want to put yourself or a relative through that experience. This is why a smaller, home-y model is becoming popular in the long-term care field.

Instead of residents being housed in rooms that are offshoots of a long and bleak corridor, this alternative layout is designed to create an environment similar to home. Residents live in private rooms in comfortable, peaceful home-y buildings with en-suite bathrooms.

The pros of living in smaller long-term care communities

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a smaller long-term care home for your loved one.

The setting can remind residents of being at home, not in a hospital

Developers and designers are focused on creating an experience for residents that is personalized and patient-focused. A facility like this appeals to those who are put off by an institutional-type environment. Features in home-y facilities include access to gardens or walkways, more sunlight, and a living room area where residents can gather and socialize. The staff will encourage residents to set up their own daily schedules with activities they enjoy.

The staff to patient ratio is better

Another benefit to this type of facility is the personalized care that residents experience from the staff. They are likely to develop a relationship with caregivers who value their needs. The environment also increases the likelihood that staff will recognize any developing health issues with a resident sooner.

Scientific data proves they are better

Studies conducted in 2007 and 2008 at Green House Project long-term care facilities have been done that show residents in smaller centers are able to take care of themselves for a longer period of time. Families of the residents report that they are happier with the environment and care in these facilities. Rates of depression are reported to be lower among residents as well. Studies have found that residents in both types of facilities have about the same rate of deterioration in their ability to perform activities of daily living but smaller facilities can help their end-of-life years be filled with more happiness and care.


It may prove difficult to get into one of these popular facilities because they have fewer rooms and tend to be more expensive. Whether or not your loved one gets along with the other residents and caretakers will likely influence how much they enjoy their experience. The benefits of living in a smaller community, however, almost always outweigh any drawbacks!

Long-term care at Bivins Pointe

If you are looking for high-quality long-term care with exceptional service, Bivins Pointe can help. Our community will enhance your quality of life or that of a loved one. There are many opportunities for socializing in our long-term care "neighborhood", which include access to a kitchen area, a family area, and activities. Private rooms are 350-square feet and include a large individual bath and a computer workspace with wireless capability. Transportation is provided to and from appointments with medical professionals. Our facility is private-pay.

If you are interested in learning more about our luxury long-term care, our excellent in-patient rehab, our out-patient rehab using the Bfit gym, our events, or our current volunteer opportunities, give us a call today. You can reach us at 806-350-2200 or contact us by email to learn more. You can also come by for a tour of Bivins Pointe at 6600 Killgore Drive in Amarillo, Texas.

Senior Tip of the Week - Memory Loss and Mood Swings
Posted By: Becky Davis
  Hello, my name is Sarah and I'm a registered nurse. I wanted to talk to you today about two things that are going to occur as people age. Those two things are memory loss and mood swings, the two m's. Memory loss is going to occur but you will find that with the elderly, they may not remember where they put their reading glasses five minutes ago and certainly not what they ate the last meal, but they can recall events from 50 years ago or more. And it's very important that we listen to them and acknowledge their life experiences. My grandparents lived from 1900 to, one grandmother til 2006. Not that many years of course, the year 2006. They were so full of life experiences. They had lived happy times, exciting times and certainly through a lot of grief and loss. Their memories are so precious to me. One of the best things you can do is actually write those things down and re-recite them and that helps them to feel value and worth even in their later years. The last thing is mood swings. Expect mood swings in the aging process. That is very normal and sometimes you may see a parent that you have loved who is going through maybe more frustration and anger. Anger comes with frustration as they go through sensory deprivation and physical changes in their bodies. They’re probably more frustrated than you are over these things occurring. And so, be patient with them as they go through those mood swings and again just listening and having compassion and slowing down will be very helpful to them. You can do this! Aging is a wonderful process and let’s not let it slip by without giving recognition and worth to people no matter what stage they are in life.

Senior Tip of the Week - Relationship Building Activities
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi I'm Casee. I'm going to give you an activity you can do with your senior. Today we're going to talk about an indoor window sill garden. So, I chose succulents this time. What you're going to need first is a Mason jar, some pebbles and some potting soil. So go ahead and put your pebbles in first, then your potting soil. Grab your succulent, stick it up on top. You're going to want to put it in a container that's got a handle so that you can easily transfer from your window sill to your countertops, your sink. If you've got the time, I would plant an herb garden. That way your senior can taste, feel and touch this creation with you. Just remember that whatever you do try with your senior, your relationship is constantly changing so give yourself a break, and a little bit of grace, and keep trying new things letting this relationship grow into something new all the time. You can do it!

5 Tips That Can Help You Plan For Long-Term Care
Posted By: Becky Davis

Many avoid thinking about the day when they can no longer take care of themselves, or when a loved one is not able to live on their own anymore. Statistics show that 70% of the population will need some kind of long-term care once they have reached the "golden years." Long-term care can include assistance with daily routines, such as using the bathroom, eating, dressing, bathing, or walking.

Waiting to plan until you or your loved need this kind of support opens you up to greater challenges and the possibility of making major mistakes. The time you spend planning, researching, and preparing will pay off if the day comes that you or your loved one needs long-term care. The following are some things you may not have considered when it comes to planning for elder care.

Be careful what you promise to an elderly family member

Older loved ones may ask their family to avoid putting them in a long-term care home. This can be a difficult conversation. If you promise them you “will never put them in a nursing home”, you may be denying them the vital healthcare that they need. It will likely make it much harder emotionally for you to make a good decision.

Educate yourself early

Long-term care facilities have evolved over the years and now include skilled nursing, activities, and other benefits. It is best to start planning as soon as possible to know what would be a good fit for your family.

Depending on the level of need, there are many options available. Assisted living, independent living, and long-term care facilities as well as home health services, day care for adults, and hospice care are some choices that are available. They offer different levels of care for you to choose from based on your needs. Learning the benefits that each provides can help you to be better prepared for the future. Some people require more specialized care, like those who have Alzheimer's or dementia. An assisted living community may be a good choice if it offers specialization in memory care.

Find out what is available locally

The federal government offers many online resources for checking the scores of long-term care facilities. But, you should not rely solely on internet research. Set up appointments and visit the facilities which are available to you on a local basis. Finding places that are close to you or your loved one will help you stay connected.

Plan ahead based on health

Near the end of life, many people will be faced with questions about medical care. If you or your loved one are not capable of making decisions about health and living arrangements, someone else will have to make them. Your wishes should be communicated to loved ones and written down in a document like an advance directive. This will help everyone plan the type of care you or your loved one will need.

Planning financially is just as important. Knowing that you can afford long-term care will make the transition period easier. It is best to understand your insurance and every form of income you have to begin planning for care. Long-term care insurance is very beneficial and the earlier you purchase the policy, the more affordable it is.

Be sensitive towards all healthcare needs

The elderly often begin to worry as they age and have an increasing need for healthcare. Most older people want to stay in their homes and remain independent. They also hope to maintain good health and receive the care they need for the medical issues they currently have. They like to have a plan in place so that they will have money for everyday expenses. The need for long-term care can drastically remove the security that an elderly loved one has in these areas.

It is important to be sensitive to their needs and concerns. If they require a higher level of care, it’s helpful for you to consider their wants and needs and to remember that their health comes first. Moving to a long-term care facility can be daunting, but if it means a healthier and happier life, it can be a huge benefit.

Long-term care in Amarillo

If you would like to learn more about long-term care, the professionals at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas can help. We offer a variety of amenities, and events, skilled nursing, and rehab, as well as outpatient services at the Bfit Gym. Call 806-350-2200 or contact us by email for more information about our services. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and address your concerns. You can also visit our location at 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas for a tour of our facilities.

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Essential Tips For Choosing The Best Long-Term Care Facility
Posted By: Becky Davis

When it comes time to choose senior living for you or your family member, choices can be tough to make. Many seniors must move into a facility that is able to provide them with both quality of life and safety. There are many factors to consider when you are looking for a long-term care facility. You should make a record of your needs, or those of a loved one who needs this type of service. Research your options and visit the places you’re interested in before you make a commitment.

Make a list of needs

Begin with a list of personalized needs for you or a loved one. Consider the immediate needs and potential needs for the future. These may include help with dressing, eating, getting in and out of bed, bathing, remembering medications, using the restroom, and cleaning.

There are other factors to consider besides daily needs. The level of care required may change in the future. Can the facility you are considering handle that kind of change? Can the long-term care facility manage if you, or a loved one, has a specialized need? It’s helpful to consider residential life and any activities that are offered as well.

Research long-term care facilities near you

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to admit yourself or a loved one into a facility without doing some research about it. Public information is available from many online sources regarding the ranking of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. You can also find helpful reviews and testimonials online.

Think carefully about the location you choose. Sometimes it is hard to balance good care with the need to be close to family for convenient visits. If dementia or other conditions need to be considered, ask the facilities you consider about if and how this specialized care would be provided.

Staff information should be high on your list of research. Things you can ask include the staff to patient ratio and how much time staff members spend with each resident during the day. You can also ask about employee turnover rates. Health issues are a top priority too. You should ask questions about how the facility prevents pressure sores and infections, and how they maintain overall safety.

Ask about extra features and amenities

You or a loved one may have an expectation of what a long-term facility will be like, but you should ask about their amenities. If you are fairly independent, there may be private rooms available and setups which give a measure of independence with the option to increase care when it is needed. Ask specific questions about furnishings and other things that are provided or encouraged for residents to bring when they move in.

Activities should be provided at the facility you choose, they help residents thrive mentally and emotionally. Shopping trips for those who can manage it or local trips that include a small measure of exercise are great for seniors. For those who cannot manage this level of activity, there are facilities that provide sedentary activities and in-house events.

You should ask about meals and how the long-term care facility will meet the dietary needs and wants of you or your loved one. Some facilities only serve the basics, while others will provide healthy and beautiful meals to their residents.

Visit each facility

One last thing, which is time-consuming but essential, is to visit each the facilities you are considering and go through your checklist of needs. Be thorough and ask questions whenever you can. Get referrals and check the health scores of the facility. Doing your homework is worth it to have the confidence that you have chosen the right long-term care facility for you or your family member.

Long-term care in Amarillo, Tx

If you or your loved one need Long-Term Care in Amarillo, contact Bivins Pointe today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our services and Amenities. For more information about us and our facility, call (806) 350-2200 or contact us by email. You are welcome to visit our location at 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas for a tour and to see how our caring Team can help you.

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Who Usually Needs Long-Term Care Services And What Are They?
Posted By: Becky Davis

Those who cannot perform daily tasks anymore usually seek long-term care services, also known as nursing care. Normal aging, disease or disability can cause someone to need this type of support. Long-term care is not rehabilitation or treatment for you or your loved one to gain independence, but it is a vital service. It provides a way to help you or your loved one live their fullest life under the circumstances. It often provides a level of support to the family that allows them to better love their long-term care resident. If you are not sure if long-term care is right for you or your family member, understanding what this service is and who it benefits can help.

Who needs long-term care?

People of any age can need this service, but it is often considered for the elderly. This is because people lose the ability to perform activities of daily living as they age. If you struggle with daily functions, long-term care can benefit you. These activities include:

  • Bathing: Getting into or out of a bathtub or shower and washing your hair and body
  • Dressing: Putting on or taking off essential clothing
  • Continence: Having control of bladder/bowel function as well as associated personal hygiene
  • Toileting: Getting to, on and off the toilet; maintaining related personal hygiene
  • Transferring: Getting into or out of bed, chairs or wheelchairs
  • Eating: Feeding yourself using utensils and containers or medical systems

The older you are, the more likely you are to need nursing care. Those who have cognitive impairments may need specialized help as well. Because women tend to live longer than men, they will be more likely to receive long-term care. If you have debilitating conditions like Parkinson’s disease or movement issues, you can benefit from this service.

Who provides long-term services?

Many people receive long-term care at home by certified caregivers, but this is not an option for everyone. When these services are coming from friends or family members, the care cannot be monitored by a home health agency. This means that you or your loved one may not be receiving the best services possible. The same can be true of assisted living facilities or adult day-care centers because they are sometimes not staffed or equipped properly. Family members who offer long-term care to their loved ones are often exhausted and discouraged, making it hard to enjoy the time spent with them.

Facilities that offer long-term care are the best equipped to handle the needs of those who cannot live alone. Long-term care facilities sometimes offer this service alongside skilled nursing, which is meant for those with medical issues. There are facilities that specifically take care of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia as well.

Amenities at long-term care facilities

It can be difficult to choose the right long-term care facility for your loved one. There is a stigma that facilities focused on care for the elderly are low-quality and dangerous. But this isn't true. There are many places that offer safe, comfortable senior living. Some provide shared living quarters while others have private rooms in household environments with a kitchen, activity areas, and more. You can find other amenities and services in these facilities including the following.

  • Meals prepared by a chef
  • Customized and 24 hour care
  • Areas for families to visit
  • Activities and events
  • Workspaces
  • Transportation
  • Gym services
  • Television and internet
  • Religious services
  • Spa treatments

Long-term care services in Amarillo, Texas

If you or your loved one would like to learn more about long-term care services at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, we would love to visit with you. We have large, comfortable private rooms with many amenities. Call us at (806) 350-2200 or contact us by email for more information. You can visit our facilities for a tour anytime at 6600 Killgore Dr. Come see how our caring team can help you and your family.

Amarillo's Prayer Breakfast
Posted By: Becky Davis

In the 50’s and 60’s Amarillo’s “Cotton” John was our most well-known radio celebrity. He was the Farm Director for KGNC radio and yes I know that fits into our stereo typical profile of someone from Texas, Stetson hat and all, but who cares he was ours. Every day at 6:00 am he would start his ag-report by saying; “Good morning, this is the best part of the Golden Spread day.”

Now I know this because my dad would get up every morning at 5:30 am to start the coffee and turn the radio on, which was sitting on the kitchen cabinet next to my brother and mine’s bedroom door. Whether we wanted to or not, Doug and I grew up to be morning people -- well I did anyway.

I love early morning for a lot of reasons. First, there is no one else up to bother you (cynical I know). Second, it is like starting with a fresh sheet of paper that you can write or draw anything you want. Third, it is a wonderful time to pray and read God’s word.

The third reason is why I am writing this blog about getting up, as some of you might put it, EARRRRLY.

Every year, on the Tuesday just before Thanksgiving, Amarillo has its annual Prayer Breakfast. It has grown to be one of the best attended prayer breakfasts in the nation. It features a well done breakfast, the joint choirs of all the Amarillo high schools, a well-known speaker, some serious prayer and it is all done in time for people to get to work on time.

*This year, Chad Hennings will be the featured speaker. Chad has lived an exciting life that includes winning the Super Bowl 3 times with the Dallas Cowboys and flying 45 successful combat missions with the United States Air Force. Currently Chad is an author and sought-after speaker who has taken his message of “a lifestyle of excellence” to some of the most distinguished executive audiences across the world.

Bivins has had a representative every year since I have been with them. This year Bivins Pointe has a table for eight and I would like to invite any of you that might like to attend to let me or Becky Davis know. Even if our table fills and someone would still like to go, we will provide a ticket - there is always room. Breakfast starts at 6:00 am and the program will start at 6:45 am. It will be over by 8:00 am to make sure people can get to work.

 Please let me know at - Jeff (806) 673-1197 or leave a message for Becky (806) 350-2206

 As always I am praying for you.

Jeff Messer, Bivins Chaplain

*from amarilloprayerbreakfast.com

How You Can Make The Right Decision When Choosing Senior Living
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or your senior parent want to maintain an engaged lifestyle, but can no longer live without care, senior living might be a good option. These communities can provide you peace of mind, safety, and comfort. The first important decision you must make is to choose the right type of care for you. To do this, you should understand the types of care available and what questions to ask.

Determine the type of care you need

If you are ready to choose a senior community for yourself or a loved one, it is important to understand each type. A variety of communities fall under the general term of “Senior Living.” You can choose from independent living for retirees to a place where residents receive memory care, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing.

Independent living communities

Services offered here are usually designed to provide a lifestyle that is maintenance free. Home repair, snow removal, lawn care, trash removal, and other services are a part of the package. Some communities even offer laundry, housekeeping, and dining options. These facilities are known for engaging residents in life enrichment, programs, trips, and activities.

Assisted living facilities

Some seniors need more help from their caregivers like bathing, dressing or medication organization. Restaurant style dining is offered at assisted living facilities, but it should be nutritious. Social activities, life enrichment, and physical fitness programs are often included as well.

Long-term care

If your family member needs higher levels of healthcare, then you should consider a long-term care facility The staff is capable of watching over residents every day and keeping them safe. These places will help with daily tasks, but they are equipped for more specialized care as well.

Memory care centers for those with Alzheimer's or dementia involve 24/7 care by trained staff members. These nursing homes offer enrichment programs that are designed for those with memory loss and management of medicine. Transportation, dedicated dining assistance, laundry, housekeeping, and personal services are also offered. The biggest advantage of this kind of senior living is that it is designed to keep those with memory loss safe.

Rehabilitation therapy

Sometimes, getting care means staying somewhere temporarily. Rehabilitation therapy and skilled nursing are often offered in the same facility. If you need short-term rehabilitation, these clinics can work well for you. Occupational, physical, and speech therapy are usually offered by trained therapists and skilled nurses. You can also find other amenities in these facilities like fine dining, spas, and gyms.

Ask questions

No matter what type of senior living facility you are looking for, make sure to book appointments at the places that interest you. Prepare questions ahead of time to find out if they offer the services you need and want. Think about places where you can transition into assisted living or a nursing home if necessary.

You should read reviews online or speak with people who have used the facilities to get an idea of their reputation. You can also call and ask about their success rates, what kind of activities they offer, and about the privacy and comfort of their rooms.

Rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and long-term care at Bivins Pointe

The experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas can help you make the decisions that come with choosing senior living. Our experienced and dedicated team offers skilled nursing, rehab therapy, and Long-term Care. If you want to learn more about our Amenities, the Bfit Gym, and Rehabilitation and Recovery, call us at (806) 350-2200 or Contact Us by email. You can also schedule a tour and visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas.

4 Types Of Physical Therapy: How They Benefit Seniors
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you are a senior recovering from surgery, injury, or illness, it is likely that you will need to participate in a specialized rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation is essential for improving quality of life, reducing your pain, and restoring functionality. Your rehab program will be molded to fit your needs and abilities and will include speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

Physical rehabilitation is designed to return your mobility and alleviate your pain. Professional therapists know how to work with older adults so that exercise is done in an effective and safe manner. The following are the main types of physical therapy for seniors and how they can benefit you.

Neurological physical therapy

This kind of physical therapy works a little differently than the others because it focuses on the brain and the body. A neurological therapist helps patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS, and brain injuries. They help you to adapt to muscle loss impairment and visual, mobility, and balance issues so that you are more comfortable completing daily living activities. These professionals also focus on brain health and functionality to provide overall healing.

Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy focuses on the needs of aging adults. The conditions that geriatric physical therapists focus on include balance disorders, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, and joint replacement. This type of therapy helps reduce pain, restore mobility, and increase your fitness levels. Therapists can help with everything from movement issues to problems speaking or swallowing.

Orthopedic physical therapy

Injuries to the musculoskeletal system are treated with orthopedic physical therapy. Seniors who have orthopedic surgeries are also referred to this type of post-surgical rehab when it is appropriate after healing. The goal of this type of physical therapy is to restore the function of the ligaments, bones, muscles, joints, and tendons. Common reasons for seeing orthopedic rehabilitation therapists are knee and shoulder injuries or surgeries, and torn muscles and other tissues.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy

If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or any other pulmonary or cardiac condition, this kind of physical therapy helps with your functional independence and endurance. Other conditions that require cardiopulmonary rehabilitation include heart attacks and pulmonary fibrosis. Cardiac rehab therapists will work closely with other healthcare professionals to develop a therapy plan that will improve lung your function.

The benefits of physical therapy

As an important part of healing, physical rehabilitation improves many things like your strength, mobility, and flexibility. Seniors in particular benefit from this kind of treatment because it helps them reduce the risk of falls and increases quality of life. If you have a chronic condition, a therapist helps reduce your pain and may decrease your need for prescription medication. One top reason why doctors and health professionals prescribe rehab therapy to seniors is to help them be independent for as long as possible.

4 Answers To Common Questions About Skilled Nursing Care
Posted By: Becky Davis

A skilled nursing care facility, also known as a nursing home, is a licensed healthcare facility that is regulated and inspected by the Department of Health Services. Short and long-term care is offered at these establishments for those who need rehabilitation or for those who have persistent or serious health issues. The care at these facilities goes beyond what you might get with home care or in an assisted living location.

What services are offered in a skilled nursing facility?

In a skilled nursing facility, trained professionals provide any number of services for their patients. Post-operative care like giving out medications and taking care of wounds is available. Physical therapists work with those who need help building strength and balance. If a person has a stroke, speech therapists are available to help them learn to communicate better. Occupational therapists work in skilled nursing centers as well, helping people become independent again through therapy centered on eating, personal hygiene, and other daily tasks.

Other services provided at skilled nursing care facilities include laboratory testing, pharmaceutical services, and social activities. Transportation, laundry services, and hospice care can also be available at some facilities.

What is assisted living vs. skilled nursing?

You might have a difficult time deciding between assisted living and skilled nursing care. If your loved one needs 24 hour care, a skilled nursing facility may be needed. These facilities provide assistance with medications, personal hygiene, meals, and mobility. The choice of providing this type of care for your loved one in their own home may be a better option.

Assisted living is not as comprehensive as skilled nursing care, although many of the same services are offered. If your loved one does not need a lot of help with daily tasks or medical care, or is able to live mostly independently, this may be your best option. However, there are not typically as many trained medical or therapy staff available.

Is skilled nursing care covered by Medicare?

For a short amount of time, and under certain conditions, Medicare Part A will cover skilled nursing provided in a nursing home. Medicare covered services include a somewhat private room shared with other occupants, physical therapy, occupational therapy, ambulance transportation, and meals. Skilled nursing care, pathology for speech and language, and supplies and medications used while in the facility are also covered.

You should be aware that some hospitals have a "swing bed" agreement for coverage with Medicare and the Department of Health and Human Services. This policy allows the hospital to switch care, providing either a skilled nursing facility level of care or hospital care depending upon when one is needed. Medicare has the same coverage and cost sharing rules for hospitals that have a "swing bed" policy that would be used for skilled nursing facilities.

How do I determine eligibility?

If you or your loved one have Medicare, you have coverage under Part A if you have days left in your benefits period. You also meet qualifications if a doctor has determined that you need daily care under the supervision of rehabilitation therapy staff or skilled nursing staff. If you need a skilled nursing facility for only rehabilitation services, care is considered daily. You are still eligible even if the therapy services are only offered five or six days a week.

You must need and receive the services each day they are offered. You also have eligibility if the nursing services are needed for a hospital related medical condition. If you have a condition that starts in the skilled nursing facility while you are being treated for a condition related to your hospital stay, you are also eligible.

Skilled nursing care at Bivins Pointe

Contact the experienced team at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our skilled nursing services. Call us at (806) 350-2200 or Contact Us by email for more information. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Dr in Amarillo, Texas to see how we can help you and your family.