Nursing Home
Back
Senior Tip of the Week – Planning Your Future
Posted By: Becky Davis

 

Hi my name is Becky and I bet if you’re like me, you want to have some control over your own future. I’ve heard it said that aging is not for sissies. In fact, it’s tough. Maybe you’re starting to forget things or you’re having trouble preparing a meal or you’ve forgotten to take your medications. There are so many things that can cause you to doubt yourself and to not feel safe. This is time to pay attention. You can decide what you want to do with your own future. Start thinking about, “What do I want to do as I get older? Do I want to live in a community with other people my age? Would I like to live in one of my children’s homes with them? Would I like to stay in my own home and have a caregiver come in and help me when I need it? These are things that are important to think about and if we’re wise, we’ll think about them before we have to make that decision. That’s the way to be a vital part of your own caregiving choices and that’s a good way to open the communication with your family. You can do it!


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 - 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 - Pre-planning a Funeral
Posted By: Becky Davis

 

Hi, I’m Cindy. I’m going to talk to you today about preplanning a funeral. You know, preplanning a funeral is one of the last kind things that we can do for our families. When we don’t preplan, our families are faced with making many decisions, finding lots of information, and they’re under stress as they’re grieving the loss of a loved one while they’re trying to make these financial decisions. We can take that burden off of them, we can protect them from having strife when they have disagreements about what those decisions will be, by preplanning our funerals. You can do it.


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 - Supporting the Caregiver
Posted By: Becky Davis

 

Hi, my name is Becky and I want to talk to you about caregiver support. You know a lot of families don't live as close together as they used to. For instance my sister lives 350 miles away, my brother lives 520 miles away, and I live in the same town as our mom. So logically most of the caregiving responsibilities fall towards me. When your family is like that, and you have one person providing the bulk of the caregiving, the best thing the rest of the family can do is to kind of create a caregiver support group. You can provide encouragement, support and respite when it's needed. I remember one day I got a card in the mail from my sister. when I opened it a gift card fell out with a note attached that said "Becky, I'm so appreciative of the good care you take of our mom. Thank you so much for taking all of this responsibility. We love you." I can't tell you how good that felt. The best thing to do is to pull together as a family and do the right thing for, not only each other, but for that caregiver and for your parent. When a family comes together to do the right thing, it's the best gift ever. You can do this!


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!


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 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.


Assisted Living Vs. Long-Term Care: Making the Right Choice
Posted By: Becky Davis

When the time comes to choose a care facility for your or a loved one, you may be faced with many questions. It may even be hard to tell what type of care is best suited to your needs. It is important to understand your options when choosing a care provider by doing research and asking questions. You or your loved one may require either long-term or short-term 24-hour care, or may just need help with a few daily living tasks. Here are some tips to help you decide between assisted living or long-term care.

Assisted living facilities

Assisted living care is designed to help a person with their daily living tasks, either in their own home or in a specialized facility. This type of care could include tasks such as administering medication, cooking meals, performing daily hygiene tasks, and more. Assisted living is a good option for mostly independent people who do not need medical care or supervision throughout the day. If you or your loved one are able to live mostly alone, and just need help with some daily tasks, this is a good option for you. Be sure to discuss the safety risks if you will be receiving in-home care. If you think falls or injuries may be likely, then consider discussing long-term care options as well.

Long-term care facilities

Long-term care facilities, or nursing homes, are meant for patients who need 24 hour care or medical supervision. If you or your loved one have cognitive disorders, physical disabilities, or a prolonged or degenerative illness or disease, this may be the best option for you. Long-term care facilities can offer skilled nursing care and medical assistance, along with many amenities and social opportunities. Skilled staff will help patients with daily living tasks, monitoring medical conditions, and safety needs.

Making a choice between assisted living and long-term care

Once you have discussed all of your medical and safety needs with a doctor, you can decide which care option would be best for you. Before choosing a facility, do thorough research and look for reviews from current and prior patients and their family members. You can do this by looking on the internet and social media. Call the facilities you are interested in and schedule a tour so that you can see what amenities are available. You should also ask to meet the staff and about their skills and credentials. Remember, you should never be afraid to ask questions. Doing these things will help you to choose the best facility for you or your loved one, whether you need assisted living or long-term care


3 Frequently Asked Questions About Skilled Nursing Facilities
Posted By: Becky Davis

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


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.

Exercise



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