Occupational Therapy
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

Questions About Rehabilitation After Surgery: The Answers You Need
Posted By: Becky Davis

When you have been released from the hospital after surgery, you may need to consider rehabilitation therapy. This is usually prescribed by the doctor. If you are in this situation, you are likely to have many questions. Here are some of the most common questions and some answers that may help you feel more comfortable with rehab therapy after surgery.

What happens at a post-surgery therapy session?

Each outpatient therapy center has its own way of helping those who need rehabilitation after surgery. Your first appointment with them will likely be to evaluate your unique situation and develop a treatment plan. This will also be the time to ask as many questions as possible.

If you and your doctor decide that inpatient therapy is best for you, your caseworker will help you transfer to the inpatient rehabilitation facility you choose.

Once treatment begins, you will go through scheduled sessions that may include physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. The therapists that you work with will track your progress and make changes as needed.

How often do I need rehabilitation therapy?

Your doctor's advice and your individual needs will determine how often you need to attend therapy sessions. You can typically expect two to five days a week depending on the type of therapy you need. Outpatient rehab allows you to stay at home, while inpatient therapy means you will stay at the facility.

Inpatient care may be a great option so that, along with rehab therapy, you have access to skilled nursing, meals, a room, activities and other amenities.

What kind of rehabilitation do I need after surgery?

Post-surgery rehab consists of a combination of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Your rehabilitation therapists will consider your unique situation and type of surgery when developing your treatment plan. You may need one or all three types of therapy. Your rehab team will work together to make sure you are getting the best care.

How do I prepare for my appointments?

  1. First, be sure to prepare any questions you have for the therapist. If you are nervous, it might be best to write them down or keep a list of them on your phone.
  2. Note your symptoms, pain location, and if you get relief when resting or lying down.
  3. Bring information about your medical history, a list of current medications and your insurance information. Giving the therapist a list of your healthcare providers is also a good idea.
  4. Consider bringing a family member to help you as needed.
  5. Finally, wear comfortable clothing and slip-resistant shoes so that you can engage in therapy activities.

Other questions to consider

  • You might want to talk to the physical therapist about your post-surgery pain levels and how they can be improved.
  • Find out what your therapist(s) expect from you, how long your treatment will last, and what the treatment will entail.
  • Ask about exercises you can do in addition to what you’re working on in your inpatient or outpatient therapy sessions.

Rehabilitation after surgery at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas

If you have any more questions about rehabilitation and recovery, contact Bivins Pointe. We have inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapy at Bfit and a luxury neighborhood for long-term care, as well as volunteer opportunities and events. You can reach us at (806) 350-2200 or send us an email to learn more. If you would like to visit us in person, we are located at 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas.

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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.

Occupational Therapy: Healing and Confidence for a Lifetime
Posted By: Becky Davis

Occupational therapy is given to patients who are recovering from surgery, injury, or illness. This therapy helps those who are unable to perform daily tasks like transitioning from chair to bed, dressing, or cooking breakfast. The goal of this rehabilitation is to get patients back to enjoying life. The following can help you understand what occupational therapists do and how this therapy can help you heal.

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists will work with you and your family to evaluate your needs. They will focus on developing a plan to help you heal during rehabilitation and after you go home. They will also look at your home and work to see if any changes need to be made to your environment. Part of this first step is to see if any adaptive equipment can help you with returning to a normal lifestyle.

These therapists will provide guidance as well as the therapy itself. Their goal is to help you prevent and avoid further injury. They will be there for every step of your occupational therapy and will make updates to your care plan as needed.

Besides having a dedicated therapist who is focused on helping you heal and stay healthy, there are other benefits of this therapy.

Increased safety

Safety is important, both during recovery and when you return home. This is why occupational therapists look at your home to see where any dangers may be present. They will teach you how to avoid these dangers, how to use helpful equipment like hand bars, and to be aware of your own body.

Fall prevention is another area where occupational therapy can help. Therapists will teach you what to be aware of when it comes to tripping or falling. They will also help you learn balance and muscle building techniques to help prevent falls.

Improvement in overall health

It is common for patients to feel better in many areas of their life after this therapy. This is because occupational therapists are focused on helping you be successful in the future, not just in your rehab exercises. Because you feel safer, you will be more confident in your abilities to complete daily tasks. Your mental health can also increase because you will be happier.

Aging can cause a decline in brain function, which can affect the way you live from day to day. Occupational therapy can include brain teasers and puzzles that are designed to help your brain function improve. Therapists can guide you on how best to use brain puzzles and support healthy brain function as you age.

Living everyday life

Because occupational therapy can teach you so much, you can be confident in doing all your normal tasks. If you were once afraid to visit family and friends because of staircases, learning how to navigate stairs better will help you do this again. If you enjoy cooking but can no longer make food because of chronic pain, therapists can help you develop techniques to work with your condition. Occupational therapy offers long lasting benefits that can get you back to living a normal, happy lifestyle.

Rehabilitation therapy in Amarillo, Texas

If you would like to learn more about occupational therapy, or about other types of rehabilitation, contact Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX today. Our caring staff provides expert physical, speech, and occupational therapy to help you heal. Find out more about our amenities, the Bfit gym, and our current volunteer opportunities. You can contact us by email or call us at (806) 350-2200 for more information. You can also visit in person at 6600 Killgore Drive to tour our facilities.

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