Short-term Rehabilitation
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,

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.

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

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

Transferring from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility

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

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

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

Planning financially

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

Developing a care plan

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

Going home and to outpatient rehabilitation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rehabilitation after surgery

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

Physical therapy for the elderly

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

Physical therapy for balance or vestibular issues

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

Physical therapy for neurological conditions

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

Physical therapy for orthopedic problems

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

Physical therapy for cardiac or pulmonary needs

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

Physical rehabilitation therapy in Amarillo, Texas

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

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

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

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

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

Who can benefit from physical rehabilitation therapy?

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

The benefits of physical therapy after surgery

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

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

Overall healing

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

Reduction of scar tissue

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

Tools and techniques used in physical rehabilitation therapy

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

Electrical stimulation therapy

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

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

Application of heat and cold to affected areas

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

Mental activities

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

Tips to help with your rehabilitation

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

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

Rehabilitation therapy after surgery in Amarillo, Texas

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

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4 Easy Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or a loved one have had a stroke, you know that rehabilitation therapy is vital to recovery. It is likely you or your family member have trouble talking, coming up with words, or reading and writing. This condition is known as aphasia. You may also struggle with eating or drinking.

Speech therapy is designed to help with these issues and get you back to communicating. It is best to work with a professional speech therapist during recovery, but there are some things you can do on your own too.

What is aphasia?

This condition affects those who have had a stroke. It prevents many patients from speaking, understanding speech, thinking of words, and reading or writing. Aphasia is a result of brain damage and will show in patients in unique ways. The good news is that this condition can be treated through speech therapy, prescription medications, and art therapy, among other treatments. Not every patient will recover in the same way, but every patient should seek recovery and healing.

The key to successful speech therapy

Having a speech therapist work with you or your loved one is one of the most important steps in healing. These experts help patients find out what areas of speech they need help with and create a plan to follow during recovery. They work personally with patients to develop speech patterns, word recognition, and comprehension. You or your loved one may also be placed in therapy groups so that conversational skills can be improved. Repetition is vital in speech therapy, so it is important to attend all sessions and do exercises at home.

What kind of exercises will the therapist provide?

Although speech therapy in a professional setting is important, there are many things you and your family member can do to recover speech abilities. These include simple, repetitive exercises and adapting normal daily tasks to suit your needs. Ask your speech therapist about how often you can do exercises on your own or with your loved one.

Tongue movements

Moving your tongue in and out of your mouth, from side to side, and up and down is easy and fast. Do each movement for two seconds for the best results. For example, start by moving your tongue out of your mouth, holding it for two seconds, and then bringing it back in for two seconds. These exercises are best done in front of a mirror so you can make sure you are doing them correctly. Family members can also help with the exercise.

Singing therapy

Melodic intonation therapy, or singing therapy, allows stroke patients to sing words and sentences when they cannot speak. It is thought that this is possible because singing is a right-brain function, while speaking is a left-brain function. This typically only works for those who have had a left-hemisphere stroke.

Practicing sounds

After you have done tongue exercises, you can practice sounds. This involves repeating letters and sounds in groups or individually. For example, you can try saying one letter you have trouble speaking or pair it with the vowels a, e, i, o, and u to create other noises. Try saying these ten to twenty times each.

Other speech therapy exercises

Smartphone apps are becoming more popular when it comes to health. There are apps to help with weight loss, apps for mental health, and even apps that help with speech therapy. These can evaluate you or your loved one’s current speech abilities and provide customized exercises. Although they don’t replace a speech therapist, apps can be a valuable resource to those who cannot afford rehabilitation therapy.

Patients can also play games on the computer like solitaire or do crosswords. These help with comprehension, visual processing, and problem solving.

Adapting tasks and chores is another way you and your family member can add speech therapy exercises into your day. For example, you can say items out loud when making a grocery list or read them from a store flyer. Reading the newspaper with a family member also provides therapy opportunities. Try finding specific sections or going over the weather. Looking at family photos and remembering events can be helpful as well.

Speech therapy in Amarillo, Tx

Adding speech therapy exercises to you or a loved one’s daily routine can enhance recovery. If you or your family member have too much trouble with these exercises, ask your speech therapist how best to adapt simple tasks to your routine.

If you would like to learn more about speech therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX today by calling 806.350.2200. We offer speech, physical, and occupational therapy, as well as fitness memberships at our Bfit gym.

Bivins Pointe also has volunteer opportunities, activities and luxury amenities for all of our patients and residents.

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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


The Basics Of Post-Surgery Rehabilitation: 3 FAQs And Answers
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or a loved one have been injured, or are recovering from a surgery, you may need rehabilitation and therapy. You may be full of questions at a time that is already stressful. It is important to learn as much as you can about the facilities that you or your loved one may be staying in. Doing research and asking questions will ensure that you are making the best choice for your entire family. Although there are many different questions that you may have, here are a few common ones to start with.

What is rehabilitation therapy?

There are several types of rehabilitation therapies. The most common types are speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Your doctor may decide that you need one type of therapy or a combination of them after surgery. Many facilities offer all types of rehabilitative services under one roof, which makes recovery easier. A quality care team, along with the patient's doctor, will create a customized care plan.

getting the most of rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, Texas

Speech therapy

Speech rehabilitation therapy allows patients to get their ability to talk, chew, swallow, and speak clear and loud back. It can also help with cognitive language skills like reasoning, memory, and problem-solving. Speech therapy should also include techniques for patients and their families to use at home to maintain results.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients to live their daily lives after they return home. Occupational therapy needs can vary depending on the illness or procedure that you or your loved one are experiencing. Using adaptive equipment, like special beds or chairs, patients can achieve independence and healing. Checking the patient's home and making any needed changes is an important step in this recovery.

This post-surgery rehab therapy also includes helping patients regain their independence in self-care. This can include personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning. Teaching the patient and their family important safety information and tips will help to ensure lasting benefits after returning home.

Physical therapy

Physical rehabilitation therapy can help you or your loved one regain and improve the use of areas affected by surgery or injury. A physical therapist can help patients with coordination, strength, and mobility. This type of therapy also focuses on improving balance, motor control, and endurance for both daily and strenuous tasks. Focusing on safety and proper body mechanics also helps ensure lasting benefits after leaving the rehabilitation center.

How safe is rehabilitation after surgery?

Safety is an important topic to discuss when choosing the right rehabilitation facility. Even if it is for a short time, leaving your home for therapy can be frightening. A quality facility should have the knowledge and tools to ensure that you or your loved one can recover quickly and without further injury. For example, there are a few lifting methods used in rehabilitation. These include lift machines, gait belts, and manual physical lifting by strong staff members.

Some facilities prefer their staff use tools and machines (like the the No-Lift system) as often as possible. Smart bed technology can also improve safety for your loved one using sensors that alert staff when a patient is trying to leave their bed. They can then help the patient with their needs. Ask for a tour of the facility so that you can see the security of the building and grounds, railing and ramps, and equipment.

Is it comfortable at post-surgery rehab facilities?

Almost as important as safety is the subject of patient comfort. It is important to find a facility that is welcoming and comfortable. Many rehabilitation centers offer rooms that feel like home, with comfortable furniture, phones, and cable. Some have gyms, pools, and even spas. Be sure to ask about what food will be available, social events, and recreational activities as well.

To make you or your loved one's stay more comfortable, there are some items that you can bring. Pack plenty of you or your loved ones favorite comfortable clothes, including pajamas and a jacket. You should label all personal items with your name. Don't forget important documents like insurance cards and state ID, as well as preferred hygiene items.

Ask the facility about visiting hours and how involved you can be with your loved one's care. Scheduling a tour can help you find out more about available amenities.

Rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, TX

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Questions To Ask A Rehabilitation Center Before Your Parent’s Surgery
Posted By: Becky Davis

Your parent's stay at a rehabilitation center should be booked before surgery and you should plan for their stay. The right skilled nursing care or rehab facility could mean the difference between a trip back to the hospital and a successful recovery.

The best way to plan is to create a list of available options. You can do an online search for care providers in your area to start. Another good resource is your parent's friends who have had surgery recently. This information will help you narrow down the rehabilitation facilities that can meet your parent's needs. The following questions can also help when choosing a post-surgery rehabilitation center.

Can you pre-schedule a stay at the rehabilitation facility?

Eliminating worry for yourself and your parent should be the goal of setting up care before their surgery. It is likely that your loved one is already having some anxiety about their procedure. Having everything organized before the hospital stay will give both of you one less thing to worry about. Having post-op care arranged beforehand will also make the transition from hospital to recovery much smoother. Be sure to ask the rehabilitation center if they will be able to schedule your parent’s stay when you need it.

What types of rehabilitation therapy are available?

Talk with your parent's doctor to find out what kind of therapy they will prescribe after the surgery. When you check out skilled nursing facilities, make sure that they can provide the therapy wanted by the doctor. They should have the necessary training and equipment to meet your loved one's needs during recovery.

What types of equipment are used?

When you tour a post-surgery rehabilitation facility, make sure to visit the therapy room(s). You should check that they have state of the art equipment that will meet your parent's needs and plenty of room for every patient.

Are the rooms and meals high-quality?

Good food and good sleep are essential for your parent to recover quickly. A variety of tasty, nutritious meals should be provided. If you can, try one of the meals when you visit the post-surgery rehabilitation facility. You should also tour rooms before making a choice. They should contain furniture that is inviting, comforting, and cheerful.

Are veterans benefits available?

If your parent is a veteran of any of the U.S. Armed Forces, they may be eligible for special health benefits including surgery, medical care needs, and therapy. Staff should have the proper training to handle the job of being an advocate for veterans. This includes knowing how to do the required paperwork and understanding how veteran care may differ.

How many days a week will therapy be offered?

Post-surgery rehabilitation is usually customized to each patient. You should make sure your parent can get the amount of care they need to keep their recovery on schedule. When you are choosing a rehabilitation center, make sure they offer services at least six days a week. Speech, occupational, and physical therapies should all be provided. If your parent will be staying in the facility, amenities and care should be provided seven days a week.

How are admissions and discharges handled?

The transition for your parent from the hospital, to the care center, to their home will be smoother if you have many options. Look for a place that offers admissions and discharges as much as possible (seven days a week is often best). This will prevent your parent from having to wait to begin their recovery or wait to go home when they are ready for discharge.

What is covered by my parent’s Medicare or Medicare Replacement Plan?

Ask what your parent’s insurance provider will cover. Usually, Medicare or a Medicare supplement plan will pay 100% of the first 20 days. But, there are exceptions and qualifications that can sometimes catch you off guard if you aren’t aware of them ahead of time. Be sure to ask the facility what they accept and if there is anything you should look out for with medical coverage.

What is the reputation of the rehab center?

Part of your online research about post-surgery rehabilitation facilities should include quality ratings, compliance with state and federal regulations, and scores for customer satisfaction. Find out if the center is Medicare and Medicaid certified. You can find a nursing home comparison on which gives star ratings for health inspections, quality, and staffing. It also includes an overall rating. If the facility is not considered a nursing home, try finding them on social media and reading reviews there.

Can the family be involved?

When interviewing staff at a rehab facility, ask about how they will work with your parent and how they will communicate with you or other family members. The more you understand and know about the recovery of your parent, the less worry you will have. Dealing with rehabilitation after surgery can be stressful, so your parent will be comforted to know you are there.

Rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, TX

Understanding Speech Rehabilitation Therapy And Its Benefits
Posted By: Becky Davis

Patients who have swallowing difficulty or communication problems need a diagnosis and treatment. This is where speech rehabilitation therapy becomes a useful tool. Patients with medical conditions like brain injury, stroke, and developmental delays can all benefit from speech rehab. The following can help you better understand if this therapy is right for your needs.

The speech pathologist and their training

Your speech therapist should have a master of arts or sciences degree in communication sciences or speech-language pathology. These professionals must spend several semesters working in externships. These provide hands-on training in hospitals, schools, or clinics.

A speech therapist must also pass a national exam and be certified to practice. They are given a Certificate of Clinical Competency. This gives them the right to have one of the letter designations after their name of M.S., M.A., or CCC-SLP. Continuing education is required for these therapists if they want to stay certified and licensed to practice.

The differences between speech therapists and other professionals

A patient may have difficulties that a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist can help solve. So, both therapists may have overlapping goals for you. The speech therapist's focus will be on helping you with communication issues, including reading and writing. The occupational therapist might work with you on thinking or cognitive skills. All these are important for your ability to perform daily life functions. With occupational therapy, the focus is on helping you do things, instead of only communicating.

Speech therapists will also help you if you have issues swallowing food. They are trained to know how to help your unique needs, especially if you have difficulty after a stroke or illness. If changes to your diet need to be made, they can suggest easier types to chew and swallow.

Returning back to “normal” after speech rehabilitation therapy

Be careful with the expectation that you or a loved one will return back to “normal" after rehabilitation therapy. This is a relative term that can mean different things to different people. It may not be realistic to expect a complete, 100 percent recovery depending on the nature of the condition. Speech therapists will help you develop and meet customized treatment goals and help you get independence back. For example, many kinds of neurological traumas, illnesses, head injuries, or strokes can leave residual speech deficits. These may persist even after you have completed speech rehabilitation.

Speech therapists are there for you to provide resources and referrals that you may need as well. They can help you find counseling services and even work with a nutritionist during your therapy for long-term healing.

Speech therapy services in Amarillo, TX

For more information about speech Rehabilitation and Recovery and other types of rehab therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas. We have many Volunteer opportunities and would be happy to tell you more about our Amenities and the Bfit Gym. Contact us via email or call (806) 350-2200 for help with questions about your care or that of a loved one. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Kilgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas to tour our facilities.

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

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

Identify the purpose of your rehab therapy

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

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

Be aware of possible mobility issues

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

Note milestones during your progress

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

Keep going

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

Prepare and plan ahead for rehab

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

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

Rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, TX

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

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

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

Make sure the facility offers all the therapy services you need

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

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

Check the success rates at each facility

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

Ask if they take Medicare

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

Ask about the ratio of staff to patients

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

Find out about their reputation

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

Consider the issues of privacy and comfort

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

Think about the location

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

Rehabilitation after surgery at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX

How Stroke Patients Can Benefit From Speech Therapy
Posted By: Becky Davis
Experiencing a stroke is a catastrophic event that can result in temporary or permanent paralysis on one side of the body. Other bodily functions that can be changed by a stroke include vision, balance, cognition, speech, and memory. Unfortunately, pain and muscle spasms are common complications when you have a stroke. All these issues have the potential to make it difficult for you to handle daily tasks such as dressing and bathing. Difficulty communicating is one of the most serious complications of having a stroke. Many patients have a decrease in speaking capability once they have experienced this malady. Studies show that aphasia, a disorder which impairs your ability to process language, occurs in about 20 to 40 percent of stroke patients. It does not affect intelligence, but makes it hard to understand others, communicate with them, and affects your ability to read and write. The following details how rehabilitation therapists can help and how speech therapy benefits those who have suffered from a stroke. How occupational therapists can help Stroke patients can recovery quicker when they receive quality occupational and rehabilitation therapy. Research studies show that when occupational therapists (OT) work with a patient, they are more likely to return to their daily lives. Occupational therapists are instrumental in helping their patients find new ways of living that benefit themselves and their loved ones. An initial observation and evaluation will be conducted by the OT to find out what their patient's needs are. Therapists are a vital resource because they provide professional attention and have an understanding of the challenges that are a part of surviving this condition. The OT is in a position to recommend a speech-language pathologist consultation if their patient has ongoing problems with speaking and swallowing. Within the weeks and months that follow a stroke, many survivors make large gains by using speech therapy. With the help of a speech-language pathologist, many patients will see improvement beyond that time frame. The speech-language pathologist's role in rehabilitation Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLP,) are essential members of the patient care team. They diagnose, assess, and treat disorders having to do with voice, language, speech, cognitive communication, the ability to swallow, and other issues. The ultimate goal for the speech-language pathologist is to help their patients reach the highest level of communication function and language possible. How an SLP can help stroke victims The inability to swallow is a common example of an issue that speech therapy can help stroke victims overcome. This kind of issue makes it difficult for a person to function independently. A treatment plan is prepared by the SLP after they evaluate a patient. They could recommend participation in a group therapy to improve conversational skills through taking turns and clarifying ideas. They might also retrain word retrieval for stroke survivors through specific strategies. Role playing by pretending to have interactions with others helps the patient as well. SLPs work with their patient's other therapists during the recovery process to provide the best care possible. An example of this would be working with an occupational therapist to help the patient return to work or school. They could also work with the employer, an educational specialist, and the victim's family to modify the environment to meet their unique needs. Swallowing function evaluation The ability to swallow is one of the most important skills needed by a stroke survivor. In order for them to return to independent living, this skill is essential, so it will be monitored as they recover. The SLP evaluates this and makes recommendations about feeding techniques, the proper position, and changes that need to be made in food and drink consistency. Speech therapy also involves education for the patient, and their family or caregivers, about any adaptations needed for daily living. Do you or a loved one need professional speech therapy? If you need Rehabilitation Therapy services, including speech therapy and occupational therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas today. You can also find out more about our Events, the Bfit Gym, our Amenities, and our current Volunteer opportunities. Call us at (806) 350-2200 for more information or Contact Us by email. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Drive in Amarillo.

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.

3 Benefits Of Short-term Rehabilitation Therapy
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or a loved one have been hospitalized due to a major medical issue, a stroke, or an injury, you may need rehabilitation services. Before you return home, you can take part in many types of rehabilitation including physical therapy, nursing care, or occupational therapy.

Although your doctor will recommend therapy for you, you have a choice about where to complete your recovery. There are many options to choose from, but staying in a short-term rehabilitation center is one of the most convenient. These establishments are designed to help people of all ages regain independence and confidence during the healing process. Here are three great benefits you can receive at a short-term rehabilitation facility.

Your recovery takes place in a comfortable setting

Short-term rehab centers usually have a different atmosphere from the clinical setting of a hospital. Warmth and comfort from caregivers are there to greet you as you recover from your illness, surgery, or medical condition. You can even have a private room, bathroom, and dining options in a quiet and relaxing space. Although you will only stay for a short-time, the staff at professional rehabilitation centers understand that feeling at-home is vital to healing.

You will get personalized care and treatment

When you stay at a short-term rehabilitation center, dedicated and trained staff will provide you with a customized care and treatment plan. Professionals watch your treatment on a daily basis and make adjustments according to your needs. The staff include social workers, therapists, dietitians, and nurses. The support provided by these healthcare workers and their attention to detail can help you regain independence and return home as soon as possible.

Comprehensive care is available

The most advanced programs and equipment are available at short-term rehabilitation centers. An example of how these centers differ from in-home care is the opportunity for older adults to participate in specialized programs. Pet therapy and speech restoration therapy are two types of rehabilitation therapy. Occupational therapy helps seniors regain the ability to practice everyday tasks and activities such as grooming, dressing, cleaning, and cooking. The methods learned in a rehab center can be used at home too.

Rehabilitation therapy at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX

If you are ready to find a short-term rehabilitation center for yourself or a loved one, be sure to do some research first. The facility you choose should be staffed with caring and competent healthcare workers who specialize in senior rehab or rehabilitation after surgery.

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