Skilled Nursing
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

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.

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


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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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.

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.

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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The Differences Between Speech, Occupational, And Physical Therapy
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you have a chronic condition or injury, or have just had surgery, it is possible that you will need several weeks or months of care to heal. Sometimes you will need to learn to adapt to your new circumstances. Rehabilitation therapists are medical professionals who specialize in providing the kind of care that you will need to recover. The most common types of rehabilitation therapy are speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

Speech therapy

Speech therapists assist you with speech and language issues. Aging can cause neurological problems, susceptibility to illnesses, and problems with basic body functions such as swallowing. Speech therapy can help you improve your ability to both eat and communicate. The elderly benefit most from speech therapy because an excellent quality of life is dependent on swallowing food safely and communicating. Speech therapy can also help those who have suffered from a stroke, brain injury, lung disease, or other condition.

Impairments that are cognitive-linguistic can also be treated with speech therapy. After a leg trauma, a physical therapist can help you learn how to walk again by breaking the movements down into steps. A speech and language therapist helps you overcome a cognitive impairment by doing the same thing. They help you re-learn how to use the muscles used for speech and how to manage deficits within your speech. Adults often use speech therapy for dementia, Alzheimer's, motor neuron diseases, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other issues.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps you adapt to injuries, illness, disability, or any condition which affects your ability to complete day-to-day activities. This type of therapy helps you maintain or improve your quality of life. One technique occupational therapists use is to redesign tasks that are difficult. They can help with grooming, dressing, cooking, homemaking skills, and other activities. This type of therapy can also help get you through the emotional trauma and stress of adjusting to lifestyle changes by providing confidence.

A wide variety of people benefit from occupational therapy. The elderly can confront the issues and challenges of growing older knowing they are capable. Children suffering from developmental issues and people that have to face the diagnosis of a progressive disease can be helped by this therapy as well. Anytime you cannot do the things you need or want due to an injury, illness, or surgery, occupational therapy can be a great help.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy differs from occupational therapy in that it treats the source of an injury and helps you manage the symptoms from that injury. The training that a physical therapist receives centers on evaluation and treatment for ailments in the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.

The techniques and tools used in physical therapy include hands on treatment, regular exercise, and even electrical stimulation. Therapists work to help you recover from your injury or surgery, while preventing additional damage or re-injury. An example of this would be a physical therapist working with you if you break your leg. Their goals for you includes recovering your range of motion and mobility and helping you heal faster.

A wide variety of situations call for physical therapy. Athletes who have been injured see physical therapists to get back to their previous performance levels. If you have a condition such as Parkinson's disease, physical therapy helps you maintain motor function and balance. Orthopedic doctors refer patients to physical therapists for skeletal injuries. The elderly can benefit from seeing physical therapists by learning fall prevention methods and improving their balance.

Rehab and recovery at Bivins Pointe

Comparing Inpatient And Outpatient Rehabilitation
Posted By: Becky Davis

After surgery, an illness, or injury, you will most likely attend rehabilitation sessions. The goal of these appointments is to help you get back to the level of independence you are used to. For seniors, rehabilitation has many benefits. It can provide improved mobility, increase physical strength, and give a greater sense of independence. Along with increased communication skills and cognition, all of these improvements add up to a higher quality of life. The following can help you understand inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Why rehabilitation is needed

Rehab is used to address issues related to chronic conditions, like back pain and arthritis, neurological disorders caused by a head injury or stroke, and injuries to the spinal cord. It is also used after surgery. Usually, there are two different types of rehabilitation used called inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation. These have many similarities and differences.

Choosing inpatient rehabilitation

You will stay in a facility for a certain period of time if you choose inpatient rehab. Shorter term-care would be from a few days up to a month. More than one month is considered long-term care. If you stay in rehabilitation facility, the staff will have more time focus on your rehab and your overall care. This option is intensive and includes speech and language therapy (if needed), occupational therapy, and daily physical therapy.

Many facilities include social events, activities, delicious food options, and amenities to make life as comfortable as possible throughout your stay. Your health care providers design your rehabilitation care to give you the right amount of therapy. Inpatient rehabilitation will take time, but this focused care may help you meet your recovery goals quicker than care at an outpatient program.

Choosing outpatient rehabilitation

Healthcare professionals who work at outpatient rehabilitation facilities have the same kind of training as those found at inpatient facilities. They offer speech and language therapy, occupational, and physical therapy. Outpatient care works well for seniors who would rather stay in their own homes after receiving treatment. It is important to know that your recovery is mostly under your control and will progress according to the type of care you receive. If you follow the direction of your healthcare providers and therapists, you will heal faster.

Some types of outpatient therapy are not as effective as inpatient care. You have to be motivated and consistent about following therapy directions at home in order to see the kind of recovery you expect. If you need a form of therapy that is not intense, outpatient care is probably a more beneficial option for you.

Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation at Bivins Pointe

Your physician is ultimately the one who will determine what kind of care will help you heal quickly. Choosing one type of therapy over the other depends on the severity of your illness or injury.

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.

Guidelines For Rehabilitation Therapy After Surgery
Posted By: Becky Davis

You may feel overwhelmed if you are facing surgery and rehabilitation. It is a surgeon's job to make sure that surgery goes successfully. Your physical therapist will assist you with exercises to help you gain normal range of motion. You will also need to actively participate in your rehab in order to fully heal and recover. The following are some guidelines you can follow to make the rehabilitation process go smoothly.

Be serious about your recovery and rehab therapy

You need to make sure that you do all the exercises that your rehab therapist prescribes, especially those done at home. Do not miss any appointments you have after surgery with your doctor or the physical therapist. You should also take all your prescribed medications and do not stop taking them unless directed by your doctor.

Take supplements and vitamins

There may be supplements or vitamins that can help with your rehab and recovery. You should ask your doctor if there are any that you should be taking and how they may react with medications. For example, the right levels of vitamin D help with muscle and bone pain reduction and iron supplements help replenish your blood count.

Use ice packs and heat when appropriate

During the first few days after surgery, icing your incision area can help reduce pain and swelling. When inflammation is reduced, you can begin to alternate ice and heat. Do not apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Place a thin towel or pillowcase between yourself and the ice. Heat will help your muscles relax and relieve stiffness and soreness, but should only be used after swelling has gone down.

Do not drink or smoke

Drinking alcohol is something you should not do if you are taking narcotic pain medications or blood thinners. Smoking during your recovery is also not a good idea, because it will shrink your blood vessels and slow down the healing process. If your lungs are healthy, you will heal faster and have higher blood oxygen levels.

Eat healthy foods

You will avoid gaining weight and give your body the nutrients it needs if you eat healthy portions of protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Changing your diet before surgery will aid your body in healing more quickly and will be less stressful than waiting until after the procedure. A healthy diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to heal during rehab therapy.

Be aware of your mental health

If you or your loved one experience insomnia, depression, or anxiety before or after surgery takes place, report it to the doctor. It is not uncommon for changes to happen in a person's state of mind after surgery because of loss of independence, decreased mobility, and medication side effects. Discomfort and pain can also cause mental changes. If you or a loved one have problems with anxiety, depression, or insomnia after surgery, seek help. If you take care of your mind, you will have more success with the results of your surgery and rehab therapy.

What Is A Typical Day Like In A Senior Rehabilitation Facility?
Posted By: Becky Davis

After a surgery or injury, you or a loved one may require in-patient rehabilitative therapy to assist with the recovery process. If you have never been to therapy in one of these facilities before, you may wonder how a patient lives while staying there. All facilities that specialize in rehabilitative care have the goal of returning the patient to their home as soon as possible. Although a patient's stay at a rehab facility is short, it is beneficial to know what amenities are available and what a typical day there is like.

Amenities offered at rehab facilities

Short-term care facilities often offer patients private rooms to stay and sleep in. Visitors are welcome at any time, so you or your loved one's stay can be as comfortable as possible. Technologies like Smart Bed functions ensure the safety of patients while they are asleep or resting. It is also common for patients to be provided with cable television, an in-room telephone, daily hygiene items, laundry and housekeeping services, and events.

Services provided by senior rehab facilities

Senior rehabilitation facilities provide physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, skilled nursing, and rehab services. Some even provide access to a gym for outpatient and inpatient exercise and therapy services. Healthy meals are also provided to patients that are tailored to their dietary needs.

The daily life at a senior rehab facility

You or your loved one's care team will establish a schedule for necessary rehabilitation therapies needed throughout each day. The skilled nursing staff will assist patients with grooming and dressing tasks each day. Necessary medications will be dispensed as needed throughout the day, as well. Patients are taken to their therapy appointments with skilled staff, where family members are even encouraged to join their loved ones.

Many rehab facilities offer fun events for their patients. These events include live music, movies, and games such as crosswords, board games, and card games. Activities, crafting, and demonstrations for patients can also be included in these events. You, your loved one, and their care team can arrange a fulfilling schedule that includes both fun events and therapy throughout the day.

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