Tip Of The Week
Senior Tip of the Week: Eating Healthy
Posted By: Kelli Bullard

Valerie Trafton, Activity Director at Bivins Pointe shares these tips on hydration and healthy eating.  

The human body is 90% water so staying hydrated is very important. You may want to set a goal for yourself, such as drinking four 16-ounce bottles of water every day. Or maybe it’s getting one big water bottle and drinking that two times a day. Whatever works for you, staying hydrated is super important. You might consider cutting out some of the sugary drinks like cokes or sweet tea and replacing them with water.

Also eating right and eating healthy is going to give your mind and your body a better way to heal. That allows you to stay less brain fogged and keep your memory sharp.  One way to do this is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Those are some of the most important things that you can put inside your body.  Maybe that’s asparagus, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, whatever you enjoy, fill most of your plate with that. Also eating leaner meats rather than big heavy red meats – meats like turkey, fish, chicken, and keeping portions to about 6 to 8 ounces, or even 4 to 6 ounces. A serving about the size of your fist is always a good point of reference.  

With all of that, I just want to encourage you, staying active and doing things that you like to do throughout the day is going to help you use your mind and your muscles and utilize all that good food that you’re nourishing your body with. Staying active throughout the day is so important to keep you head and your heart and your body healthy. Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy these tips.

Senior Tip of the Week: Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
Posted By: Kelli Bullard


Shelly Caraway, assistant director of nursing at Bivins Pointe, explains the symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

If you suspect you have a UTI, there are several different signs you can watch for: burning during urination; frequency of urination; pain in the lower back, pelvic area, or genitals.  If you take a Tylenol but the pain doesn’t go away, you might have a UTI. If you have a fever of unknown origin, you’re freezing and just not feeling good, you might have a UTI. UTI symptoms can also come in the form of nausea and vomiting. 

Now this is advice for people that are caring for somebody, or maybe it’s you that has a UTI.  If you or someone you care for has symptoms of a UTI, please make a doctor’s appointment and drink plenty of water. 

Senior Tip of the Week: Power of Attorney
Posted By: Kelli Bullard


Bekah McWhorter, social worker at Bivins Pointe, offers information about a medical power of attorney. This document is highly recommended because it allows you to put your wishes on paper and talk to your family about them ahead of time. In case anything happens to you and your health, your family will know your wishes and not be put in a stressful position trying to make decisions on your behalf without knowing exactly what you want. You can find these forms online or you can have an attorney help you fill them out.  Basically, you designate someone to make decisions on your behalf.  There’s also a place for two alternates.  In the event that the person you designate to make decisions for you is also incapacitated or unavailable, then there are two backups. Anytime you’re in the hospital – sick or having surgery or anything like that – anything you can do to alleviate stress or any burden from your family is always a good idea.

Senior Tip of the Week: Mind-Sharpening Exercises
Posted By: Kelli Bullard

Stevi Lichtie, speech therapist at Bivins Pointe, gives a few tips for keeping your mind sharp and your thinking quick.

When you’re looking through the newspaper that you get every morning or every Sunday, you can spend time on the crosswords or word jumbles.  Focusing on any kind of word tasks will help keep your brain sharp. And if it becomes too task-oriented or stressful, you can always look for a gentle word search.  Searching for those words that are currently in your vocabulary is very helpful.  You look at those mixed up letters line by line, and that helps your attention stay focused and on-task.

Also, you can try other activities such as brain teasers.  Teach yourself a new skill.  If you happen to have an iPad, or your granddaughter happens to have an iPad, you can always have her teach you a new activity using the computer-generated software.

Learning a new task, teaching yourself new things every day, keeps your brain sharp and task-oriented. Your attention skills will maintain their sharpness. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your grandchildren for extra help.

Senior Tip of the Week: Staying Active
Posted By: Kelli Bullard


Valerie Trafton, activity director at Bivins Pointe, shares tips for staying active:

A really great activity for seniors is to help them reminisce.  That might include scrapbooking or looking through old pictures and reminiscing about things they’ve done in the past with their family and friends.

Playing trivia games is another great way to reminisce. It is so fun to remember some of that timeless trivia like things that happened in the sixties and other decades.

 Another important thing to do is get outside and soak up some vitamin D. You really will benefit from just ten minutes of fresh air.

 Keeping your brain active is also important, so get some crosswords, some word searches.  Brain teasers are really helpful because they push you to stay with it until you’ve solved it. Get a newspaper and check out the new crossword and new Sudoku every day.

 These tips are simple but they will really help you stay active and healthy.


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Hi I’m Jessica. I wanted to share a few general tips to ensure safety within your home. Make sure you keep everything within reach so you’re not having to go too far over your head or too far below, to reduce your fall risk. Have handrails or grab bars within your home as needed. Make sure you don’t have loose objects in the floor, or rugs that can come up. Make sure you have good lighting and be sure to reduce your fluid intake in the evening so you’re not having to get and use the restroom alone. Hopefully my tips can help! You can do it!

Senior Tip of the Week - Self Care for Caregivers
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi, I'm Becky and I have a tip for you if you are a caregiver. The other day I picked up my mom to take her to a doctor's appointment. I helped her get out to the car, I helped her get into the car and then I took her walker and folded it up and opened the back door to put it in. And I looked in there, and there was my granddaughter's carseat, buckled into the backseat. And I had this thought "This is why I'm so tired." Caregiving is hard work. A lot of us are taking care of family on both sides, older and younger than us, and we want to do the best job at all of it. We want to be the best grandma in the world, we want to be the best daughter in the world. And some of those dreams, I'm sorry, just have to die. Because all we can do is the best that we can do. And so my encouragement to you is to remember that you have to take care of yourself. So whenever you feel that extra pressure, or whenever you've dropped an important ball that needed to be carried, take a bubble bath or a long walk with your dog. Go play a game of golf with your friends. Do something that's enjoyable, that can get you a break and provide some rest and relaxation - and joy - for you. Remember caregiving is a wonderful thing! It is a great opportunity, really a privilege, to care for those that we love. But if we don't care for ourselves first, we don't have anything to give. So go out there and take care of yourself. And I believe in you! You can do it.

Senior Tip of the Week - Walker and Wheelchair Safety Tips
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi I'm Jessica. I wanted to share a few tips when using the walker and wheelchair safely. Make sure you lock the brakes before standing and sitting. Always push up from your chair rather than pulling on your walker. It's a more stable surface. When using your walker, make sure you keep the walker close to you when making turns. Keep it flat on the floor. If you need to move to get an object out of reach, the walker should stay with you at all times. Hopefully my tips help you. You can do it!

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


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

Senior Tip of the Week - Expectations As We Age
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hello, my name is Sarah and I’m a registered nurse. And I wanted to give you a few tips on what to expect with the elderly and the aging process with regard to sensory deficits that pertain to the visual perception and auditory perception. First of all, of course as we age our eyesight is going to change and one of the things most frustrating for the elderly is when they can’t read anymore. A couple of tips on reading: a background that is black with white letters is probably one of the best visual tips. And with the new electronic devices that are available, you can set a background and a font color. And reading can definitely enrich their lives, so far as fiction escaping from reality, or current events, political events, religious reading – that sort of thing. So certainly consulting a visual specialist with regard to how they can help with visual loss can be a great thing for them. Second, the auditory changes that they are going to go through, they are obviously not going to be able to necessarily know what you’re saying if your back is turned to them. So it’s very important to face them, speak slowly but clearly. You certainly don’t need to dumb down your language or talk down to them as if they were a child because their intelligence is still intact. So those are a couple of things to expect, probably the most underlying thought is to be patient and understanding. And stop, look and listen and think about what they are going through and find ways that you can help them to enjoy the golden sunset years of their life. Thank you.

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


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

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


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

Senior Tip of the Week - Exercising at Home
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi, I'm Jessica and I wanted to share a few tips on how to stay healthy and do light duty exercises at home. If you have a can or a light object, you can do different range of motion with your arms. You can do marching in place with your legs, ankle pumps. If you need more information we have handouts available on our website or you can give us a call at Bivins Pointe (806.350.2200). You can do it! Upper Body Exercises Lower Body Exercises Laying Down Exercises

Senior Tip of the Week - Pre-planning a Funeral
Posted By: Becky Davis


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

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

Senior Tip of the Week - Supporting the Caregiver
Posted By: Becky Davis


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

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


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

Senior Tip of the Week - Thoughtful Decision Guide
Posted By: Becky Davis


Hi there. My name is Cindy. I'm going to talk to you today about pre-planning your funeral. It doesn't have to be a big stressful thing, you don't have to worry about it. You simply call the funeral home of your choice, invite a funeral consultant to your home, or go to meet them at their office. Fill out something as simple as this Thoughtful Decision Guide. They'll ask you questions about your life, you'll take a trip down Memory Lane, talk about your hobbies, your interests and the special things that have happened in your family. By doing this, you will save your family so much stress and worry about coming up with vital information at the time that they're grieving the loss of a loved one. You can do it!

Senior Tip Of The Week: At Home Yoga Exercises
Posted By: Becky Davis


I’m Tammy and I’m going to show you a few yoga moves that can easily be done from a wheelchair, a chair, or a bed. We’re going to start with a cow pose. Just simply lift your chin, stretch that neck. A cat pose: put your chin into your chest, stretch the spine. Release the head from side to side, and release any tension in your neck. Relax those shoulders. Inhale deep breaths with each move. We’re going to do a side stretch, stretch the hips, and to the other side. And there you go! You can do it!