Calling All Couch Potatoes

Get active at Kirby Pines

Have you noticed lately that as the summer begins to heat up that you are spending more time on the couch or in your chair enjoying the air conditioning? Have you ever wondered why exercise has to be so exerting or sweaty. Exercise may be on the bottom of your to-do list if it makes the list at all. In the health column written by Doctor K (Komaroff), he gave several good exercises for a “couch potato.” His information was from a physical therapist Kailyn Collins who gave him these suggestions:

1. While lying flat on your back on the couch or bed, lift one leg 8-12 times concentrating on using your thigh muscles. Repeat with the other leg.

2. Turn to your side and lift your leg up 8-12 times using your thigh muscles (imagine a half “Jumping Jack”). Roll to the other side and repeat.

3. Lying on your back again, lift both legs while you tighten your stomach muscles. Hold for ten seconds. Don’t forget to breathe. Relax for 10 seconds and repeat every commercial break.

4. Sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor, practice standing up. Repeat 10 times. Another variation is to almost stand just raising your bottom off the chair and sit again. Make sure your chair is sturdy and not a rocker. This exercise can be repeated in reverse

where you begin standing and squat like you are almost sitting and repeat 10 times. When you are ready to sit make sure your chair is under your bottom (gently sit without a plop).

5. Move your wrists by rotating; waving up and down; Open and close your fist; Twiddle your thumbs and other fingers.

These are just a few simple exercises that you can do while sitting on the couch. If you take the dare and give these a try, you may be pleasantly surprised that energy, strength, and balance will improve. If you like these, I have many more exercises you may find useful. Check out the exercise class at 11:00 am in the Arts and Crafts Room on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I dare you to try it. – Mary Hand, Oasis Coordinator

Learning More About Alzheimer’s

Learning more about Alzheimer's at Kirby PinesAlzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. These neurons, which produce the brain chemical, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, break connections with other nerve cells and ultimately die. For example, short-term memory fails when Alzheimer’s disease first destroys nerve cells in the hippocampus, and language skills and judgment decline when neurons die in the cerebral cortex. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, or loss of intellectual function, among people aged 65 and older. Although every case of Alzheimer’s disease is different, experts have identified common warning signs of the brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and it is important to look for signs that might indicate Alzheimer’s disease versus basic forgetfulness. With Alzheimer’s disease, these systems gradually increase and become more persistent. If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, the person should check out his or her concerns with a healthcare professional. Awareness of these warning is not a substitute for a structured screening or consultation with a primary care provider.

Learning more about Alzheimer's at Kirby PinesTypical warning signs include: Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, placement of objects, new information, confusion about time and place, and struggling to complete familiar actions, such as brushing teeth or getting dressed. Also trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations are signs. There are changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities.

Learning more about Alzheimer's at Kirby PinesClinicians can now diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with up to 90 percent accuracy. But it can only be confirmed by an autopsy, during which pathologists look for the disease’s characteristic plaques and tangles in brain tissue. Clinicians can diagnose “probable” Alzheimer’s disease by taking a complete medical history and conducting lab tests, a physical exam, brain scans and neuropsychological tests that gauge memory, attention, language skills and problem-solving abilities. Proper diagnosis is critical since there are dozens of other causes of memory problems. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The sooner an accurate diagnosis of “probable” Alzheimer’s disease is made, the easier it is to manage symptoms and plan for the future.

Learning more about Alzheimer's at Kirby PinesAlzheimer’s disease typically progresses over two to 20 years, and individuals live on average for eight to 10 years from diagnosis. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are likely to develop co-existing illnesses and most commonly die from pneumonia. Alzheimer’s disease is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. The numbers of people age 65 and older will more than double between 2010 and 2050 to 88.5 million or 20 % of the population; likewise, those 85 and older will rise three-fold, to 19 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

If you are experiencing forgetfulness with daily routines, please reach out to use in therapy. We have a dedicated team of Speech Therapists who specialize in this and may be able to help. Please join us Wednesday, June 18th at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on this subject.

Resident Spotlight: Flo Seward

A Life of Service

Flo Seward at Kirby Pines

Were you fortunate to have a first or second grade teacher who was loving, gentle and comforting? To spend only a few minutes with Flo Seward would convince you that she was such a teacher. Flo taught second grade at Knight Road Elementary for thirty years.

Flo Seward was born in Collierville in 1927 to a family of five daughters. Flo was the middle child and when the fourth daughter was born, she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Buntyn Station. Although this was a temporary arrangement, Flo believes that the influence of her aunt, her experiences and exposures during this time shaped her values for service.

After graduating from high school in Collierville at age 16, Flo chose to attend Montreat Junior College in North Carolina. The missionary teachers there influenced her greatly in her future service to God and others.

Flow at Kirby Pines
Flo as a bride in a Tom Thumb Wedding

After graduation, Flo moved back to Mem- phis, married her high school sweetheart and started her family, eventually having three girls and two boys. Originally work- ing as a secretary in the Sterick Building, Flo realized after her children came, the important role of a teacher. She returned to school at Memphis State University, eventually earning two Masters Degrees in Education.

After 32 years of marriage, Flo and her husband divorced. Her five children had all left home. Feeling the “empty nest syndrome”, Flo contacted the Department of Human Services and became a foster mother of nine little girls over a four year period. A testa- ment to her influence in their lives was apparent when some re- mained in contact. In fact, the first foster child invited Flo to her wedding and insisted that she be in the wedding picture as “my first mother”.

Flo joined the Collierville Methodist Church at age ten and as an adult devoted many hours to teaching Bible classes and singing in the choir. After moving her family to Memphis, she became active in Christ United Methodist Church. Her church involvement there resulted in Flo starting the night circle for working women, a choir for seniors and becoming the tour director for senior excursions. She continues today to work with Diamond Tours in arranging fantastic and inexpensive tours for senior groups.

Perhaps one of the most fulfilling activities for Flo was to become a member of Friendship Force, an organization started by former President Jimmy Carter. The goal of this organization is to build a bridge of peace with foreign countries. Involvement mens living in their homes for several days. This has resulted in Flo traveling to many countries and learning that there are universal feelings and wants for every parent, no matter the country. She has made many lifetime friends and admits that it helped to erase prejudices she formerly held.

Flo with her children, grandchildren and foster child at her mother’s home on Mother’s Day 1963.

A life of service continues for Flo. On Monday, she volunteers at Methodist Germantown Hospital, on Thursday she sings with the First Generation Choir at CUMC. On Friday she tutors two children in reading through a program called Teen Read, sponsored by Germantown Methodist Church.

Before moving to Kirby Pines, Flo was active in the McWherter Senior Citizen Center. During that time, Flo won the Mid-South Talent Contest for singing and was the winner of the city and state Olympic contests. Her trophies are on display at McWherter Senior Center.

We could not leave Flo’s life story without mentioning that she now has seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. These children are her greatest delight.

With all of her talent and experiences, Flow Seward is a valuable and contributing member of the Kirby Pines family. For inspiration, get to know her. At 90 years of age, Flo is still “Flo-ing”.

10 Important Tips About Foot Care

Proper foot care is essential for older adults because it can help prevent injuries, falls, and complications from chronic diseases like diabetes. Learn how to properly care for your feet so they can continue to take you wherever you need to go.

    1. Be good to your soles. As you age, the muscle tissue in your feet can thin and your nerves may not work effectively. This can lead to loss of feeling in your feet (neuropathy). Use a long-handled mirror – it will extend your reach several inches – to see what you may not feel. Examine the soles of your feet and in-between your toes every day for cuts, blisters, sores or any areas of skin breakdown from moisture. This is especially important if you have diabetes.
    2. Choose the right footwear. Wearing the right footwear can help you keep your balance, prevent falls and reduce the risk of blisters and other injuries. Never purchase shoes that rub or slide around on your heel as you walk – this is a common way to develop blisters that can become more serious sores. Also avoid shoes that are too tight, slick on the bottom, have high heels or pointy toes.
      If you have diabetes or neuropathy, talk with your doctor about prescription orthotics (supports or devices worn in your shoes). You may be eligible for custom orthotics partially covered by Medicare.
    3. Get the right fit. Here are a few suggestions:
      • Visit the shoe store in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen from daily activities.
      • Have a sales associate measure your feet so you can select the correct size. It’s normal for your feet to change sizes slightly as you age.
      • Choose the shoe size that fits your larger foot (it’s common to have one foot that’s bigger than the other).
      • Always try on shoes before you buy them to make sure they fit. A good rule of thumb: your toes should be half an inch from the tips of your shoes when you are standing.
    4. Barefoot isn’t better. When going outdoors, always wear shoes (preferably closed-toe shoes) to prevent cuts, scrapes, and falls. It’s also best to wear shoes as much as possible while indoors to protect your feet.
    5. Keep your toenails in tip-top shape. Trimming your toenails correctly (straight across and no shorter than the tip of your toe) is key for preventing ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes or trouble reaching your feet, see a podiatrist (a physician who specializes in foot care), not a nail salon technician, for regular medical pedicures and nail trimming.
    6. Get the blood flowing. As you age, you may have decreased blood circulation to your feet. To promote healthy circulation:
      • Prop up your feet on a stool or couch when sitting down
      • Wiggle your toes when you sit for long periods of time
      • Stretch daily
      • Give yourself regular foot massages
    7. And, if you smoke, now’s the time to quit. Smoking can affect good circulation in the body.

    8. Keep your feet dry. Change your socks regularly and make sure your feet aren’t damp from sweat or a shower before putting on your shoes.
    9. But not too dry. Keep your feet moisturized to prevent cracking, itching and calluses. Stick with gentle soap and apply cream or lotion daily after your shower or bath.
    10. Fight fungal infections. Prevent athlete’s foot by wearing shoes that fit properly, changing your socks or stockings daily (or whenever they become damp) and applying foot powder each day. If you experience itching or burning, see your podiatrist for treatment.
    11. Visit your podiatrist regularly for foot checks. Your podiatrist can catch problems like bone spurs, hammertoe, neuromas, bunions, warts, ingrown toenails or wounds before they cause more serious problems.

    Please join us April 18th at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on this topic.

Resident Spotlight: Jim Anderson

A Man Always on the Move

Jim Anderson at Kirby Pines

Jimmy Charles Anderson was born August 30, 1926, in St. John’s, Michi- gan. His father, Joseph Donald Anderson, was in the hardware business and moved the family to Grand Ledge, Michigan to buy his own store, when at the early age of 47, passed away. His mother, Thelma Smith Anderson who had been a homemaker, ended up going to work at the 10¢ Store in Grand Ledge. She eventually remarried two times and lived to be 96 years old.

Jim attended Grand Ledge High School and joined the Air Force Training Program at Michigan State University when he was called to active duty just after one semester and sent to Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. Here, he was scheduled to begin flight training, when WWII ended. Due to the large number of pilots returning from war, he was transferred to Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, for communications training. He did so well, they kept him on to train others when he was finally approved for flight training at Truax Field in Wisconsin. While there, he was discharged and moved back to Michigan, where he met Shirley Jean Chudley, a girl from down the street. They married July 15, 1948.

In Michigan, his brother had gone to the General Motors Institute (GMI) in Detroit and got Jim a position with Oldsmobile. During this time, Jim studied business administration at GMI and graduated in 1951 while working in the Accounting Department. In 1953 he got a job in sales working on distribution to dealers in 28 zone offices and 27 assembly plants. He then attended a sales training program in 1955 to go to GM’s field organization. In July of 1956, he was transferred to Kansas City, Missouri, where he traveled around the country overseeing sales and distribution.

In September of 1956, he was promoted to District Manager and transferred to Hayes, Kansas. Unfortunately, Hayes, a town relying on agriculture, suffered a three-year drought and no one was purchasing automobiles. By this time, Jim and Shirley had four children and were transferred to St. Joe, Missouri, where they lived in a small apartment. He and the family eventually made it back to Kansas City and bought a house. In 1962, he was promoted to office manager and sent to Dallas, Texas. After Kennedy was assassinated, they moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Jim covered half the country dealing with distribution problems. He traveled during the week and was home on weekends.

He found himself on a flight from Los Angeles, California, back to Lan- sing and realized he was sitting next to the General Sales Manager for Oldsmobile. They spoke the entire flight and two months later, he was promoted to Assistant Zone Manager here in Memphis. Because of his proximity to New Orleans, he was placed in charge of all the convertibles for the Mardi Gras parades. They furnished cars and decals for the Mardi Gras Krewes and had to hire ROTC students from Tulane to serve as “designated drivers”. The convertibles were then sold as “Special Event Cars”.

Jim Anderson at Kirby Pines
Jim’s Third Boston Marathon 1979

In 1973, Jim suffered a slipped disk in his back and had surgery. Part of his rehab was to walk, which eventually led to running. He joined the Memphis Runners Track Club and at age 50 qualified and competed in his first Boston Marathon. He ran it two more times, as well as the New York Marathon.

Eventually, the Memphis zone office ended up moving from Knight Arnold and Mendenhall to Clark Tower on Poplar Avenue and at this point the kids were grown and Shirley worked for an attorney in the same building. In December of 1980, Jim ran on his lunch break to pick up a Christmas gift for Shirley. Upon his return, he was offered the Zone Manager job in Indianapolis, Indiana, so once again, they were off. As Zone Manager in 1985, Jim was in charge of the Indy Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500. That spring, his boss allowed him to move back to the city he and Shirley loved, Kansas City, Missouri on a one year deal. At age 60 Jim retired and the two of them moved to Vail, Colorado.

Shirley and Jim on the Ski Slopes

He and Shirley loved to ski, so Jim took a job selling ski lift tickets, just so the two could have free lift tickets themselves. He then took a job as a cashier at a Beaver Creek restaurant again, for free lift tickets. At this point, Jim had always wanted to drive an 18-wheeler, so he drove a bus between Vail to Beaver Creek and Beaver Creek to Mid- City for free ski passes. When he turned 65, he no longer had to work for the free pass- es. They built a house in 1991 and Shirley passed away in 1999. Jim stayed another year and moved back to Kansas City. One of his daughters lived in Durango, so Jim decided to move to Grand Junction, Colorado to be closer. In 2008 he moved to Germantown, Tennessee, and eventually traveled between the two locations.

In 2012, Jim became a founder of the Farms at Bailey Station and in August of 2016, he decided he no longer wanted to do yard work or house maintenance and moved into Kirby Pines. He is still adjusting but is surrounded by some of his prized possessions. He collects Chinese and Japanese pottery and carousel horses. He has been to six continents and 42 countries, moved 21 times in 51 years, has five grandchildren and seven great grands. Needless to say, he has led a fascinating and full life. So if you have yet to meet Jim, take the time to say hello, he has some stories to tell.

The Importance of Nutrition

Please join us March 21st at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on this topic.

Eating a well-balanced mix of foods every day has many health benefits. Eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. If you have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them. Healthy eating may also help you reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and manage diabetes. Eating well gives you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of your body healthy throughout your life. Eating well helps keep up your energy level by consuming enough calories. In order to get energy from food, the number of calories needed depends on how old you are, whether you’re a man or woman, your height and weight, and how active you are.

Eating well is important for everyone at all ages. Your daily food choices can make an important difference in your health, how you look, and feel. Older adults should choose foods rich in fiber; drink 8 glasses of water and other beverages that are low in added sugars. Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

We often think of fats as unhealthy, but your body needs a limited amount of certain kinds of fats. Fats give you energy and also help your body absorb vitamins. However, fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates. Eating too many high-fat foods will add extra calories and lead to weight gain. Excess weight increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems. Excess weight can also make it harder to control these diseases if you have them.

Eating healthy at Kirby PinesEating is one of life’s pleasures, but some people lose interest in eating as they get older. They may find that food no longer tastes good or don’t enjoy meals because they often eat alone. Others may have problems chewing or digesting the food they eat. If you don’t feel like eating because of problems with chewing, digestion, or gas, talk with your doctor or a dietitian. Avoiding some foods could mean you miss out on necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, or protein. Not eating enough could mean that you don’t consume enough nutrients or calories. One reason people lose interest in eating is that their sense of taste and smell change with age. Foods you once enjoyed might seem to have less flavor when you get older. Some medicines can change your sense of taste or make you feel less hungry. Talk with your doctor if you have no appetite, or if you find that food tastes bad or has no flavor.

Improve Your Health With Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics at Kirby Pines

Staying fit is a challenge at any age. Finding the right exercise routine for your body can be a challenge, too. Balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility are key components to a good exercise program. Dealing with balance issues, osteoarthritis, and knee and hip issues can make exercising difficult. A solution may be right down the hall… Water Aerobics. Here are five good reasons to join the water aerobics classes:

  1. Low impact: Water places an upward force on a person. This principle known as ‘buoyancy’ means that you can experience as much as 90 percent less weight when in the water. This makes water exercises an ideal activity for a low impact water workout. Water aerobics allows you to perform exercises while placing very little weight on the joints opening up a new opportunity for people of all ages, and varying levels of fitness. (One of the ladies in our classes was in terrible back pain and now is recovered thanks to water aerobics.)
  2. Improves physical and mental health: The natural resistance of water increases strength while keeping you cool and comfortable. Just 150 minutes of a pool workout per week can help decrease your risk of chronic illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water aerobics can improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system in the same ways as cycling or running. Water is about 800 times denser than air, so it provides about 12 times more resistance. That means the moves you do in the pool can work your entire body, particularly your arms, legs, shoulders, and core. (Two of the gentlemen in the Men’s Only Class were faced with shoulder issues that the doctor wanted to do surgery to repair. They both now have almost full range of motion in their shoulder that they contribute to water aerobics.)
  3. Boost confidence: Pool exercise can boost your confidence if you are intimidated by conventional exercise routines. In the water, you are mostly submerged, so no one can see if you get the moves wrong. If you are a beginner, you can build a level of fitness that you can then carry over to feel more confident when exercising on land. Water is naturally supportive. If you lose your footing on land, gravity will take over and you will most likely fall and injure yourself. In water there is no need to worry about falling, water will not allow you to, and it will support you throughout all your exercises.
  4. Increase calorie burn: Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land. Expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour in a water aerobics class, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association.
  5. It’s a FUN way to exercise: Being in a pool is always splashy fun. Participating in a water aerobics class not only makes you happier and healthier, it is also a great social experience where new friends are made. The forgiving water environment is effective for exercising and enjoyable. You won’t get your hair or face wet. People are friendly (I love watching the big smile on Jane Kinney’s face as she exercises with us).

Check our schedule for classes Monday through Thursday and the pool is open form 7am-7pm for water walking.