Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month: Michael Warren

Michael Warren

Michael Warren

Maintenance Tech

Describe Your Family: Loyal, Caring and Too Honest.

Describe yourself in five words: Dependable, Ingenious, Flexible, Humorous, Truthful.

What is something you are proud of: My daughter.

What do you do for fun: Shoot pool, play Call of Duty and chill with my family.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Helping others when needed.

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Singing.

What is your favorite food: Pork Chops.

What would you like people to know about you: I am friendly and helpful.

During the pandemic, my department lost everyone except Michael. He was our only maintenance person to handle everything. He kept a positive and can-do attitude the entire time without missing a single day of work. Brian Forsman, his supervisor, says Michael is prompt, loyal, willing to help anybody and is always willing to learn new procedures to fix things. He has a great work ethic and we are happy to have him on our team.

Seniors and Nutrition

Retired couple enjoying some veggies

Research has shown that proper nutrition can extend your lifespan and improve a person’s quality of life. An optimal diet may lead to less heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Good eating habits throughout life can help to promote physical and mental well-being. For older adults, eating right can help to minimize the symptoms of age-related changes that may cause discomfort. Although the aging process affects some people differently than others, everyone can benefit from eating a well-planned nutritious diet.

Are Nutritional Needs Different for Older Adults?

  • Physiological changes occur slowly over time in all body systems and are influenced by life events, illnesses, genetic traits and socioeconomic factors.
  • Generally, older adults take in less calories, than younger people. This may be due, in part, to a natural decline in the rate of metabolism as people age. It may also reflect a decrease in physical activity. If calorie intake is too low, then intakes of necessary nutrients may also be low.
  • As people age, problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes become more common, necessitating certain dietary modifications.
  • As people age, digestive system problems become more common, and some people may have trouble chewing or swallowing.
  • For everyone, it is beneficial to eat well and understand some nutrition basics.

What is Malnutrition and how do I avoid it?

  • Malnutrition is a critical health issue among older adults caused by eating too little food, too few nutrients, and by digestive problems related to aging.
  • Malnutrition causes fatigue, depression, weak immune system, anemia, weakness, digestive, lung, and heart problems.
  • To prevent malnutrition as you age: Eat nutrient-packed food, have flavorful food available, snack between meals, eat with other people as much as possible, get help with food preparation.

What are Current Dietary Recommendations for Older Adults?

Fruit: Choose color-rich choices like berries or melons. Aim for 2-3 servings a day.

Veggies: Choose antioxidant-rich dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as colorful vegetables such as carrots and squash. Try for 2-3 cups every day.

Calcium: Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Older adults need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include broccoli, almonds, and kale.

Grains: Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and more fiber. Healthy fats: Because fat is so dense in calories, a little can go a long way in making you feel full and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

Healthy fats include:

  1. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as olive oil, avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).
  2. Polyunsaturated fats include Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Other sources include flaxseed and walnuts.
  3. Avoid Trans fats which are found in commercially baked goods, packaged snack foods, fried food, and anything with
    “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients.

Protein: Adults over 50 without kidney disease or diabetes need about 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight (0.5 g of protein per lb. of body weight is close enough).

Water: Drinking water regularly may help us to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, etc.

Vitamin B: After the age of 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid making it difficult to absorb vitamin B-12—needed to help keep blood and nerves healthy. Get the recommended daily intake (2.4 mcg) of B12 from fortified foods or a vitamin supplement.

Vitamin D: With age, our skin is less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D, so consult your doctor about supplementing your diet with fortified foods or a multivitamin, especially if you’re obese or have limited sun exposure.

Cut down on sugar and refined carbs: Unlike complex carbs that are rich in fiber, refined or simple carbs (such as white rice, white flour, refined sugar) can lead to a dramatic spike in blood sugar, followed by a rapid crash which leaves you feeling hungry and prone to overeating.

Eat more fiber: Women over 50 should aim to eat at least 21 grams of fiber per day, men over 50 at least 30 grams a day. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and fruit.

How to Treat Cabin Fever

Retired couple running through the snow

Cabin Fever has become a new source of stress. It is easy to sit around nibbling on your favorite treat, watching TV, and doing puzzles. But enough is enough; your body is craving some endorphins as well as chocolates. What is an endorphin? You can’t find it on the Candy Aisle at Kroger or at Dinstuhl’s. Endorphins are the “feel-good” chemicals released by the brain during physical activity that help improve mood, energy levels and even sleep. If you have been inactive since the start of the Covid lockdown, here are some ideas to help you get moving again:

  1. Check with your doctor first.
  2. Start monitoring from the start; Keep a journal, mark your calendar, or use an activity tracker on your phone or Fitbit. Every little step counts.
  3. Start slow. Begin with a warm-up and gentle stretch. Practice sitting and standing using a sturdy chair. Keep your feet on the floor (no bouncing). This strengthens the quadriceps muscles which work together to help you stand, walk, and move around.
  4. Choose the best exercises for you. A balanced exercise routine should include:
    • Aerobics: walking, or water aerobics or water walking if you have pain in joints
    • Strength Exercise: freehand weights and exercise equipment in the Oasis
    • Balance: Yoga and SitnStand classes on Channel 10.
  5. Here are some tips to create the right routine:
    • Alternate days between aerobic and strength exercises.
    • Find activities you enjoy. For example: walking, bicycling, dancing or yoga or the pool. Try walking indoors for 10-15 minutes or outside when the weather is good. Gradually add time and increase intensity with a goal of 30 minutes a day for 5 days or 150 minutes weekly.
    • Exercise is more fun with a friend and helps you stay committed. When someone is counting on you to walk with them, you are motivated to make the extra effort. Often when left on our own, it’s easy to let our exercise plans slide.
    • Strength train using free weights or resistance bands, slowly add weight as you’re able to do more repetitions. Check with Mary in the Oasis for pointers.
    • Work on balance every day. Simply stand at your kitchen counter on one foot and then the other helps improve balance. Yoga is a good choice for people who want to improve balance and flexibility.
  6. Check your progress to see if you are working out effectively. Can you carry a conversation when your heart rate is up without gasping for air? A little soreness in the first 24 hours is normal but if it lasts longer, you may have overdone it. This is your program, if you are having difficulty, don’t force it or cause yourself pain. Just do as much as you can comfortably.
  7. Remember to hydrate by keeping a bottle of water nearby.
  8. Finish your exercise time with a gentle stretch.

Whatever you plan, Remember the first step is always the hardest. Go ahead, take it. Exercise will break that cabin fever.

March 8, 2021

International Women's Day

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

What’s the theme for International Women’s Day?

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge’. A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.


What colors symbolize International Women’s Day?

Purple, green and white are the colors of International Women’s Day. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity.

What Kirby Pines is doing to celebrate?

The women of Kirby Pines are “Choosing to Challenge” by raising their hands and showing their support on the back pages of this month’s Pinecone. Cards were spread out for each to choose a word that not only empowers them, but empowers women all over the world.

The photos will be shared and posted on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 Together we can make a difference.

By showing our support and solidarity, we hope to show our strength and encourage others to commit to helping forge
an inclusive world.

Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month: Marquavious Goodman

Marquavious Goodman

Security Guard

Describe Your Family: Hard working, dependable, strong family that sticks together. Just like me and my coworkers.

Describe yourself in five words: Strong, Independent, Intelligent, Caring, and Honest.

What is something you are proud of: Being a hard worker.

What do you do for fun: Watch TV.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Helping residents.

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Singing.

What is your favorite food: Pizza.

What is your favorite song: I have a lot.

What would you like people to know about you: That I am here to help and won’t let you down.

Marq has been on the security team since May of 2019. He has a very good positive attitude while dealing with the residents, guests and employees. There are a few incidents that I can recall with Marq assisting residents. He was making rounds one night, when he heard someone call for help! He found a resident lying in the stairwell. He contacted the front desk to call 911 and stayed there with her until the ambulance arrived. We are happy to have him on our team.

Exercise and Mental Health

Retired woman looking sad

Mental Health & Mental Illness Defined 

Mental Health: “A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” 

Mental Illness: “Health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or dysfunction.” 

Most Common Mental Health Issues 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Stress 

How Poor Mental Health Affects Your Body 

  • Changes in your brain chemistry can also have a big effect on your body. 
  • Mental health issues contribute to a wide array of physical  problems that affect everything from your heart to your immune system 
  • Changes in the brain have an effect on many of the body’s system; i.e. low levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin can alter your pain threshold 
  • Mental health issues increase your risk of illness because of increasing levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline 
  • Mental health issues can affect the immune system making it harder for the body to fight infection. 

How Exercise Improves Mental Health

  • Help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve mood
  • Help keep anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better
  • Release feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins)
  • Reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increase body temperature which may have calming effects
  • Help you gain confidence
  • Take your mind off of worries
  • Get more social interaction
  • Cope with anxiety/depression symptoms in a healthy way

How Much Exercise/What Types Are Best for Mental Health

  • 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for 3-5 days a week—Even just 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Do what type of exercise you like best: walking, NuStep, gardening, exercise bicycle, aerobics, yoga, etc.—Anything that gets you off the couch and moving is the exercise that can help improve your mood

Getting Started and Staying Motivated

  • Identify what you like doing: find out what type of exercise you like doing and you will be more likely to do it
  • Set reasonable goals: think realistically and set small goals in the beginning
  • Don’t think of exercise as a chore: view your exercise time as your time to yourself
  • Address your barriers: find out things that get in your way of exercising and find alternatives and ways around these barriers
  • Prepare for setbacks and obstacles: give yourself credit for every step in the right direction. If you miss exercise one day, don’t be hard on yourself. Tomorrow is a new day

How Therapy Can Help

  • Therapists can help you find the right exercise for you to manage physical and mental signs and symptoms
  • Define an adequate and specialized program to fulfill your needs
  • Help you perform exercise safely and correctly
  • Help you improve your independence and quality of life

This is Dedicated to the One I Love

Retired folks enjoying the snow
Retired folks enjoying the snow

Remember that old love song from the 60’s. Taking care of yourself for the one you love may be just the motivation you need to begin a healthier you. 

Care giving for a loved one can be one of life’s most draining experiences: affecting mind, body and soul. To counter this, set personal health goals. For example, set a goal to find time to be physically active on most days of the week, or set a goal for getting a good night’s sleep. It’s also crucial to eat a healthy diet. When caregivers understand that, there can be a tremendous sense of relief that allows them to set more realistic goals. In addition, to keep depression at bay: 

  • Maintain a life outside of care giving. Stay connected to friends. Don’t give up your daily routines.
  • Maintain your health. Get regular check-ups, eat a balanced diet, and exercise.
  • Exercise. It un-kinks tense muscles, revs up the cardiovascular system, and floods the brain with feel-good chemicals, such as endorphins.
  • Use simple de-stressing techniques: deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, and self-massage. And laugh. “People don’t think of humor as a way to cope with stress, but they should,”
  • Join a support group. In support groups, you validate your role as caregiver, voice your fears, vent your frustrations, and learn coping strategies and techniques

“Exercise is an antidote to aging,” says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, director of the cardiac
rehabilitation and exercise labs at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. A well-rounded routine,
as part of a healthy lifestyle, may help you avoid things like falls, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Experts say many of the conditions people think are due to getting older have more to do with not
moving enough. At any age, these are the types of exercise you want to get:

Aerobic: good for your heart and lungs. It’s also good for your blood pressure, blood sugar,
cholesterol, sleep, and memory. What to do: You can walk briskly, walk in the water, or do any
other activity that gets your heart rate up.

Strength training: good for your muscles and bones. It’s the principle of “use it or lose it.”
What to do: Start with 2-pound hand weights or resistance stretch bands.

Flexibility and balance: helps prevent falls by stretching your muscles and keep them from
stiffening up. What to do: Yoga is good for both. You can also learn balance exercises in Kirby’s
Sit and Stand class or from Rehab Therapy.

We have everything you need right here at Kirby Pines. Check out the Oasis for exercise equipment
or join one of our exercise classes, Setting healthy goals for yourself can be “Dedicated to the
ones you love.”

Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month: Cory Rainey



Bistro Cook

Describe Your Family: Big, funny and fun.

Describe yourself in five words: Hardworking, Funny, Cool, Laidback and Outgoing.

What is something you are proud of: The person I’ve become.

What do you do for fun: Play the game or play basketball.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Hearing about coworker’s and resident’s backstories.

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Playing the game and shopping.

What is your favorite food: Chicken Wings.

What is your favorite song: Letter From Houston by Rod Wave.

What would you like people to know about you: That I’m very laid back and I try to have fun every day.

Cory does a great job in The Bistro and is a very hard worker. He is extremely dedicated to his job and goes the extra mile. I have seen Cory working every task and cover every position we have with a smile on his face.

Motivation for Wellness

Wellness message with daisy

When people hear “wellness”, physical activity and exercise is what usually comes to mind first. Wellness is much more than that. Wellness has four main components- exercise, nutrition, spiritual practice, and rest and relaxation. Wellness is about making lifestyle choices that can minimize the risks for chronic disease and maximize the quality of life. Keeping wellness in your daily routine can get tough. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to get what you want done. Wellness should be a top priority for everyone. There are some simple tips to keep wellness in your daily routine and to keep you motivated in doing so.

When introducing wellness into your daily routine you want to start with little bits. You don’t want to start with too much and get overwhelmed. The little bits add up, and that’s what’s most important and most sustainable. You want to actually identify your wellness goals and priorities. It’s hard to work towards something that is undefined, so you want to set a goal. The key is to make your goals become real, rather than theoretical. When making your goals keep “starting with little bits” in mind. Track what you are doing and acknowledge your results. The act of tracking your wellness goals and efforts, and seeing the work pay off, does improve your chances of being successful. With a tracking system you will be able to see what the results are, and affirm the benefit of your efforts. Schedule it- scheduling your wellness time for the week helps reserve the time so you can turn your intention into action. If you know that a block of time is set aside for wellness, you won’t be as inclined to fill it will something else. Having a support system is important to have. Surrounding yourself with people and environments that are health-promoting is important for making wellness an accessible part of your life. You need to be able to understand your inspiration. In order to prioritize wellness you must see the value in it. Have your reasons for wanting to achieve your wellness goals visible to you. This will remind you of why you value wellness, what you want out of it, and what you are willing to do for it.

It is important to keep all four components of wellness in your daily routine. With these helpful motivation tips it should be easier for you to do so. Remember your goals should be something that is achievable. Exercise should not be a huge obstacle for someone, try to find something that you enjoy doing. Nutrition does not mean that you need to be on a diet. The most important thing about nutrition is moderation, so do not try to cut something out completely. You want to slowly work in healthier options as you shift your diet into one that is more nutritious and life giving. Spiritual practice is something that can be different for everyone. You do not have to be a spiritual person to take part in this. Spiritual practice can be anything from prayer, meditation, journaling, singing, drawing, etc. These activities can lead one to have more peace of mind and a greater ability to handle life’s challenges. One’s spiritual practice can be very relaxing which brings us to our last component, rest and relaxation. Sleep deprivation has been linked to many problems, for example, stress and depression. Everyone needs their rest to have a better quality of life.


Wellness does not need to be a chore for anyone. Incorporate what you enjoy into the four components and it will become much easier. Once you have a steady routine of wellness and continue to be motivated, you will notice a difference in your quality of life.

Walk Around Australia in 2021!

Remember to sign up in the Oasis for the Walk Around Australia Program we will be offering this month. Last year we walked across Canada and this year we will walk around the continent of Australia…

Participants may begin registering January 4th. The program will run from January 11 through March 7 for 8 weeks. Every week, we will track how many miles each participant walks, or completes on the Nu-Step, or treadmill. (Get credit for 1 mile for each exercise class you participate in). If you use your pedometer, on average, 2000 steps equals one mile. Everyone’s mileage will be kept up individually and as a group total to see how far we can walk; pointing out interesting landmarks along Australia’s coastline which runs for 9395 miles. We’ll send postcards along the way and follow our progress on a map.

Kangaroo and Kookaburra

Helpful tips, awards and surprises for everyone will be handed out along the Route. Weekly door prizes and a Grand Prize at the end will be awarded for the most miles.

Make plans to join our Walk around Australia Program in 2021.

Check out and search team “kirby pines“ for more details about our walk.