Nutrition Education For Diabetes

couple buying healthy food

Are you over the age of 65 and have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes? If yes, you should implement modifications to your diet daily to decrease its effect on your body. Even minor dietary changes can help in reducing your diabetes risk.

The first step in the prevention is to understand how today’s food choices can impact your blood sugar and metabolism. Foods should not be classified as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but on the types and amount of food you are consuming. Sometimes we take in certain foods in excess, foods that should only be thought of as “sometimes” foods. “Sometimes” foods and beverages are highly processed, refined, and sugary. You should limit these types of foods and only consume them for occasional enjoyment. Eating foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins with the occasional splurge of “sometimes” foods can help you understand how foods affect blood sugar levels

The Facts

  • Almost 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 in the U.S. have diabetes, with 50% of that 1/3 being undiagnosed.
  • An additional 1/3 of adults have pre-diabetes.
  • Aging adults are especially at risk for poor nutrition caused by bad eating habits, loss of appetite, and decreased access to healthy foods because of time, money, or limited mobility.
  • The best way to manage diabetes is to self-manage.

Diabetes To Do List

  • Start by having a conversation with your physician to learn everything you can about diabetes and preparing a diet that will control your blood sugar.
  • Talk with your community Dietitian to review your current dietary choices and set-up a meal planning process.
  • Plan every meal the day or two before.
  • Ensure that your planned meal fits into your nutritional goals.
  • Try not to make last-minute meal choices that do not include the goals you have set for yourself.
  • Make one or two dietary modifications and set obtainable goals for yourself. An example might be to stop eating cookies or cake unless it’s a special occasion.
  • Review your goals regularly with your physician and community Dietitian and add new goals as you attain the ones you have set.
  • Ensure you are taking care of your feet and skin:
  • Inspect your feet every day. Look for cuts, blisters, calluses, red spots, swelling, or any other abnormal issues. Use a mirror to see the bottoms of your feet. If you have difficulty seeing all areas of your feet, ask for assistance from staff or family.
  1. Protect your feet by washing them every day. Use a mild soap with warm water and thoroughly dry. Use lotion instead of powder to keep the skin smooth and moisturized to prevent cracks or fissures. Avoid the use of lotions between toes; It can create a moist breeding ground for bacteria and lead to wounds that are difficult to heal.
  2. Prevent elevated blood sugars, which can lead to a loss of sensation to your feet, leading to uncared for wounds. Report any findings of abnormalities immediately to your health care provider.

Healthy Foods to Control Your Blood Sugar

  • Almonds
  • Beans
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Oat Bran
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Kale
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Yogurt
healthy food

Great Work(out) Benefits

Retired persons may leave their jobs, but they don’t have to leave the things they loved about their work. One thing I love about working is having a routine to get out of the house for a job I love where I feel welcomed and encouraged. Our exercise programs can become a wonderful routine with benefits that improve strength, balance, and endurance. In our classes you are always learning a new skill and experiencing new challenges, some physically demanding and even some mental. It is an opportunity to put out your best effort (whatever that may be). When you finish, you get that feeling of satisfaction that you accomplished something that day. Several residents have picked up new skills learning to use free weights properly and developing routines on the Nu-Step machine and the other weight bearing resistance equipment. In our group classes, you will gain not only strength and improved balance, but also encouragement and a team spirit as you work out together. Put us on your schedule and come to work out with us. The benefits
will profit your health and well-being.

Exercise is a key to a strong and healthy lifestyle boosting energy levels, lifting spirits, improving balance, enhancing immune system and aiding weight loss programs.

It’s Time to Join the Walk About Australia Part 2 Program

couple walking outdoors

Participants may register in the Oasis or online with The program will run from September 1 through October 31. 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. 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 have already traveled 3400 miles; that’s over 8 million steps. We’ll send postcards along the way and follow our progress on a map with helpful tips, awards and surprises for everyone along the way. Weekly door prizes and a Grand Prize at the end will be awarded for the most miles. We are dedicating this walk in memory of Gene Wainscott who was one of our biggest supporters. Make plans to join our Walk About Australia Program this fall.

Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month: Rudy Selmon

Rudy Selmon

Floor Tech

Describe Your Family: Loving and caring.

Describe yourself in five words: Loving, caring, respectful, honest and helpful.

What is something you are proud of: I have the best parents in the world – all three of them.

What do you do for fun: Perform on stage with my band.

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Playing guitar.

Do you have a pet: A snake. It’s name is Gucci.

What is your favorite thing about your job: I get along with everybody.

What is your favorite food: Chicken. 

What is your favorite song: The Thrill Is Gone by B.B. King.

What would you like people to know about you: That I am very kind and easy to get along with.

Rudy Selmon goes above and beyond the call of duty to support the department as well as our residents. He is thoughtful, precise and always a team player. He understands the importance of what we do for the residents of Kirby Pines. He is always willing to help another shift when staff is short and is happy to train or assist others as needed.

Jada Mullins, Director of Environmental Services

Staying Safe and Cool This Summer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year one out of every three adults aged 65 and older experiences a fall. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Older adults who have fallen typically report moderate to severe injuries, including deep bruises, head trauma and hip fractures. Fall related injuries may alter mobility and limit independent living, requiring both formal and informal caregiving. Many of these injuries, such as hip fractures, increase the risk of premature death. These facts of falling put into perspective the importance of reducing your risk of falls. Many falls can be prevented by making simple changes in your daily life. This month’s Healthy Living Series will focus on tips to decrease your chances of falling.

How Can You Prevent Falls? First, it is important to take care of your health. Have your eyes and hearing checked frequently for changes. See a healthcare provider if you have foot pain, or if you can’t trim your toenails. Also, consult a healthcare provider right away if you feel weak or unsteady on your feet, if you feel confused, or if you fall. Let a healthcare provider know if a medicine is making you feel dizzy or making you lose your balance. If your healthcare provider wants you to use a cane or a walker, learn how to use it – and then use it consistently. It is also important to get regular exercise, especially walking.

Six out of every 10 falls happen at home, where older adults spend much of their time. Older adults should be encouraged to take steps to “fall proof” their living areas, both inside and outdoors including:

  • Wear shoes with nonskid soles
  • Be sure your home is well lit so that you can see things you might trip over
  • Remove throw rugs or fasten them to the floor with carpet tape
  • Don’t put electrical cords across pathways
  • Have grab bars put in your bathtub, shower and toilet area
  • Have handrails put on both sides of stairways
  • Don’t climb on stools and stepladders

How can therapy help? By participating in a balance/fall management program, you will develop and learn skills necessary for safe, functional mobility with reduced risk for falls. You may also reduce the risk for falls and other complications resulting from balance problems, low vision, cognitive changes and decreased sensation. In order to ensure success of an individualized balance/fall management program, therapists work closely with the multi-disciplinary team.

Join Functional Pathways, your NEW Rehab Provider, for a Welcome Reception July 28th at 2:00 pm in the PAC.

Lou Anders Celebrates Her 103rd Birthday!

Kirby Pines Resident Since 2004

On June 21st of this year Mrs. Lou Anders celebrated her 103rd birthday. She was born in Searcy, Arkansas and lived in the area on a farm with her parents and five siblings most all of her childhood. One year her parents decided to move to West Texas to a plantation, but quickly came back to their roots in Arkansas. Mrs. Anders graduated high school in Searcy and went on to get married. After a year of married life in Searcy, her and her husband moved to Memphis. Mrs. Anders began working and attending school in the evening. She started at Memphis State but soon transferred to Tennessee where she eventually graduated with a degree in accounting. Mrs. Anders worked for John Morrell and Company for 34 years prior to retiring with her husband. Mrs. Anders husband was an Army veteran who also worked as a route manager for American Bakeries. The couple were married for 52 years. They never had any children, but had numerous nieces and nephews they treated as their own.

Throughout life, and especially during retirement, Mrs. Anders developed some hobbies of her own. She is very well traveled. Together with her husband, they visited every state in the union. Since then, she has also traveled abroad to numerous areas including Rome, Greenland, Norway, Germany, and all throughout Europe. When not traveling, she enjoys painting and woodworking. She says if you show her something and let her measure it, she could make it. Prior to the pandemic, she was also an active member of Highland Heights United Methodist Church. She spent many hours there involved in all the activities they offered. She enjoyed volunteering at the church and with local charities. She says that one of her proudest moments was working with Each One Teach One and watching students grow and succeed.

Lou with her family at her 103rd Birthday Party

Mrs. Anders moved to Kirby Pines in August of 2004. She has enjoyed her years here and has been active in several of the clubs throughout her time. For many years, she led the Uplifters Circle Bible Study. She also led the Garden Club at Kirby Pines and is a lifetime member of the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs. Mrs. Anders still gets out and about and is looking forward to Monday Night Bingo and the Rhythm Band. She said the best part about moving to Kirby Pines is the friendship of other people, everyone is so friendly. The activities and entertainment are great. Kirby Pines is a good place for anyone to be.

Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month: Jeremy Richardson

Jeremy Richardson

Personal Care Assistant

Describe Your Family: Brave. Hardworking. Patient. Successful.

Describe yourself in five words: Caring, Kind, Loveable, Patient, Happy!

What is something you are proud of: I have the best parents in the world – all three of them.

What do you do for fun: Swim, play video games, eat lots of junk food.

Do you have any hobbies or interests: I love to sing and cook.

Do you have a pet: A snake. It’s name is Gucci.

What is your favorite thing about your job: I love all of the residents. Victoria and Tania are the best managers ever.

What is your favorite food: Crawfish. 

What is your favorite song: Necessary by Brandy Norwood.

What would you like people to know about you: I am a really good dancer.

Jeremy Richardson is dedicated to Kirby residents by providing exceptional service with a positive attitude. He arrives with a smile on his face every day. He has always made himself available to work additional shifts during this pandemic. Jeremy’s commitment to Caring in Place is unwavering. We are fortunate to have him on our team!

– Victoria Johnson, Director of Personal Support Services

Staying Safe & Cool This Summer

Did you know that each year more people die from excessive heat waves than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined? Summer weather can be erratic, especially during the spring and summer months. Even with a degree of unpredictability, it`s almost certain that we will see high temperatures climb into the upper 80s, 90s and even 100 degrees. Older adults are at high risk from excessive heat. As we age, the body’s cooling mechanisms may become impaired. Living alone or being confined to a bed and unable to care for one’s self further increases risk to heat related illness. Existing health conditions such as chronic illness, mental impairment, and obesity can also heighten an individual’s vulnerability. In addition, individuals taking certain medications are also susceptible to heat related illness. 

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress: 

  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks 
  • Rest 
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath 
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day 
  • If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, open windows and shades on the shady side and close them on the sunny side to try to cool it down 
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) 
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing 
  • Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g., straw or mesh) when in the sun, even if it is cloudy 
  • Never leave children, pets or those with special needs in a parked car, even briefly. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes 
  • Check on your neighbors, family and friends, especially those who have special needs 

How can therapy help prevent heat related stress during the warmer months? 

By seeking professional advice to analyze your unique situation, the rehabilitation team can offer assistance and guidance to increase your safety during summer. Your rehabilitation team can offer assistance in creating a plan for summer safety that includes: 

  • Identifying lifestyle changes that can facilitate staying physically and mentally healthy during the summer months. 
  • Facilitating ease of movement throughout the home and outdoor spaces. 
  • Recommending home modifications to keep you safe during the warmer months. 

For additional information, please contact your Select Rehabilitation Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists. 

Join us for “Fun in the Sun: Outdoor Safety Tips for Older Adults” in the PAC June 9th at 11:00 am

Drink More Water for Better Health

Did you know water makes up about 50 to 60% of your body? True, water is essential to life. Staying hydrated is important for our general health, too. Dehydration can be the result of exercise, certain medications, diarrhea, excessive sweating, breathing, and diseases such as diabetes. With the warm summer days ahead, it is easy to become dehydrated which can cause dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, headaches, heart pounding, cramping, confusion, low blood pressure, rapid but weak pulse and fainting. 

Everyone knows—but many people seem to forget—that water is what sustains life. Here are just two of the benefits of being hydrated: Drinking at least five 8-ounce glasses of water daily reduces the risk of fatal coronary heart disease among older adults. Being sufficiently hydrated reduces the discomfort of constipation, improves balance and kidney function (reducing the risk of urinary tract infections). Water helps energize muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. 

How much water is enough? A good formula for how much water is needed every day is to take one-third of the person’s body weight in pounds and drink the equivalent number of ounces of water daily. For example, a 150-pound woman would need 50 ounces of water daily, or about 6 8-ounce glasses of water.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking water: As we age, we are less aware of our thirst and our ability to regulate our body’s fluid balance via kidneys decreases. If you think you may need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of drinking water:

  • Start your day with a glass of water before breakfast.
  • Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  • Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables especially melons. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag or walker.

So drink up and stay hydrated and stay well. Don’t forget we have a cool water dispenser in the Oasis when you come to exercise.


Many Thanks to everyone who helped make our fundraiser and Arthritis Awareness Month so successful. I very much appreciate the support for our Walk to Cure with more than 43 walkers and two pups. We are still receiving donations for The Arthritis Foundation but as of this writing we have received over $1,100 in donations which will be used to support research, education, and assistance to people of all ages who live with the pain of Arthritis. We really appreciate your generosity. Way to go Kirby Pines!