Food for Thought

Vegetables and fruit

There are many benefits to healthy eating: stronger immune system, better sleep, more energy, improved mood, and a lower risk for disease. What you eat also has an important role in the health of your brain, your memory, as well as other aspects of mental and physical health. Higher levels of fatty acids and protein are associated with better memory and a healthier brain. 

For better brain health, try to add these foods into your regular diet: 

Nuts and Seeds – Protein is the second largest matter in the brain, second only to water, so it’s critical to nourish your brain with protein-rich foods; Amino acids are also found in protein, and they are packed with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega fatty acids aid in building cells to maintain normal brain function. Examples of brain healthy nuts include walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds. 

Salmon – Oily fishes, such as salmon, are high in omega 3! 

Beans – Rich in fiber, B vitamins, and omega fatty acids; fiber helps keep you fuller longer, and it also creates a slow release of sugar, which helps with concentration and memory. 

Blueberries – as well as other dark berries – Rich in antioxidants, which protect against free radicals (unstable molecules that attack cells within our body). 

Regularly consuming unhealthy foods, alcohol, and fish with mercury can negatively impact cognitive function. 

You don’t have to avoid them all together, but moderation is key! These foods include: 

Sugary Drinks – An excessive intake of sugary drinks increases the risk of dementia, obesity, high blood pressure, and arterial dysfunction. 

Alcohol – Chronic excessive alcohol use can result in a reduction in brain volume, metabolic changes, and disruption of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain uses to communicate. 


Fish high in mercury – While oily fish has cognitive benefits, fish high in mercury can have the opposite effect. Mercury is a heavy metal contaminant and neurological poison that can be stored for a long time in animal tissues. After a person ingests mercury, it spreads all around their body, concentrating in the brain, liver, and kidneys. Examples include swordfish, tuna, and orange roughy. 

Your diet has a big impact on your brain health! For more information on nutrition and your brain health, contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team! 

Get Ready… Get Wet… And GO!

Woman exercising in the pool

Almost everyone, regardless of age or physical condition, can benefit from aquatic exercise – even if you don’t know how to swim! Just being in the water has inherent benefits. From improvements in circulation to relieving joint pain, the rewards of aquatic exercise are numerous. Many physicians and therapists recommend aquatic therapy because it can advance individuals to a higher level of muscle fitness and mobility offering quicker advantages over land-based exercise and therapy: 

Buoyancy provided by the water allows you to move more easily with decreased stress on muscles, joints, and bones while increasing flexibility and balance. In chest-deep water, you take 70% of your body weight off your joints. The “support” your body receives makes exercising easier and less painful, allowing you to exercise longer without increased effort or joint or muscle pain. 

  • Exercises performed in the water allow the heart to work more efficiently, making it a great cardiovascular workout. 
  • The pressure of the water on your joints and muscles comforts your body while you exercise, leaving you feeling less fatigued. 
  • Support provided by the water reduces the fear of falling. 

Resistance of the water allows for higher workout intensities with less impact on your body. 

Warm water therapy has even greater benefits. Our pool in the Oasis is usually at 90º and the spa is at 100º. Besides the comfort of the temperature, immersing in warm water raises your body temperature and relaxes your muscles benefitting individuals with disabilities and conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. Participating in a warm water exercise class provides many physical benefits: 

Santa clause exercising
  • Improved endurance, flexibility, and range of motion 
  • Improved pulmonary function 
  • Increased circulation 
  • Muscle relaxation and pain relief 
  • Strengthened muscles 
  • Decreased joint and soft tissue inflammation 
  • Improved bone density 

Additionally, warm water exercise can have other benefits including reduced anxiety and stress, improved mood, and fun with friends. 

It’s Time for Christmas at Kirby Pines

O.K….Turkey gobbled up – Check. Pumpkin Pie gone – Check. Christmas music on – Check. 

It’s Christmas time! My favorite time of the year! Always has been; always will be. As I’ve gotten a little bit older, and a bit wiser, the meaning of Christmas has changed, yet stayed the same. Let me take a moment to explain… 

I grew up in a great family. My four sisters and I were blessed with a very loving and hard-working mom and dad. Yes, you read that correctly; four younger sisters. And yes, Christmas meant presents and wish lists to Santa, but what really stands out to me are the trips to my grandparents’ house, decorating the tree, and smelling my mom’s fresh-baked cookies, candies, and treats! These were things that came alive at Christmastime, with the family coming together, our home filled with conversation and laughter, as we watched the sky for snow, dreaming, of course, of course, for a white Christmas. 

Christmas Eve for our family meant going off to the evening church service together, the Brown family taking up an entire pew. Gathering afterwards, we always had great fun, conversation, and board games. Naturally, we got to open up one gift at this time: our present from Grandma. 

Back to present day, I woke up this morning thinking about Kirby Pines and the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year traditions held here. Our community feels like one huge extended family! Everywhere I look, I see folks engaged in meaningful conversation, and if you- or I- walk by, we will be asked to join in! 

Chef Mark and his team just demonstrated what a homemade Thanksgiving dinner is all about! The sights, sounds, and tastes were all so good; I just can’t decide which was better: Pumpkin or Pecan! 

Not to mention the decorations! I am still so amazed at how beautiful it looks. I keep going to the lobby and gazing at the beautiful, live Christmas tree. Stunning! 

Fun, family, food, and spirited fellowship in the air: I loved it all as a child, and I am so happy to have found it here at Kirby Pines Estates! 

Let us all join together to celebrate on Tuesday, December 12th. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we came together as a community family to pray, reflect, and remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

I hope you have a memorable and blessed holiday season with your loved ones and your friends and family right here at Kirby Pines Estates!

Michael Brown,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

He Who Signs Prays Twice

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

Woman singing and playing guitar

We hear it often, especially from the “music community, ”He who sings, prays twice. Saint Augustine added a word to that expression;, “he who sings his prayers prays twice. 

My wife and I share a morning time of devotion and prayer, in which we often sing. A few weeks ago, I was going through a season of studying, teaching, and writing about revival. One morning, during our devotion/prayer time, we were singing the old gospel song, Revive us again. As we sang, it struck me, We are praying. 

The first three stanzas of the hymn are expressions of praise, then the fourth stanza is an earnest petition, 

man hearing music

Revive us again, 
fill each heart with thy love 
May each soul be rekindled 
with fire from above. 

The chorus is praise and petition combined,

Hal-le-lu-jah! Thine the glo-ry.
Hal-le-lu-jah! A-men.
Hal-le-lu-jah! Thine the glo-ry.
Re-vive us a-gain.

I believe we are experiencing revival, and we may be just at the beginning edge of it. I urge you, now and then, sing Revive Us Again as your prayer for it. 

The singing of our sacred hymns, written by the servants of God, has a powerful effect in converting people to the principles of the Gospel, and in promoting peace and spiritual growth.” 

— Heber J. Grant 

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month: Caleb Petty



Describe your family: We enjoy the small things in life, like a simple movie night.

Describe yourself in five words: Ambitious, sincere, confident, spontaneous and passionate.

What do you do for fun: I enjoy cooking, video games, photography and technology.

Do you have any hobbies: I collect Pops and play sports.

What is your favorite thing about your job: One of my favorite things is helping others. 

What is your favorite food: Seafood.

What is your favorite song: Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton.

Do you have any pets?: I have a dog named Almow. 

What is something you are proud of: Starting my production company.

What would you like people to know about you: I live life to the fullest and love meeting new people.

Caleb Petty is a respectful security officer at Kirby Pines. While performing his outside rounds Caleb observed a man and woman (who had fallen into Lake Latimer). Caleb quickly jumped into the lake and rescued them, including her wheelcair. When the paramedics arrived Officer Petty had pulled both residents safely out of the water. 

– Calvin Sims, Director of Security 

Veterans Day 2023

November 11, 2023

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans. 

Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.” 

Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was “the War to end all wars,” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.

Armistice Day Changed To Honor All Veterans 

The first celebration using the term Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized “National Veterans Day,” which included a parade and other festivities, to honor all veterans. The event was held on November 11, then designated Armistice Day. Later, U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas proposed a bill that would change Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. Raymond Weeks received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan in November 1982. Weeks’ local parade and ceremonies are now an annual event celebrated nationwide. 

On Memorial Day 1958, two more unidentified American war dead were brought from overseas and interred in the plaza beside the unknown soldier of World War I. One was killed in World War II, the other in the Korean War. In 1984, an unknown serviceman from the Vietnam War was placed alongside the others. The remains from Vietnam were exhumed May 14, 1998, identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, and removed for burial. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil. 

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date. 

National Ceremonies Held at Arlington National Cemetery 

The focal point for official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day continues to be the memorial amphitheater built around the Tomb of the Unknowns. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes “Present Arms” at the tomb. The nation’s tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath. The bugler plays “taps.” The rest of the ceremony takes place in the amphitheater. 

Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington and elsewhere are coordinated by the President’s Veterans Day National Committee. Chaired by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the committee represents national veterans organizations. 

Governors of many states and U.S. territories appoint Veterans Day chairpersons who, in cooperation with the National Committee and the Department of Defense, arrange and promote local ceremonies. 


Resident Spotlight: Hugh & Banky Wilson


Forty years is a long time between “going steady” and getting married. The story of how that happened to Banky and Hugh Wilson reads like a Hollywood script. Separated after high school, the inevitable happened. Both found different interests and career paths. However, fate stepped in, and their story has a happy ending, just like in the movies. 

Ruby “Banky” Godhold’s young life was sometimes difficult; but despite overwhelming obstacles, she says that her childhood was a happy time, and she always felt loved. Born in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, her family moved to Houston, Texas, but eventually returned to St. Louis. Banky remembers that while in Houston, she had her picture taken with The Cisco Kid. At age six, while visiting her family in Tunica, Mississippi, she became paralyzed for three months due to encephalitis. 

Banky sometimes missed school, especially during the fifth and sixth grades. She loved the solitude of home while her family was away. During one report, she was absent 23 days! Despite this, she maintained good grades. When Banky was nine years old, her parents divorced. She and her brother returned to Tunica to live with her grandparents, aunt, and uncle. There, life was good. In high school, she met and began “going steady” with Hugh Wilson. She was a cheerleader, was active in many organizations, and voted Class Favorite by her classmates. 

Following graduation, Banky enrolled in the University of Mississippi, becoming an honor student in the School of Business. She received majors in Business and Education in 1963. While at Ole Miss, Banky was a roommate with Lynda Lee Mead, who would be chosen as Miss America. 

Banky returned to Tunica and taught school for several years. She married a local farmer, and they would have two sons, Sterling and Bryan. Banky became a stay- at- home mom. She was a Cub Scout den mother, played guitar in a band, and eventually started and managed the Hollywood Café that she and her husband owned. After her children were grown, Banky divorced and moved to Memphis for six years. She returned to Tunica so that she could have a horse and animals she loved. She worked as an Outreach Aftercare Counselor with Region Mental Health which included weekly visits to the county jail to counsel inmates. 

Hugh Wilson is a native of Tunica, Mississippi and has one sister. During the 1940’s and 50’s, Hugh worked in the Blue and White Café which his parents owned. According to Hugh, “I was well known as a ‘short order cook,’ and my famous double cheeseburger, ‘the Hugh Jr. Special.’ ”

In high school, Hugh was active in all sports, played trombone in the band, was class vice-president, and was a Senior Honor Student. As President of the 4-H Club, Hugh took great pride in owning and showing the Grand Champion Steer at the Mid-South Exposition in Memphis! 

Following graduation from high school, Hugh entered Mississippi State University where he elected to study Accounting. He was actively involved in several organizations including the Air Force ROTC. Upon graduation in 1964, Hugh was acknowledged as a Distinguished Military Graduate which enabled him to get a regular commission in the U.S. Air Force. 

Hugh’s military career is quite impressive. He served five years in the Air Force including one tour in Vietnam. He was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross for a night-time medical mission during a typhoon. He was also awarded The Air Force Commendation Medal. Fortunately, he survived a crash that destroyed his aircraft! Following active duty, Hugh served five years in the Ready Reserve, and 20 years in the Air National Guard in various leadership positions, including Commander with rank of Colonel. A specialty in the unit he served had eight KC135 refueling aircraft. At retirement, Hugh was awarded The Legion of Merit. 

Hugh also had a civilian career in aviation. In 1969, he began flying for TWA, and flew all of their aircraft except the DC-9 and B-747. He retired in 2002 as an international B-767 Captain. Between his military and commercial aviation, Hugh has flown extensively all over the world! 

The Wilsons eating wedding cake
Married After 40 Years

In 2002, Hugh was living in St. Augustine, Florida, and decided to make a trip to Tunica. There, he became re-united with Banky, and according to Hugh, “Long story short, we realized we still loved each other and soon got married. We tell everyone that we just took a 40 year break.” 

Continuing to live in Tunica, Banky and Hugh enjoyed retirement. As members of the Episcopal Church, both served on the Vestry, and Hugh as president of the Rotary Club. They heard about Kirby Pines from the Dazeys, whom they met at a luncheon. After one visit to Kirby, they returned for a second visit and put down a deposit. They moved to Kirby in 2021. 

Banky is limited in physical activity but enjoys meeting with the Needle Art Group. Hugh is involved with the Ball Room Dancing Group, the Photo Club, and the Theater Group. He has also been Master of Ceremonies in two Kirby entertainment venues. 

“Since moving to Kirby Pines,” both agree, “we have met many wonderful people and made many new friends.” Banky recalls that while in Rehab, she had a birthday and received over 100 cards! Both are appreciative of the health care benefits, and declare, “Moving to Kirby was a ‘Godsend’! ” 

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident of Kirby Pines.

Finding Your Inner Chi

group doing yoga indoors

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit”.

— B.K.S. Iyengar

Pain is something no one wants to endure. Any time we experience pain, we immediately look for ways to make it stop. But what if we worked to prevent pain from happening, and used those same techniques to manage pain when it does, inevitably, rear its ugly head?

The goal of a comprehensive, holistic pain management program is to promote consistent participation in activities, exercise, and education to enhance quality of life. This concept merges traditional western medicine with those of eastern medicine. Western medicine traditionally views the mind and body as separate entities. Eastern medicine is an art that views the mind and body as one. Many of us may have pain conditions that are not reversible. A comprehensive and holistic pain management program, such as Pathways to Chi, focuses on approaches which allows participants to increase their engagement in meaningful activities while managing their chronic conditions.

The secret of health or both mind and body is… live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

— Gautama Buddha

Chi is energy which provides human bodies with circulation, nutrition, and minerals needed to thrive. In traditional Chinese medicine, Chi is referred to as “life force” and a measurement of vitality. Integrating Chi into your routine can help you feel more alive, alert, and present. This, in turn, can help you overcome illness and pain, increase vibrancy, and enhance mental ability.

How to Find Your Inner Chi – massage, trigger point release, meditation, guided imagery, Yoga, Tai Chi, Ai Chi (water Tai Chi), are just a few of the ways to find your chi.

For more information on Pathways to Chi or how to use eastern medicine to help manage your pain and enhance vibrancy, contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team! 

It is what it is isn’t an excuse!

couple swimming in the pool

“It is what it is.” That’s what people say when a problem arises. It’s an excuse to avoid facing a difficult situation. Too often we just accept our conditions without looking at options that could actually benefit us. Many times we avoid exercise because of the way we think. Here is a list of some of the most common myths about exercise and aging: 

Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway. 

Fact: Exercise and strength training help you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. 

Myth 2: Older people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest. 

Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for adults over 50. Inactivity often causes older adults to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses. 

Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down. 

Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling. 

Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old to start exercising. 

Fact: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities. 

Myth 5: I’m disabled. I can’t exercise sitting down. 

Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health. 

couple walking a trail in the fall leaves

At Kirby Pines we have options. We have a variety of exercise classes from chair yoga to water aerobics to strength training. Check our schedule and see what works for you. The Oasis has free weights and 10 different machines to build strength and endurance. Kim Roberts is available Monday and Friday at 8:00 am to help you learn how to use the equipment and start your own exercise program. The Nu-steps and treadmill are just waiting for you to give them a try. Our in-house Rehab Facility Ready for Rehab can also help with issues concerning balance and strength. 

The Serenity Prayer [God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference] reminds me at times we really don’t have to accept, “It is, what it is.” Just maybe “what it is” isn’t what it could be. 

Working with Champions at Kirby Pines

November brings so many joys and memories for me. The splendor of the leaves. The crispness of the mornings…Football…Pumpkins (and Pumpkin Pie, my favorite!), Turkey…that extra hour of sleep…Veterans’ Day… and of course, Thanksgiving with Family. Today, I am adding a new one. My gratefulness for the staff who surround me and our Residents here at Kirby Pines! 

Once a month, we celebrate our “Champion of the Month”. This is an hourly employee who has gone above and beyond in the performance of their duties. Nominations come from Residents, peers and the management team who have observed their job performance. I started thinking about who my nomination would be as I was walking out my door at 6:15 am. There, I noticed one of our dedicated Housekeepers, already working on cleaning an apartment who recently housed a visiting family member. “Good Morning! I just wanted to get started early so none of my scheduled residents would be inconvenienced.” Here I am. Trying to walk McCoy before my first cup of coffee, and she is smiling, singing to herself, and on the job, worrying about not missing scheduled times for her next Residents. She could be my Champion! 

Walking, I was reminded of last night’s “Exquisite Cuisine” Event. Mark and Skye did a remarkable event bringing some of my favorite tastes of the Old World to Memphis. But what really struck me was the excitement that Ty, Terra, and Keith had on their face, how professional they looked in their uniforms, knowing that in a few minutes they would be delivering these culinary delights to our residents with amazing pride. Here are my Champions! 

But then, there was the incident around Lake Latimer this month. While a husband was strolling with his wife in a wheelchair, he turned to drop a piece of trash away into the receptacle. With her wheels unlocked, she rolled into the lake, chair and all. Within 2 minutes, Security responded and jumped immediately into the water without hesitation. Caleb’s quick response surely averted what could have been a tragedy! Caleb is truly our “Champion of the Month”! 

What is my message here? With the beginning of the Holiday season, I want to give thanks to all our great employees who come in every day they are scheduled and give their all to their departments and fellow employees, their supervisors, and to me! I…we all are truly blessed to be surrounded by such great employees! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I will see you around the Estate!

Michael Brown,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines