Understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is known as a “silent” disease with no obvious signs or symptoms. Often the first sign of the disease is a potentially debilitating fracture. Osteoporosis is characterized by structural deterioration of bone tissue which causes bones to become porous and fragile.

Currently, about 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Of this number, 80 percent are women. Estimates suggest that about half of all women older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. It is estimated that another 34 million Americans have osteopenia or weak bones which places them at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

Understanding OsteoporosisRisk factors of osteoporosis include gender, race and age. Being female, of Caucasian or Asian descent and older in age all increase the risk of osteoporosis. Family history of osteoporosis and/or personal history of broken bones also play a role. Those that have lower levels of hormones such as estrogen or testosterone or low vitamin D and calcium intake are also at risk. Long-term use of tobacco, alcohol and some medications can also place individuals at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

Three factors essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life are: 1) adequate amounts of calcium, 2) adequate amounts of vitamin D, and 3) regular weight-bearing exercise.

Physical Therapists can instruct on how to maintain proper alignment throughout all mobility including walking and stair management. Physical therapy staff can also provide strengthening programs to assist in the prevention of injuries as well as education on fall prevention,

Occupational Therapists can teach safe and adaptive techniques during self-care tasks such as dressing, bathing and bed mobility to prevent injuries. Occupational therapy staff can also provide adaptive equipment to make daily activities easier and allow for energy conservation.

Please join us July 17th at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on Osteoporosis.

Healthy bone vs porous bone

10 million Americans have it and 44 million are at risk

1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men 50 and older at risk for fracture

Risk Factors



“Memphis” Stands Out on Mud Island

Artist Tylur French

This past May, the final layers of brightly hued paint were being applied to 10-foot steel letters firmly affixed to the ground in the Mud Island River Park.

The installation is 50 feet long, and the foundation supporting all 20,000 pounds of lettering is made of more than 147,000 pounds of concrete.

A quick browse through hashtags such as #memphissign or #mudisland will yield several, if not dozens, of examples of people eager to display their Memphis pride on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Youngblood Studio was chosen for the design by Memphis River Parks Partnership, the same studio responsible for other large-scale projects such as the Broad Avenue water tower and the colorful Bike Gate sculpture that adorns the eastern entrance to Overton Park at Sam Cooper and East Parkway.

“In terms of finish and scale, we knew their work was really going to ‘pop’ on the riverfront,” said Ruby Zielinski, a design strategist with Memphis River Parks Partnership.

Youngblood Studio, Zielinski adds, is “hyperlocal,” employing mostly Memphis-based artists.

The sign has been tested for all weather conditions and seismic durability by A2H planning and design firm.

The designer, Tylur French, said, “This sign isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time.”

The Broad Avenue Water Tower

The Broad Avenue Water Tower

The Overton Park Bike Gate

The Overton Park Bike Gate

Celebrating Summer at Kirby Pines

July is traditionally the month when we begin to think about summer and celebrating America’s independence with family and good friends. This July will be no exception for residents at Kirby Pines Estates.

As part of National Hot Dog Month, the Bistro will be featuring a Hot Dog of the week. What better way to celebrate the opening month of summer than with a meal that is so closely tied to family outings, and the gatherings of friends. In addition, it is an excellent way to entertain a grandchild or a great-grandchild visiting for the day.

If the start of summer weather has you feeling like staying indoors, then why not take a moment to check out a book from the library or better yet, volunteer at Kirby Pines. Living at a life-care retirement community such as Kirby Pines, offers so much more than simply living in comfort. Living here provides you with more time to spend doing the things you enjoy, such as volunteering.

Volunteering brings benefits to both the community at large and the residents who volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It also contributes to making a more cohesive community by building trust and reciprocity among the residents. Call Cheryl Moore in Life Enhancement to find the perfect place for you to volunteer.

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director, Kirby Pines

Acres of Diamonds


Dr. Russell Conwell who founded what is now Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, repeated a story told to him by a tour guide during a trip to Nineveh and Babylon in 1870. Here’s his story.

There was a wealthy Persian farmer named Ali Hafed, owner of a very large farm with orchards, grain fields, and gardens. Hafed was happy and contented. A Buddhist priest visited him and spoke of diamonds with beauty and value beyond belief. He said if Hafed had a handful of diamonds he could purchase a whole country, and with a mine of diamonds, he could place his children upon thrones because of the influence of their vast wealth.

That night Hafed, who had considered himself wealthy and happy, became discontented. He now felt he was poor and needy. Where could he find these diamonds?

The priest told him to look for a river running through white sands between high mountains. There he would find the diamonds.

Hafed sold his farm, left his family in the charge of a neighbor and began the search for his desired treasure. Into Palestine and all through Europe Hafed wandered and searched. At last with his money was gone and failing to find his long-sought diamonds he was in poverty. Standing on the seashore at Barcelona, Hafed, having lost all, cast himself into an outgoing wave and was never seen again.

The man who had bought Hafed’s farm discovered in a stream in his garden a large stone having a light within. He placed it on the mantel inside the farm home.

The priest who had originally spoken to Hafed about diamonds paid a visit to the new owner. He noticed the stone on the mantel and said, “Here is a diamond! Has Hafed returned?” “No,” replied the owner. “I found the stone in a creek running through my land.” Together they went to the garden stream and discovered more stones, “diamonds” bigger than the first one. This discovery led to the establishment of Golconda, one of the richest diamond mines in the world.

In desperation to satisfy his discontent, Ali Hafed had tragically searched the world for what was already in his own back yard. He failed to realize that on his own farm were “acres of diamonds.” This story, repeated hundreds of times in a message Russell Conwell delivered, became a book entitled “Acres Of Diamonds.” Its message is insightful and probing.

Too many times we have discounted our own present wealth and happiness and allowed discontent to upset life. We sell the treasures we own in a vain effort to acquire more. There is never enough! Never!

Priceless diamonds of opportunity are all around us, where we are, now! There may be a diamond of a friendship we can cultivate… or an open door through which we may walk…or a love we can deepen…or a life we could influence.

It’s time we stopped looking for satisfaction somewhere else and start searching our own back yards. If we don’t, sometime someone else will.

Let’s look closely at our acres. Let’s consider carefully who we are, where we are and what we have. As we pick up each diamond we can enrich our lives. Matthew 6:19-21 should be our guide: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:33 can also be a challenge: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Let’s start searching our “acres of diamonds” today!

Resident Spotlight: Bob Shears

Bob Shears

Modesty with a Splash of Humor

A large section of the restaurant was filled with people awaiting the arrival of the “surprise” guest, Bob Shears. The occasion was the celebration of Bob’s 84th birthday, arranged by his step-daughter, Carol Turner. Carol’s devotion to her “step-dad” is obvious by such acts and by the frequent visits she makes to Kirby Pines to visit him.
Each year in June, fathers and grandfathers are honored on a special Sunday. Many men become step-fathers and are successful in being good role models for the children and grandchildren involved. Such is the case of Bob Shears.

At the age of 18, Bob married Charlene Winsett. She had a son whom Bob adopted. Bob and Charlene had one child who died at birth. They were married for 23 years until Charlene’s death.

In 1975, Bob married Sue Treadway and became the step-dad to Carol and her brother, Richard Treadway. Bob and Sue had 43 years together before Sue died from complications of dementia. Bob was Sue’s caregiver 24/7 as long as he could care for her. From his marriage to Sue, Bob has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who affectionately call him “Papa Bob”.
A native Memphian, Bob was the only child born to Elsie and Jack Shears. His parents divorced when Bob was quite young. Despite this, Bob says he had a happy childhood. He had a wonderful grandmother who was a great influence on his life. After Bob was grown, his mother Elsie married Franklin “Dutch” Schroer. Bob remains good friends with his step-dad who is now 95.

In 1952, Bob graduated from Humes High along with, soon to be famous, Elvis Presley. Bob and Elvis remained friends for many years. During high school and following graduation, Bob served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve for a total of eight years. During this time he attended the University of Tennessee and Memphis State University. His first job was auditor for a major department store. Because his job involved travel, Bob made the decision to enter the credit union industry.

In 1997, Bob retired with 28 years of executive experience in various credit unions in Memphis. Those credit unions were for International Harvester, First South Financial Federal (formerly the Navy Base), and The Commercial Appeal. In addition, Bob served as President of the Memphis Chapter of Credit Unions and President of the Tennessee Credit Union Society.

Bob and Sue in 1981
Bob and Sue in 1981

Bob moved to Kirby Pines in May, 2018. His step-father, “Dutch” Schroer, a member of the Discovery Club, had a great influence on Bob’s decision. Previously, Bob lived in a spacious lake-front home in Snow Lake Shores, Mississippi, an incorporated community with approximately 300 homes. When Bob and Sue retired in 1997, they were already living “the good life” there, on “the most beautiful lake in Northern Mississippi. Both Bob and Sue loved to travel and they traveled the world, seeing much of it from the 40 cruises they enjoyed. They were active members of Ashland Methodist Church. Bob continues there and serves as Chairman of Finance and also the Board of Trustees.

After living at Snow Lake Shores for 22 years, Bob decided his experience and leadership skills were needed to make Snow Lake Shores a better place so in 1997, he ran for Mayor and was elected. As Mayor, Bob established a police department and a court system. Through grants, he upgraded the voluntary fire department by having 50 fire hydrants installed as well as replacing the outdated water system. However, after four years, Bob decided to get out of politics but did remain on the Planning Committee.

Bob Shears loves dancing, card games (BEWARE, he is a card shark) and the occasional meal at Tunica with his step-father, Dutch. His love of dancing began at the age of seven when his mother who also loved dancing, took Bob to dances with her. His job was to dance with the ladies who had no partners. Since moving to Kirby Pines, Bob has been responsible for the revival of ballroom dancing. Due to his efforts, a larger group of residents are able to meet twice a week to learn and/or sharpen their dancing skills.

Bob says he enjoys living at Kirby Pines although he misses his former friends, pontoon boat, cat Charlie and all the outdoor activities he enjoyed at Snow Lake Shores. The things he enjoys most about living at Kirby Pines are the number of good friends he has made and the many activities available. “There is always something to do” says Bob. Certainly, he has quickly involved himself in the activities at Kirby. His friendly smile, gentlemanly manner, experience and willingness to help others have made him a “go-to” person. He is truly an asset to our Kirby Pines family.

Thanks to all who are fathers, grandfathers and step-fathers, for your influence and guidance and for making families complete. For those of us who had wonderful fathers, we are thankful for the memories.

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident

How to Keep from Falling

Fall RiskOne out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. If you have a fall or incident, you want to report it to your healthcare provider because it may be an indication of larger problems or issues. Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn, increases their actual risk of falling.

There are many different causes that can contribute to a fall. There are muscular, external, and internal factors. Muscular factors that could contribute to a fall are, the muscles of the legs have become too weak or the muscles of the core aren’t strong enough for balance. Your trunk is the foundation for your posture, balance, and coordinated movement. External factors that can contribute to a fall could be any tripping hazards, distractions, or inadequate support tools such as, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, grab bars, and/or shoes. Internal factors that could contribute to a fall are your vestibular system (inner ear), blood sugar, blood pressure, dehydration, and vision.

Balance Classes at Kirby PinesThere are many ways to prevent falls from happening. Exercise regularly, it is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. You want to ask your doctor/pharmacist to review your medications. They can identify what medicines may cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness. Making your home safer can reduce and tripping hazards. Be sure to add grab bars wherever needed, improve the lighting in your home, repair or remove lose carpets, and you want to be sure to rearrange any furniture and electrical cords that may be in walking paths. Lastly, you want to always take care of yourself and live a healthy lifestyle. You want to have regular vision and hearing checkups, get adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium, exercise regularly and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Preventing falls can help you live a more independent life. If you can prevent a fall you are less likely to have an injury that can prevent you from carrying on your daily activities, such as bathing, cooking, shopping, or just going for a walk.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Lift up a glass of ice cold lemonade and drink to a healthier summer. Hydration for seniors is so important, especially as the temperature rises.

As you age, your body’s fluid reserve becomes smaller, your ability to conserve water is reduced and your thirst sense becomes less acute. These problems can be compounded by chronic illnesses such as diabetes and dementia, and by the use of certain medications.

That normal level of hydration varies widely from person to person. Contrary to the mantra that everyone should drink eight glasses of water every day, Dr. Kenney says there is nothing scientific to back that up. “People misinterpreted that it had to be liquid and it had to be water,” he says.

A person’s diet can greatly affect hydration levels: fruits (especially watermelon), vegetables, and soups are mostly water-based.
In general, larger people need to drink more water, as do athletes and those who perspire heavily, but that may mean more or less than eight glasses a day. “There is no one-size-fits-all remedy,” he says.

Perhaps because of the difficulty in diagnosis, elderly dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization (one of the ten most frequent admitting diagnoses for Medicare hospitalizations, according to the Health Care Financing Administration), and it can be life-threatening if severe enough.


  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness or headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Inability to sweat or produce tears
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low urine output that may result in Urinary Tract Infections
  • Constipation
  • Leg cramps

If you suspect dehydration, you can check for a decrease in skin resilience by pulling up the skin on the back of the hand for a few seconds; if it does not return to normal almost immediately, the person is dehydrated.


To avoid dehydration, a person should take in an adequate amount of fluids during the day; eat healthy, water-content foods such as fruit, vegetables and soups; checks that urine color is light and output adequate (dark urine or infrequency of urination is a classic sign of dehydration). Lemonade, flavored water, decaf coffee and specialty teas are enjoyable ways to add fluids to your diet.

Seniors should drink even when they’re not thirsty. Keeping a water bottle next to the bed or your favorite chair could help.

Mild dehydration can usually be treated by having the person take more fluids by mouth. Generally, it’s best to have the person drink something with some electrolytes, such as a commercial rehydration solution, a sports drink, juice, or even bouillon. But in most cases, even drinking water or tea will help.

With warm weather here, it is time to think “Drink More Water!”

It’s Father’s Day at Kirby Pines

Just as in May, this month we take time to honor another person who greatly influenced who we are today, our dads. Unlike Mother’s Day, which was legislated by Congress in 1914, Father’s Day was not assured an official day until 1972. Regardless of why it took longer to formally recognize a day to honor our fathers in the United States, we at Kirby Pines want to make sure these fine gentlemen are honored on their special day.

In 1972 father’s alone planned for their family’s future needs, but in the last forty years, more and more children have found themselves involved with these plans. As a result, the children of aging parents have often not had a discussion about living wills, advanced care directives, the selection of a general power of attorney, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney or their parent’s financial footing.

Some parents have in fact taken the initiative to include their children in their planning, but many have not. It’s not uncommon for a child to ask us if we have a copy of a will, or life insurance policy, or information about what bank their parents use. Of course, we can only share this information if given the written authorization to do so. So this Father’s Day, consider reviewing those plans you made years ago with your children. Who knows, the plan you developed over the years, my influence their plans for the future.
Happy Father’s Day!

The Will of God?

Bible We have all made choices and decisions that didn’t give us what we thought should happen. Sometimes this has been our fault, sometimes it has been the fault of others, sometimes its simply been the fault of circumstances. But one thing can always be counted on! When we are allowing God to be our source of direction we can surely know it is the right choice.

Rebekah Nolt has illustrated this beautifully in a special way:

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

I have found this true in so many ways in my life.
Here are some scriptures that can truly inspire us to know
how God wants us to live, not only in our senior moments, but

“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living”
– Psalm 116:9

“This is the way, walk in it”
– Isaiah 30:21

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with your God”
– Micah 6:8

“Just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to
please God”
– I Thessalonians 4:1

“Walk in love”
– Ephesians 5:2

“Walk in the Spirit”
– Galatians 5:16

Never question God or His Will. It will be fabulously great for
all of us, all the time.

Walk in Love

Meet Our New Executive Chef Sam Sciara


Please join us in welcoming Sam Sciara, Executive Chef, to Kirby Pines LifeCare Community. A 30-year culinary professional, Sam is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Immediately prior to joining the Kirby Pines family, Sam worked at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Peirce, Florida. Throughout his culinary career, Sam has alternated his work between Memphis and Florida. In Florida Sam worked as an Executive Chef for America Cruise Lines, Bent Tree Country Club, and was an instructor at The Florida Culinary Institute at West Palm Beach; In Memphis, Sam has worked as the Executive Chef at Shaw’s Crab House and was owner/executive chef of Café’ Max for more than a decade. His extensive culinary background will be an added asset to our already exceptional staff.