Drink More Water!

Stay Hydrated and Stay Well!

man drinking water

Did you know water covers 70 % of the earth’s surface and makes up about 50 to 60% of your body? These are old facts, but 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, loss of blood 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. As we age, we are less aware of our thirst, and our ability to regulate our body’s fluid balance through our kidneys decreases. 

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, which reduces the risk of urinary tract infections. 

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 six 8-ounce glasses of water. 

woman holding a yoga mat

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking water: 

If you don’t like the taste of water, try flavored water that is available in almost every flavor from Pink lemonade to Mango- Kiwi-lime. Water from the tap with a little ice and a spritz of juice, makes a refreshing beverage. My favorite refresher is a little cranberry juice in a tall glass of water. Also, a little squeeze of lime or lemon in water can be very refreshing on these warm summer days. 

Avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas since caffeine dehydrates your system. 

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


Make a Plan This 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 formerly 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!

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

We Need Less Self-Centeredness and More Self-Love

Do you remember Narcissus, the character from Greek mythology? Narcissus was a youth who was gazing at his reflection in a well one day. The more he stared, the more enamored of himself he became. He fell in love with himself, forgot about everything else, tumbled into the water and drowned.

I maintain that was not self love – certainly not in the healthy sense of that word. It was self-centeredness, and that is always destructive. We could all do with less self-centeredness. Life will never work very well on that basis. The world was created to function in a God-centered way and nothing will work out very well until we understand that and cooperate with that. 

One day Lady Astor said to Winston Churchill, “Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife I’d poison your tea.” He replied, “Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it.”

There are always people around who will bring us down to size. What we need is to be brought up to size. That’s what Jesus is seeking to do… to bring us up to size. Can you believe it? God notes even the fall of sparrows, and we are more important than a sparrow. What a powerful way He put it “Even the hairs on your head are all counted?”

We don’t have to worry if we know that we are important to God.

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month

Rachelle Smith

Baker for Culinary Services

Describe your family: I have a lovely daughter & granddaughter and my parents are still living.

Describe yourself in five words: Dependable, knowledgable, trustworthy, hardworking & kind. 

What do you do for fun: Travel and have cookouts with family. 

What are some of your hobbies: Collecting cookbooks. 

What is your favorite thing about your job: I love baking different and challenging desserts. 

What is your favorite food: Grilled meats & vegetables. 

What is your favorite song: I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston.

What is something you are proud of: I graduated from culinary school and doing something I love.

What would you like people to know about you: I enjoy helping people if I can.

Rachelle Smith is the consummate team player. She is always willing to do what is necessary to help the Residents out no matter the circumstances. Between the amazing cakes, delicious pies and outstanding work ethic, Rachelle is a pleasure to have on our team. 

– Mark Simpson, Director of Culinary Services

Meet the New Commander of the Ridgeway Police Precinct

Colonel John D. Smith isn’t just the new Commander at the Ridgeway Station, where Kirby Pines is located, he used to be a member of the Kirby Pines family. During high school, Colonel Smith worked in dietary as a dishwasher. He attended and played football for Kirby High School and graduated in 1989. He is a veteran of the Navy and Navy Reserves, retiring after 25 years as a Lieutenant. He joined the Memphis Police Department in 1995 and was just appointed Commander of the Ridgeway precinct in March.

Colonel Smith is pictured here with a custom 1999 Harley Davidson designed by Joe B. Reed. Joe was inspired by his love of motorcycles, airplanes and Memphis so he created this motorcycle version of “Memphis Belle”. Joe died in 2021 but as a tribute to both Joe and the Memphis Belle, it is now touring for display, photography and memorializing the Memphis Belle trivia around Memphis.

Resident Spotlight: Anne Carter


Anne Carter (nee Greer) has had a life quite different from most women. In addition to being a nurse, a wife, and a mother, she spent thirty years as a medical missionary in Africa along with her physician husband, Dr. Louis Carter and children. Their experiences in preparing for and working in Africa are extensive. However, in honor of Mother’s Day, the story of how Anne became a mother follows:

“My husband and I moved to Dallas, Texas, following his completion of medical school at the University of Tennessee. After five years of remaining childless, we decided to apply for adoption.

“The application for adoption in Texas was thorough. There were lengthy forms to complete, eight references, and an office and a home visit required. In preparing for the home visit, I scrubbed the house as if I were preparing for surgery! Just before the case worker was expected, she phoned letting us know that ‘Dr. Carter is expected to be there, too.’ I said, ‘No, he is at work.’ She insisted it was necessary that he be there. Louis was at the hospital and had been there for the past 36 hours. Shortly after the case worker arrived, a very tired Louis also arrived. It didn’t take long for Louis to drop off to sleep. He even snored! I knew that our hopes for adoption were ended. Nevertheless, I prepared a nursery during the nine months to one-year waiting time, just in case. 

“One day, about a year after our interview, I received a phone call from the adoption agency. A voice said, ‘Mrs. Carter, you have a baby boy in Fort Worth. Can you and Dr. Carter pick him up today at 3 o’clock?’ ‘TODAY?’ I said. ‘Yes,’ she responded as if there were no options. Louis was at work, so I called Louis with the news. I was stunned by his response. ‘Do you think we should take this baby?’ a shocked Louis asked. I answered, ‘What do you mean? Of course, we should take him!’ Despite many hurdles and events that occurred that day, we were able to get to Fort Worth and bring home our nine-day-old son, David.

“We were told that the adoption agency preferred to wait two years before another adoption. However, because we were planning to leave for Africa in two years, we were told to apply in one year. When David was one year old, I called the adoption agency and was told that because of the law legalizing abortion, fewer babies were available. So Louis and I decided we were a family of three and were thankful for that.

“We had received permission to serve in Nigeria. Before we could leave, it was necessary to complete all the plans, and in addition, Louis was to take the surgery boards. One day in September, Louis had an errand in Fort Worth, and we decided to take David by the adoption agency. While there, we were asked if we would like to fill out papers for another child. I said, ‘I know you don’t have enough babies now.’ She was insistent, saying, ‘Oh, we don’t think one child makes a home.’ Well, I thought, it sure made ours! I took the papers, planning to ignore them. Later the agency called letting me know they were expecting those papers, so I completed them and rounded up the referrals that were required. We were so busy making plans for Africa, I forgot about the adoption papers, believing that there was no way we would get a baby before we left for Africa.

“On Friday, December 28th at 4 p.m., I received a phone call and a voice said, ‘Mrs. Carter, you have a baby girl.’ SHOCK! I had nothing prepared and asked to delay picking her up. She replied, ‘Well, be sure and pick her up by the 31st so you will get a tax deduction.’ With the help of friends and panic shopping, I was able to assemble the basic items needed. We happily picked up our 11-day-old daughter, Laney, and continued making our plans for Africa.”

The move to Africa was possible through the Carters’ appeal to many sources and the help of many people. The shock of arriving in Africa was lessened because of a prior visit. However, this trip, according to Anne, had the added “joy” of traveling with a baby and a small child. 

Yes, the Carters’ 30 years of serving in Africa were filled with stories and adventures worthy of a book. For example, shortly after their arrival, Laney became ill with malaria and almost died. Another time, while serving in an area with poor schools, the Carters had to send their children to a boarding school 400 miles away from home. A friend flew them once a month to visit the children, but it was very traumatic to all. Anne says, “Each time we left, we had to leave an almost hysterical daughter.” They eventually moved to a location where the children were able to attend a great school. Today, David and Laney are doing well and in frequent contact with Anne. 

The Carters visited Kirby Pines in early December 2021. Unfortunately, Louis died on Christmas Day. Anne moved to Kirby in July 2022. She is still making adjustments to her changed lifestyle but says that the friendliness of everyone makes her feel welcome.

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident, Kirby Pines.

Celebrating Better Hearing & Speech

May is a special month for all of us who value the power of speech, the magic of hearing and the pleasure of eating and drinking. That’s right, folks, May is Better Hearing and Speech Month! A time when we can all come together and celebrate the importance of healthy communication, hearing, and swallowing. 

Did you know? Speech Therapists and Audiologists are the professionals who assist those who may be struggling with communication, cognition, eating safely, and hearing deficits. But why limit the festivities to just one month? After all, speech, hearing, and eating are important all year round! 

Here’s a list of fun ways to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month any time of year: 

Play a Game! A communication-themed game, such as Pictionary, Taboo, Headbanz, Boggle, Scrabble, or The Mind, are great for challenging your communications skills. They require you to express yourself clearly, actively listen, and problem solve to win! Not to mention, playing as a group incorporates an important social aspect as well! 

Host a Karaoke Party! Singing is a great way to exercise your vocal cords and improve your speech. Whether you are belting out your favorite tune or singing in the shower, make some time for music this month! Who knows – you may discover a hidden talent! 

Try New Foods! Believe it or not, trying new foods and drinks can improve your hearing! That’s right – eating can improve your HEARING! Certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, can help protect your ears from damage. So, challenge yourself to try new and healthy foods this month. FYI – National Lemonade and Apple Pie Day are also in May. There are TONS of different lemonade flavors to try – roasted peach, lavender thyme, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry mint – so this might be a great place to start! 

Communication is the essence of human life”. 

-Janice Light

Practice Mindful Listening At its most basic sense, mindful listening is taking time to experience what we are hearing in the moment. It’s about being present and patient. Put aside distractions and set your intentions to completely in the moment. Take a breath and take in the sounds around you – birds chirping, wind rustling the trees, laughter. Mindful listening supports being more present – listening is a discipline that takes time and practice. 

While Better Hearing and Speech Month is officially celebrated one month out of the year, we can celebrate our ability to speak and communicate, eat and enjoy the foods and drinks we love, cognition and brain health year-round. If you are struggling with any of these items, or have concerns about them, please contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team for guidance. 

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you cannot utter”. 

-James Earl Jones

May is Arthritis Awareness Months

It’s odd to say Arthritis Awareness, because if you have one of the over 100 medical conditions that fall under the diagnosis of Arthritis you are probably aware of arthritis everyday and every night. While no cure for arthritis has been developed yet, with much research, medical science has improved its understanding for the causes of arthritis and better treatments including new medications for pain and inflammation relief have been developed. Exercise that emphasizes stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular has an important role in the improvement and continuing function of daily activities. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors research, educational programs, exercise programs, public awareness and advocacy efforts in Congress. Through their Live Yes Program, The Arthritis Foundation offers several resources and virtual events to help people manage their disease and live their best life with arthritis by keeping people informed on new products, diet, exercise and medications. 

Arthritis affects over 54 million people in the US and two-thirds are under the age of 65. Over 300,000 families deal with arthritis in children under the age of 16. The Arthritis Foundation has been fighting juvenile arthritis and supporting families for more than 60 years. Every year they invest more than $4.5 million in outreach and research that advances treatments and will lead to a cure. 

In support of the Arthritis Foundation, we are planning a Bake Sale on Friday, May 19 from 10 to 1 and our own Walk to Cure here at Kirby Pines on Friday, May 26 at 10:30. We need your help. Baked goods for the sale, volunteers to run the sale, and customers to purchase our delicious offerings. Then on the day of our walk we will need volunteers to help at our registration table and walkers to participate. We will have a course marked for around the lake and another course for inside walkers. Water and healthy refreshments will be served following the walk. Please join with our family at Kirby Pines to support the Arthritis Foundation with financial gifts and physical support. 

Last year we raised over $1000 for the Arthritis Foundation. We can make a difference when we team up to Walk to Cure Arthritis. Let’s show our support physically and financially. 

How can you help? Here is what we need: 

May 19th – Bakers and bringers of goodies, helpers for set up and sales, and customers. 

Participants for the walk on May 26th. Sign up with Resident Programs or by email at programs@nullkirbypines.com 

Contributors and supporters 

Volunteers to help with registration and serving refreshments for the walk at Kirby Pines May 26th. 

Thank you for making this fundraiser a success every year.

The Mother’s Day Cookout at Kirby Pines

There are numerous studies that indicate living in a social setting, among friends, can add years to one’s life. The social interaction, companionship and amenities available at Kirby Pines are designed to enrich the lives of each and every resident. One of our largest social events is our Annual Mother’s Day Cookout. 

Those of you, who have previously attended this annual event, know that there is no other cookout like this one in the Memphis area. Begun more than two decades ago, the Kirby Pines Mother’s Day cookout is a tribute to those wonderful women who raised us through childhood, taught us to be good adults, and gave us the love and direction that make us uniquely different form one another. 

It is an event that brings residents, families and employees together to enjoy good company and food, in a social setting, under the trees on our park like campus. Individuals between one to one hundred years old, can be seen with big broad smiles on their faces, enjoying the bar-b-que chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and sliced iced cold watermelon. 

While children seem to especially like the pony rides, balloons and bounce house, their parents seem to enjoy the opportunity to spend time with other family members. So be sure to make plans now to attend this annual event on Saturday, May 13 between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. There are no limits on the number of guests you may invite, just as long as you tell them to come prepared to smile, laugh, love one another and most of all, spend this day to honor their mothers. 

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

Finish Thy New Creation

It is obvious to us. Hardly a week passes that we aren’t reminded of death. If you have not done so, you need to think about, plan and talk to your family about your funeral. Jerry and I have been doing that, meeting with a funeral home and talking to our children. 

We have decided on some of the content of our funeral worship services. I am requesting that Charles Wesley’s, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, be one of the hymns sung. The final stanza expresses my prayer for my life with God now and in eternity. 

Finish, then, thy new creation; 
pure and spotless let us be. 
Let us see thy great salvation 
perfectly restored in thee. 
Changed from glory into glory, 
till in heav’n we take our place, 
till we cast our crowns before thee, 
lost in wonder, love and praise. 

During this Easter season we need to spend time thinking about the resurrection and eternal life. Paul gave powerful witness to it. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer lives, Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) To be a Christian is to change. It is to become new. It is not simply a matter of choosing a new lifestyle, though there is a new style. It has to do with being a new person. The new person does not emerge full-blown. Conversion, passing from death to life, may be the miracle of a moment, but being Christ’s new person is the task of a lifetime. 

We who are a part of the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition talk about this in terms of going on to salvation. The fullness of salvation comes in the resurrection as our new life continues with the Father. Read again the stanza from my “funeral hymn;” you may want to make that your prayer as I have made it mine.

Happy Easter!

-Maxie Dunnam