It’s Mother’s Day at Kirby Pines

It’s that time of the year again, when we take time to salute all mothers with a good old fashion picnic and cookout that includes games, a fishing rodeo, animals to ride and pet, face painting and lots of food. The second Saturday of this month, May 12th, our park-like grounds will be filled with the laughter and love that is generated whenever individuals come together to enjoy family and friends. So whether you’re meeting with other residents under the big tent or have an area under the trees for twenty family members, be sure to let the front desk know you will be attending our annual Mother’s Day Cookout.

It was ninety-eight years ago, in 1914, that Congress passed legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The idea to create a day to honor our mothers is believed to have been first held in 1907 at the request of Anna Jarvis, who asked her church to hold a service in memory of her mother. Anna Jarvis’ simple request to her church to honor her mother remains one of our country’s most celebrated day. Mrs. Jarvis did more than just honor her mother, she reminded us all that we need to make time to honor the women who raise us to be good children, good adults and good citizens.

Some say the predecessor to what we celebrate today as Mother’s Day, was the ancient spring festival dedicated to the Greek goddess Rhea and Roman goddess Cybele, who were known as the “Mothers of the Gods”. However, no matter when you believe this day was first observed, Mother’s Day is a tradition everyone can celebrate at Kirby Pines.

So, make plans to attend our annual Mother’s Day Cookout. This festive occasion is like no other in the Memphis area, and is just one more reason Kirby Pines continues to be voted the Memphis Most!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Month of May Recognizes Arthritis Awareness

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 every day and every night. While no cure for arthritis has been developed yet, much research has allowed medical science to improve its understanding of the causes of arthritis and to develop better treatments including new medications for pain and inflammation relief. 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 bimonthly magazine Arthritis Today, they keep people informed on new products, diet, exercise and medications.

Arthritis affects over 50 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. Four of our exercise classes are sponsored through the Arthritis Foundation: Tai Chi Mondays @ 2 in the PAC, Basic Water Aerobics on Tuesday/Thursdays at 9:30, Sit and Stand Class Tuesday/Thursdays in the PAC at 11 and our Walk with Ease Class offered twice a year. Interest in the Arthritis Foundation exercise programs brought Mary Hand to teach classes at Kirby Pines six years ago. Kirby Pines has since become a flagship organization for the Arthritis Foundation.

In support of the Arthritis Foundation, we are planning a Bake sale on May 23 from 9 to 2 and our own Walk to Cure here at Kirby Pines on May 30 at 10:30. We need your help with 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. Everyone who participates will be eligible for Door prizes, surprises, and refreshments. Please join with our family at Kirby Pines to support the Arthritis Foundation with financial gifts and physical support. This year we have a special invitation to join the Regional Walk to Cure Arthritis at the Redbird Stadium on Saturday morning, June 2nd. Last year Kirby Pines raised over $1000 for the Arthritis Foundation. What a difference we can make when we team up to Walk to Cure Arthritis!

Then and Now

Then and Now at Kirby PinesThe events that capture our thoughts at this season often prompt us to remember history past. We focus on the Person and the places that dramatically changed the world. We wonder what it was that caused people 20 Centuries ago to be so committed in the early days of Christianity. The depth of commitment of the early Chris- tian leaders is remarkable beyond our understanding. Consider the following:

St. Matthew suffered martyrdom by being slain with a sword at a distant city of Ethiopa.
St. Mark expired at Alexandria, after having been cruelly dragged through the streets of that city.
St. Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land of Greece.
St. John was put into a cauldron of boiling oil, but escaped death in a miraculous manner, and was afterward banished to Patmos.
St. Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downward. St. James the Greater was beheaded in Jerusalem.
St. James the Less was thrown from a lofty pinnacle of the temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller’s club.
St. Phillip was hanged up against a pillar at Heiropolis in Phrygia. St. Bartholomew was flayed alive.
St. Andrew was bound to a cross, where he preached to his persecutors until he died.
St. Thomas was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel in the East Indies.
St. Jude was shot to death with arrows.
St. Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded.
St. Barnabas of the Gentiles was stoned to death at Salonica.
St. Paul after various tortures and persecutions was at length beheaded at Rome by the Emperor Nero.

These early disciples and leaders of Christianity had met Someone, heard what He said, witnessed His betrayal, arrest, trial, rejection, crucifixion and resurrection. Their lives were so changed. Their faith was so fixed. Their love was so deep.

Would anyone living in those troubled times and circumstances have been willing to die for what they knew to be a lie? Could they have endured such terrible and painful pressure, and even give their lives in death for what they knew was false? A thousand times “NO!” Christ was alive…without doubt.

Those who loved and followed Christ did so with steadfast dedication. They did not love merely in word, but indeed as well. They literally sealed with their life what they professed with their lips.

Looking at Christ’s sacrificial love and monumental resurrection was motivation to cause them to say with Isaac Watts “Loved so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” (When I Survey)

It’s not just how we come to the Cross and the Empty Tomb, it’s how we leave them.

Would we today follow Christ in such a sacrificial manner? Would history record our dedication like those martyrs in the beginning? If we are not living for Him today we will certainly not die for Him tomorrow.

Let’s be ready now and in all the days ahead to let others see the depth of our commitment and the price we are willing to pay in knowing and following Christ. (Philippians 1:21)

Till next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain

Resident Spotlight: Flo Seward

A Life of Service

Flo Seward at Kirby Pines

Were you fortunate to have a first or second grade teacher who was loving, gentle and comforting? To spend only a few minutes with Flo Seward would convince you that she was such a teacher. Flo taught second grade at Knight Road Elementary for thirty years.

Flo Seward was born in Collierville in 1927 to a family of five daughters. Flo was the middle child and when the fourth daughter was born, she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Buntyn Station. Although this was a temporary arrangement, Flo believes that the influence of her aunt, her experiences and exposures during this time shaped her values for service.

After graduating from high school in Collierville at age 16, Flo chose to attend Montreat Junior College in North Carolina. The missionary teachers there influenced her greatly in her future service to God and others.

Flow at Kirby Pines
Flo as a bride in a Tom Thumb Wedding

After graduation, Flo moved back to Mem- phis, married her high school sweetheart and started her family, eventually having three girls and two boys. Originally work- ing as a secretary in the Sterick Building, Flo realized after her children came, the important role of a teacher. She returned to school at Memphis State University, eventually earning two Masters Degrees in Education.

After 32 years of marriage, Flo and her husband divorced. Her five children had all left home. Feeling the “empty nest syndrome”, Flo contacted the Department of Human Services and became a foster mother of nine little girls over a four year period. A testa- ment to her influence in their lives was apparent when some re- mained in contact. In fact, the first foster child invited Flo to her wedding and insisted that she be in the wedding picture as “my first mother”.

Flo joined the Collierville Methodist Church at age ten and as an adult devoted many hours to teaching Bible classes and singing in the choir. After moving her family to Memphis, she became active in Christ United Methodist Church. Her church involvement there resulted in Flo starting the night circle for working women, a choir for seniors and becoming the tour director for senior excursions. She continues today to work with Diamond Tours in arranging fantastic and inexpensive tours for senior groups.

Perhaps one of the most fulfilling activities for Flo was to become a member of Friendship Force, an organization started by former President Jimmy Carter. The goal of this organization is to build a bridge of peace with foreign countries. Involvement mens living in their homes for several days. This has resulted in Flo traveling to many countries and learning that there are universal feelings and wants for every parent, no matter the country. She has made many lifetime friends and admits that it helped to erase prejudices she formerly held.

Flo with her children, grandchildren and foster child at her mother’s home on Mother’s Day 1963.

A life of service continues for Flo. On Monday, she volunteers at Methodist Germantown Hospital, on Thursday she sings with the First Generation Choir at CUMC. On Friday she tutors two children in reading through a program called Teen Read, sponsored by Germantown Methodist Church.

Before moving to Kirby Pines, Flo was active in the McWherter Senior Citizen Center. During that time, Flo won the Mid-South Talent Contest for singing and was the winner of the city and state Olympic contests. Her trophies are on display at McWherter Senior Center.

We could not leave Flo’s life story without mentioning that she now has seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. These children are her greatest delight.

With all of her talent and experiences, Flow Seward is a valuable and contributing member of the Kirby Pines family. For inspiration, get to know her. At 90 years of age, Flo is still “Flo-ing”.

Consider This

Do you routinely follow an exercise program? — Great! If not, you may want to start. Some of the benefits of regularly exercising include:

Delaying or preventing the onset of disabilities or diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Reducing pain from arthritis.

Helping with anxiety and depression through better sleep and feelings of well-being.

Reducing the risk of falls, the most common cause of nonfatal injuries in adults over age 65.

Getting Started:

Choose an activity that you’ll enjoy and can do regularly and gives the most benefit.

Take into consideration your interests, health, and physical limitations, as well as the ease of accessing the activity. Kirby Pines offers a wide range of classes and a variety of equipment in the Oasis. Schedule time for your new activities: 30 minutes for 5 days quickly add up to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. Incorporate four different types of activities into an exercise regimen, as they provide different health benefits:

Endurance Activities increase the heart rate and breathing. Including walking, jogging or dancing, they help improve the cardiovascular system. Try the NuStep or Bike in the Oasis.

Strength Exercise such as weight training can help build up muscles and reduce age-related muscle loss. The Oasis is fully equipped to build muscle strength.

Stretching Exercises help keep the body flexible and able to move easily. Tai chi and Yoga stretch can make a difference.

Balance Exercises help improve balance, reducing the risk of falls. Water aerobics and the Sit and Stand classes practice balance moves each class.

As each person has different health issues and medications, checking in with a health care provider before beginning is key to preventing injuries.

If you have any questions about the classes we offer or using the equipment, check with Mary Hand in the Oasis.

Changes To Look For at Kirby Pines

Happy Easter everyone! After a slow start to springtime weather, we can at least rejoice that the month began with Easter. Also beginning this month, Medicare will start mailing new cards that do not disclose Social Security numbers.

In an effort to protect against identity theft, Medicare has been preparing to replace everyone’s Medicare card with a new one that includes a unique eleven-digit Medicare identifier – rather than your Social Security number. The agency will begin sending new Medicare cards to all Medicare beneficiaries between April 2018 and April 2019, with the time frame based on each state. The first wave of cards will be mailed from April to June of this year to people living in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Tennessee will not begin to get new Medicare cards until after June 2018.

New cards will come automatically, so there is nothing you need to do, other than to make certain that the Social Security Administration has your current mailing address. Beware of scam artists regarding the new card – there is no cost for the new card and Medicare will not be calling you for your Social Security number or address, or bank account information. Again, new Medicare cards will automatically be mailed to Tennesseans after June 2018.

The new card will not change your benefits and you can use it as soon as you receive it. Once you have received your new Medicare card, please notify the Administration office, as we will need your new eleven digit Medicare identifier to bill Medicare.

10 Important Tips About Foot Care

Proper foot care is essential for older adults because it can help prevent injuries, falls, and complications from chronic diseases like diabetes. Learn how to properly care for your feet so they can continue to take you wherever you need to go.

    1. Be good to your soles. As you age, the muscle tissue in your feet can thin and your nerves may not work effectively. This can lead to loss of feeling in your feet (neuropathy). Use a long-handled mirror – it will extend your reach several inches – to see what you may not feel. Examine the soles of your feet and in-between your toes every day for cuts, blisters, sores or any areas of skin breakdown from moisture. This is especially important if you have diabetes.
    2. Choose the right footwear. Wearing the right footwear can help you keep your balance, prevent falls and reduce the risk of blisters and other injuries. Never purchase shoes that rub or slide around on your heel as you walk – this is a common way to develop blisters that can become more serious sores. Also avoid shoes that are too tight, slick on the bottom, have high heels or pointy toes.
      If you have diabetes or neuropathy, talk with your doctor about prescription orthotics (supports or devices worn in your shoes). You may be eligible for custom orthotics partially covered by Medicare.
    3. Get the right fit. Here are a few suggestions:
      • Visit the shoe store in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen from daily activities.
      • Have a sales associate measure your feet so you can select the correct size. It’s normal for your feet to change sizes slightly as you age.
      • Choose the shoe size that fits your larger foot (it’s common to have one foot that’s bigger than the other).
      • Always try on shoes before you buy them to make sure they fit. A good rule of thumb: your toes should be half an inch from the tips of your shoes when you are standing.
    4. Barefoot isn’t better. When going outdoors, always wear shoes (preferably closed-toe shoes) to prevent cuts, scrapes, and falls. It’s also best to wear shoes as much as possible while indoors to protect your feet.
    5. Keep your toenails in tip-top shape. Trimming your toenails correctly (straight across and no shorter than the tip of your toe) is key for preventing ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes or trouble reaching your feet, see a podiatrist (a physician who specializes in foot care), not a nail salon technician, for regular medical pedicures and nail trimming.
    6. Get the blood flowing. As you age, you may have decreased blood circulation to your feet. To promote healthy circulation:
      • Prop up your feet on a stool or couch when sitting down
      • Wiggle your toes when you sit for long periods of time
      • Stretch daily
      • Give yourself regular foot massages
    7. And, if you smoke, now’s the time to quit. Smoking can affect good circulation in the body.

    8. Keep your feet dry. Change your socks regularly and make sure your feet aren’t damp from sweat or a shower before putting on your shoes.
    9. But not too dry. Keep your feet moisturized to prevent cracking, itching and calluses. Stick with gentle soap and apply cream or lotion daily after your shower or bath.
    10. Fight fungal infections. Prevent athlete’s foot by wearing shoes that fit properly, changing your socks or stockings daily (or whenever they become damp) and applying foot powder each day. If you experience itching or burning, see your podiatrist for treatment.
    11. Visit your podiatrist regularly for foot checks. Your podiatrist can catch problems like bone spurs, hammertoe, neuromas, bunions, warts, ingrown toenails or wounds before they cause more serious problems.

    Please join us April 18th at 1:30 pm in the PAC for our Smart Moves presentation on this topic.

Going Above and Beyond at Kirby Pines

The theme for this year’s Annual Employee Banquet – “May I Help You?” – was meant to recognize job expectations, the services we provide each day of the year and our mission statement.

Kirby Pines has a long history of providing services to senior adults, to their families and to our employees. Similarly, our residents do also. The thousands of volunteer hours worked by residents in various groups at Kir- by Pines provide services that would otherwise be limited. For example: some provide entertainment in all areas of Kirby Pines; others help both residents and employees with their service in the Blossom Shop; and yet others give their time to assist those who are not feeling their best – by going to the grocery store for them or getting their mail. And still others volunteer at area hospitals, food banks, cultural events and churches – thus in their own way answering the question, “May I Help You?”

Over the years we have come to know what it means to help or serve you and, in turn, you have come to find new ways in which we can help and serve; such as providing a wheelchair accessible van, Wi-Fi and culinary bakery delights in the Bistro. We think
at Kirby Pines

of our residents and employees not just as customers, but as members of our family, and this allows us to enhance our service to each one.

Kirby Pines distinguishes itself by going beyond customer service – by offering one another hospitality. What is the difference you ask? Service is a skill and hospitality is an emotional connection to the customer. Simply put, great service means that the food arrived on time, was hot and had great flavor; but great hospitality leaves you with a feeling that our staff was on your side and that the Night of Exquisite Cuisine was memorable.

As we draw near to our thirty-fifth anniversary, rest assured that we are here to help and serve one another.

Resident Spotlight: Jim Anderson

A Man Always on the Move

Jim Anderson at Kirby Pines

Jimmy Charles Anderson was born August 30, 1926, in St. John’s, Michi- gan. His father, Joseph Donald Anderson, was in the hardware business and moved the family to Grand Ledge, Michigan to buy his own store, when at the early age of 47, passed away. His mother, Thelma Smith Anderson who had been a homemaker, ended up going to work at the 10¢ Store in Grand Ledge. She eventually remarried two times and lived to be 96 years old.

Jim attended Grand Ledge High School and joined the Air Force Training Program at Michigan State University when he was called to active duty just after one semester and sent to Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. Here, he was scheduled to begin flight training, when WWII ended. Due to the large number of pilots returning from war, he was transferred to Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, for communications training. He did so well, they kept him on to train others when he was finally approved for flight training at Truax Field in Wisconsin. While there, he was discharged and moved back to Michigan, where he met Shirley Jean Chudley, a girl from down the street. They married July 15, 1948.

In Michigan, his brother had gone to the General Motors Institute (GMI) in Detroit and got Jim a position with Oldsmobile. During this time, Jim studied business administration at GMI and graduated in 1951 while working in the Accounting Department. In 1953 he got a job in sales working on distribution to dealers in 28 zone offices and 27 assembly plants. He then attended a sales training program in 1955 to go to GM’s field organization. In July of 1956, he was transferred to Kansas City, Missouri, where he traveled around the country overseeing sales and distribution.

In September of 1956, he was promoted to District Manager and transferred to Hayes, Kansas. Unfortunately, Hayes, a town relying on agriculture, suffered a three-year drought and no one was purchasing automobiles. By this time, Jim and Shirley had four children and were transferred to St. Joe, Missouri, where they lived in a small apartment. He and the family eventually made it back to Kansas City and bought a house. In 1962, he was promoted to office manager and sent to Dallas, Texas. After Kennedy was assassinated, they moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Jim covered half the country dealing with distribution problems. He traveled during the week and was home on weekends.

He found himself on a flight from Los Angeles, California, back to Lan- sing and realized he was sitting next to the General Sales Manager for Oldsmobile. They spoke the entire flight and two months later, he was promoted to Assistant Zone Manager here in Memphis. Because of his proximity to New Orleans, he was placed in charge of all the convertibles for the Mardi Gras parades. They furnished cars and decals for the Mardi Gras Krewes and had to hire ROTC students from Tulane to serve as “designated drivers”. The convertibles were then sold as “Special Event Cars”.

Jim Anderson at Kirby Pines
Jim’s Third Boston Marathon 1979

In 1973, Jim suffered a slipped disk in his back and had surgery. Part of his rehab was to walk, which eventually led to running. He joined the Memphis Runners Track Club and at age 50 qualified and competed in his first Boston Marathon. He ran it two more times, as well as the New York Marathon.

Eventually, the Memphis zone office ended up moving from Knight Arnold and Mendenhall to Clark Tower on Poplar Avenue and at this point the kids were grown and Shirley worked for an attorney in the same building. In December of 1980, Jim ran on his lunch break to pick up a Christmas gift for Shirley. Upon his return, he was offered the Zone Manager job in Indianapolis, Indiana, so once again, they were off. As Zone Manager in 1985, Jim was in charge of the Indy Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500. That spring, his boss allowed him to move back to the city he and Shirley loved, Kansas City, Missouri on a one year deal. At age 60 Jim retired and the two of them moved to Vail, Colorado.

Shirley and Jim on the Ski Slopes

He and Shirley loved to ski, so Jim took a job selling ski lift tickets, just so the two could have free lift tickets themselves. He then took a job as a cashier at a Beaver Creek restaurant again, for free lift tickets. At this point, Jim had always wanted to drive an 18-wheeler, so he drove a bus between Vail to Beaver Creek and Beaver Creek to Mid- City for free ski passes. When he turned 65, he no longer had to work for the free pass- es. They built a house in 1991 and Shirley passed away in 1999. Jim stayed another year and moved back to Kansas City. One of his daughters lived in Durango, so Jim decided to move to Grand Junction, Colorado to be closer. In 2008 he moved to Germantown, Tennessee, and eventually traveled between the two locations.

In 2012, Jim became a founder of the Farms at Bailey Station and in August of 2016, he decided he no longer wanted to do yard work or house maintenance and moved into Kirby Pines. He is still adjusting but is surrounded by some of his prized possessions. He collects Chinese and Japanese pottery and carousel horses. He has been to six continents and 42 countries, moved 21 times in 51 years, has five grandchildren and seven great grands. Needless to say, he has led a fascinating and full life. So if you have yet to meet Jim, take the time to say hello, he has some stories to tell.

When Tragedy Strikes

We continue to stagger from unexpected tragedies like the Valentine’s Day Florida high school murder of students, teachers and coaches. Another sad reminder of how unstable life can be, another addition to similar events before that found us unprepared. What great grief was felt by the parents who sent their children to school never imagining it would be the last time they would see them alive. Dreams shattered…hopes smashed…the future stolen. Each family walked through its own set of bewildered unbelief at what had taken place. Each one dealt with the sorrow in personal responses that only they could embrace.

Sometimes these circumstances overwhelm and engulf us. How we respond is extremely important.

In another time, somewhat different than these recent events, some other children died. Their circumstances and conclusion were special. Here is their story as related by Ernest Emurian.

“The French liner, ‘S.S. Ville du Havre’, was the most luxurious ship afloat when it sailed from New York in November 1873. Among her passengers was Mrs. H. G. Spafford of Chicago, making the trip with her four children, Maggie, Tanetta, Annie, and Bessie. Mr Spafford, a highly successful businessman, had business commitments and was unable to accompany his family on this voyage, but planned to join them later in France.

At two o’clock on the morning of November 22, 1873, several days out from New York, sailing on quiet Atlantic Ocean waters the Ville du Harve was rammed by an English sailing vessel, the ‘Lochearn.’ In two hours the ship settled to the bottom of the ocean. Two hundred twenty-six passengers were drowned. Among that number were all four of the Spafford children.

Nine days later when the survivors landed at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs. Spafford sent her husband a cablegram of only two words: ‘Saved Alone.’

H. G. Spafford had already gone through one great tragedy. The business matters that prevented him from making the trip with his family were the result of the great Chicago Fire. It had destroyed all his business establishments. Now he struggled with the greater loss of his children.
Spafford booked a ship to Europe to join his wife. On the way over the Captain called Spafford to his cabin and said, ‘I believe we are now passing over the place where the Ville du Harve went down.’

Dare we imagine how he felt. Sleepless, he began to put his thoughts and feelings into words. He wrote five sections that later would become one of the greatest expressions of faith in tragedy that has ever been stated.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

– Living Stories of Famous Hymns, pp. 66-67

Such great faith in deeply troubling moments. Would we have responded in this way? Do we have a trust that would so characterize us amidst such tremendous times? Can we look up regardless of terrible events and say “It Is Well With My Soul?”

We cannot predict when good or bad things will come, but we can claim the Lord’s Presence whenever or whatever it might be.

If we do not walk in right paths under Divine guidance in the usual steps of life we will not find strength and support when our world falls apart. Let’s start now!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Till next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain