Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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With so many senior living facilities popping up all over Lexington, anyone looking for a place for their aging loved one certainly wants to focus on the aspects that make a particular property stand out.

Tracy Byrne, Community Relations Manager at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, believe she knows just what distinguishes this senior care community from all the other offerings out there.

“What differentiates us from any other place is the approach used here,” she said. “We use the Best Friends Approach™. The Best Friends Approach™ uses the individual’s life story to provide a more dignified, purposeful, engaging life. We tailor our activities to that person’s life and really focus on their beliefs and their spirituality. That’s very important.”

“In school I had studied the Best Friends Approach™ so it was so exciting for me to see it in action,” said Executive Director Dianne Huestis. “Best Friends™ is primary here.”

Byrne says making people with dementia comfortable is an essential element at Bridgepointe. Knowing their life stories – their family history, their adventures, their former careers and civic activities – makes it easier to offer care to them. “I don’t feel you could give as good care if you don’t know someone,” she said. “Those long-term memories are the last to go. Just being familiar with the town they grew up in or their


mom’s name makes a difference. So that’s what we do: We honor and we celebrate their lives. We don’t focus on what they have lost; we celebrate what they still have.”

Another beneficial aspect of Bridgepointe is the Adult Day Center housed in the facility, which also employs the Best Friends Approach™ in its activities and structure. You do not have to be a resident of Bridgepointe to enjoy the Day Center. It is designed to serve seniors needing assistance with daily living due to physical or mental impairments. Volunteers and experienced professionals make sure participants feel safe and have an enjoyable, stimulating day. Everyone learns about the participant’s life story and each person has a particular Best Friend who interacts with them while they’re there. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Transportation to and from the center is available.

“It’s wonderful,” Tracy said. “It allows families to keep their loved one at home longer, and it’s also a very good transition tool to a residential stay, kind of like a stepping stone for the person living with dementia who may end up living here. It’s good for the family, too.

Bridgepointe on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 6-7 p.m. to help individuals in the community cope with the challenges of the disease.


Located just south of Lexington in Brannon Crossing, Bridgepointe operates under the umbrella of Christian Care Communities (www.christiancarecommunities.org), the largest faith-based non-profit serving seniors in Kentucky. Christian Care has been caring for seniors since 1884 and has several properties throughout the state, including Louisville, Midway and Bowling Green.

Bridgepointe has 72 apartments, 53 of which are memory care. These include one-bedroom and studio apartments, all with wall-to-wall carpet and furnished with a hospital-grade bed, an armoire and a kitchenette with a microwave and full-size refrigerator. Step-in showers with safety bars and an emergency call system help ensure residents’ well-being. Balancing independence and support, residents in assisted care receive personal assistance with activities of daily living, medication reminders and housekeeping and laundry services. Licensed nurses are on hand 24/7.

Realizing the importance of keeping older adults active and engaged, Bridgepointe schedules group outings and exercise programs for residents, including yoga and tai chi. And spirituality is enhanced with chaplain-led Bible studies and weekly worship services. The entire community is elegantly appointed and beautifully decorated with an inviting fireplace in the living room, an outdoor patio for al fresco dining and a sunroom.

Bridgepointe’s dedicated staff makes a big difference, too. All have been trained in the Best Friends Approach™; there are four master trainers at Bridgepointe.

“We have a really great staff,” Tracy said. “All of our aides are state registered, and the love they have for the residents here is so evident. When you work in any sort of memory care, you’re not doing it for a check or anything; you’re doing it for the love of that individual and to make their life a little bit better. A lot of our staff feel they get more out of it than they give.”

The campus is well-kept and warm and inviting; the Memory Care section even has a secure outdoor garden for residents to enjoy.

“Our physical plant is beautiful,” Dianne said. “It does not feel like an institution. It truly feels like a home. This is a blessing to me. I just know I was brought here.”

You are invited to take a personal tour of Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods to see for yourself how exciting and appealing life there can be.  


Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler