By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
Providing personal assistance with activities of daily living and support services such as meals is just not enough for the residents of Deer Path Supportive Living of Huntley, an affordable assisted living community designed for adults 22 to 64 years of age.
So explained Deer Path Administrator Christopher Dale earlier this week to the staff of BMA Management.
The community is located northwest of Chicago in Kane County, Illinois. It is one of the 37 assisted living communities that we manage. Most of our communities are designed to serve older adults. The average age is approximately 84.
The older adults we serve have had the opportunity to age naturally. They have had careers and raised families. They are able to come to an understanding of what their life is all about.
At Deer Path, the average age of our residents is 54, Christopher said. The youngest is 22 and the oldest is 62. About half of the residents have lived with a physical disability since birth and about half have had something happen to them in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.
For the second half, life usually changed suddenly.
Christopher talked about a resident who is in her early fifties. She was working and volunteering and had a five-year-old daughter. She had a stroke in her car on her way to work. She lost her ability to walk and talk. She lost her job. Her husband left her, and she lost custody of her daughter.
He talked about a resident who probably could take apart and put back together a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine with his eyes closed. He was T-Boned by a drunk driver.
Many of our residents are adjusting to the fact that they have a physical disability. They are going through the five stages of grief and loss.
In addition, many have not lived in a setting where there are so many opportunities for socialization so readily available.
We spend a lot of time counseling residents. We help them with their social skills and coach them on how to develop healthy relationships.
We have added a life skills curriculum, provide alcohol information, and have our own AA group.
We offer a Life Tree Café, which conducts programs on topics such as how to look past your past.
We do Tai Chi and are going to be offering meditation.
Many of our activities are directed by the residents.
Our goals are to give people hope and help them understand that there is life to be had beyond their disability.
We have a resident in his early sixties who was being cared for by his father who is in his early 90s.
We have another resident whose parents had never been on a vacation because of their caregiving responsibilities and because they never found a place before Deer Path that they felt was safe enough for their son. They were able to spend a couple of weeks in Tuscany.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
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