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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Heritage Woods: A Blessing for Genoa Family

September 18th, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

When her parents health continued to decline, Amy Hueber knew they could no longer live on their own.

She began researching alternatives and found Heritage Woods of DeKalb, an affordable assisted living community managed by BMA that is not too far from where they lived in Genoa.

Dixie and Arden Awe moved in this summer; it has taken a huge burden off of them and their daughter.

“I was overwhelmed,” Dixie said, “and I needed something more than what I had where we were living – supportiveness for Arden and myself – and it’s here.”

The support system comes in the form of medication assistance, meal preparation, help with daily activities, ongoing health monitoring and certified nursing assistants that are available 24 hours a day.

“Knowing that there is nothing to worry about, that they can push a button and somebody can come to their aid anytime – day or night – is very reassuring,” Amy said.

Dixie appreciates the busy social calendar that is available to residents. They can play bingo, make crafts, attend church services at the community and go on outings together.

The staff and other residents at the community have helped ease the transition to their new home, and every day, Dixie says, the couple realizes how lucky they are to have a place like Heritage Woods to call home in their golden years.

“Heritage Woods is a blessing,” an emotional Dixie explained, “It’s a place between home and the rest of the journey.”


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.”

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

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The $s and Sense of Affordable Assisted Living

September 11th, 2014

By Rod Burkett, President and CEO of BMA Management, Ltd.

The need to develop and operate affordable assisted living and memory care communities is tremendous.

• Currently, 40% to 60% of those individuals of an age when they are most likely to need assisted living or memory care lack the financial resources to afford the monthly fees charged by most of the communities in operation or under development.

• Looking to the future, reports indicate that the Baby Boomers will have significantly less financial resources available to them in their retirement years than their parents.

Heritage Woods of Gurnee Exterior
Affordable assisted living community
serves seniors of all incomes

In a Blog posted last week, Arianna Huffington noted that more than one-third of workers here in the United States have less than $1,000 in retirement savings and more than half have less than $25,000. Nearly three out of every five workers in the U.S. say they have debt problems.

The information comes from a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). They do not include any value that workers might have in a home that they own.

In the Blog, Arianna cited another study that indicates that among the middle class here in the U.S., nearly half will be poor or almost poor in retirement.

According to MetLife in its most recent survey of long-term care costs, the average monthly base rate for assisted living nationally tops $3,500, or more than $42,000 a year.

The rates vary considerably from one part of the country to another. For instance, the average base rate in Connecticut was more than $4,900 a month; in Illinois and California, it was more than $3,850; and in Arizona, it was less than $3,200 a month. The highest average base rate was in our nation’s capital Washington, D.C., where it was more than $5,900 a month.

These figures do not include any additional charges for services that may not be part of the base rate such as medication management or administration; bathing and dressing assistance; and personal assistance with transferring, toileting, eating and continence care.

The good news is that assisted living can be much more cost effective than a nursing home and more cost-effective than home health care, depending on the intensity and frequency of the services that a person needs.

Nationally, the average base rate for a private apartment in assisted living is nearly 50% less than the cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home. The cost of three hours a day of home health care, which is cited as the national average, adds up to more than $1,900 a month. This figure does not include all of the other living expenses that are usually included in the base rate for assisted living. Property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs for homeowners; rent; food; utilities; and emergency alert system tend to be among the biggest costs.

What all of this tells me is that there is a large growing need for affordable assisted living and memory care communities that can appeal to as broad of a socio-economic base of prospects as possible. This includes communities that can serve individuals who receive financial assistance through a Medicaid-waiver program for assisted living similar to the one in Illinois.

From our experience as the national leader in developing and operating affordable assisted living communities, charging lower fees for assisted living and memory care and accepting residents on a Medicaid-waiver does not have to mean sacrificing quality in those things that matter most to residents and their families.

It also does not mean sacrificing an appealing bottom line. Our assisted living and memory care communities are known for having the highest occupancy rates and strongest operating margins.

If you are considering an assisted living or memory care community for yourself or for a loved one, we invite you to take a close look at the communities we operate.

NIC) National Conference in Chicago or talk by phone. To arrange an opportunity, call Christine Cousin at BMA at 815-935-1992, ext. 221, or e-mail her at christine.counsin@bma-mgmt.com.


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.”

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

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The Ideal Way to Die

September 4th, 2014

By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.

Betty White

I have to admit it. I fell for it.

I quickly read the headline and began plotting out in my mind the Blog I was going to write about the life and death of Betty White.

She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922. My pediatrician, Dr. Raycraft, had his office in Oak Park.

She starred with Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan in the “Golden Girls” when she was in her 60s. Her TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” premiered in 2010, when she was 88 years old. Also in 2010, she became the oldest person to host “Saturday Night Live.”

In 2013, she was honored by Guinness World Record for being the female entertainer with the longest television career.

This past July 18, Betty became the oldest person to be nominated for an Emmy. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that Betty was nominated as Outstanding Reality Host for her NBC television show “Betty White”s Off Their Rockers.” Let’s not forget about Betty’s Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball spoof to promote her Off Their Rockers show.

I also began thinking about Dan Buettner and his study of the secrets of leading a long and healthy life and about a Blog that I wrote earlier this summer on “Talking about Death Much Earlier in Life.” The Blog focused on a presentation by Katy Butler, an award-winning journalist and author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death.”

Of course, the headline about Betty on the Empire News story should have been a dead giveaway: “Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully in Her Los Angeles Home”. The story reveals that Betty is not a natural blonde. The brunette has been peacefully dying her hair all these years in her home.

Here is wishing Betty many more years of being able to live life to its fullest and of being an excellent role model on how to age well. I hope that when she does die that it is peacefully and in the comfort of her home.


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.”

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Debunking the Notion that People Hate Change

August 28th, 2014

By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.

Roger E. Breisch profile & logo

The idea that people hate change is wrong, Roger E. Breisch told those of us in attendance at an “Identifying Barriers to Creativity” workshop that he conducted last week.

People Love Change.

To illustrate, Roger held up a device that all of us in the room have. It used to be nothing more than a mobile phone. Today, my iPhone enables me to take pictures; connect to the Internet; access my e-mail, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter accounts; check my calendar and the weather; and get directions to where I want to go.

We rush out to be among the first to change from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5.

My alma mater, Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois, introduced iPad learning last year.

No matter how much we have come to love the old, we welcome the opportunity to try new restaurants, listen to new songs, and try new and improved products.

During a phone conversation with my mother earlier this week, she reminded me about how years ago she was totally against air conditioning. In her opinion back then, we simply didn’t need it. Now, with the Chicago area having one of the few stretches of hot and humid weather that we have had all summer, she is so thankful that my father had air conditioning installed in the house.

What people hate, Roger said, is being changed. They hate the loss of control.

Roger speaks, conducts workshops and publishes Blogs and other written materials that are designed to help people open up new possibilities in their lives, their businesses and the organizations they are involved in by Asking Questions that Matter.

Part of our challenge when it comes to working with older adults is that they are being changed by sudden and dramatic changes in their health; by the onset of chronic health conditions; and by the loss of employment, a spouse and friends.

They hate that they are losing control because of changes that are occurring in their lives.

They often believe, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that a move to senior living, assisted living or memory care will mean a loss of independence and control.

They perceive, even though they have not yet made a visit, that senior living, assisted living and memory care are just fancy names for a nursing home.

They are of the mindset that, no matter what, the only way I am leaving the house is in a horizontal position.

They view the efforts of their concerned adult children to move them into senior living, assisted living or memory care as another sign that they are losing control.

I have the privilege of experiencing the ways senior living, assisted living and memory makes a difference in the lives of older adults and their families each and every time I visit one of the 37 communities that BMA manages.

I hear from residents about how they love the change they made. Often, their only regret is why did I wait so long to make the move.

As Roger said, people love change. They hate being changed and losing control.

Follow Roger E. Breisch on
Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube


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.”

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Don’t Have a Stroke, People

August 21st, 2014

By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.

Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke, Rochie Estrella told those of us attending an informational program about Stroke Awareness and Prevention held earlier this week at the Heritage Woods of Gurnee affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Lake County, Illinois.

Rochie is a registered nurse and Stroke Coordinator for Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan. The medical center is the first hospital in Northern Lake County to be accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center.

Rochie and the hospital are making a big push to get information out into the community so people are aware of what they can do to reduce their risk of a stroke, what the symptoms of a stroke are, and the importance of getting to a hospital and getting treatment right away.

Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in our country and are a leading cause of physical and mental disability. They can happen to anybody at any time. Women are at a greater risk of suffering a stroke than men.

Rochie explained that there are three different kinds of stroke.

TIAs or Transient Ischemic Attacks are often referred to as mini-strokes. They occur when an artery leading to the brain or an artery in the brain becomes blocked for a short period of time. While the material that Rochie distributed from the National Stroke Association notes that they do not cause any permanent damage, they can be a warning sign of the possibility of a more serious stroke and should not be ignored. Possible symptoms include numbness, trouble speaking and loss of balance or coordination.

Ischemic Strokes are the most common type of stroke. They occur in one of two ways. A blood clot or plaque fragment from somewhere in your body moves through your blood stream to your brain and blocks a blood vessel. Or, a blood clot forms in an artery that supplies blood to your brain, which interrupts blood flow and the supply of oxygen to your brain.

Hemorrhagic Strokes occur when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. The bleeding causes brain cells to die. High blood pressure and brain aneurysms are common reasons for a hemorrhagic stroke.

Rochie talked to us about the warnings signs of a stroke. They include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking; sudden dizziness; or a sudden loss of balance. Symptoms can also include sudden severe headaches with no known cause.

With a stroke, every minute counts, Rochie said, so she urged us to think and act FAST.

Face — Look for any facial drooping; an uneven smile.

Arm — Check for any kind of arm numbness, tingling or weakness. This also applies to the legs.

Speech — Look for any kind of slurring, difficulty speaking or understanding.

Time — You always want to call 911 and get to a hospital immediately. Be sure to write down the time the symptoms first started. This is valuable information for those treating someone suffering from a stroke to have.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of a stroke, also be sure to let a family member or caregiver know right away.

Rochie also provided us with ways that you can reduce your risk of suffering a stroke. They include the following:

See your doctor regularly. Have your doctor check your blood, medications and vital signs.

Take your medications when and as prescribed. Don’t stop taking your medications because you are feeling better.

Exercise regularly, about 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

Eat a healthy diet.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Don’t smoke. If you do, quit. Smoking can narrow your blood vessels.

Check your blood pressure regularly. High blood pressure is a risk factor for strokes.

Maintain appropriate cholesterol levels. High levels of bad cholesterol can cause the build-up of plaque and narrowing of blood vessels.

To learn more, you can visit www.strokeassociation.org or www.stroke.org.


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.”

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

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