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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Celebrating Affordable Assisted Living in Illinois

April 17th, 2014

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

AALC Supportive Living Week 2014 - It's A Wonderful Life (Logo)

Next week, April 21 through 26, is Supportive Living Week in Illinois. Affordable assisted living communities throughout the state will be celebrating the success of the Illinois Supportive Living program, which serves as a model for affordable assisted living for the rest of the country.

The program “is the missing piece which is between living alone or going to a nursing home,” say Edward and Mary Jane Marrs, who are residents of Heritage Woods of Yorkville, a BMA Management affordable assisted living community in Kendall County, Illinois. It is a “blessing for seniors.”

Seniors and adults 22 to 64 with physical disabilities of virtually any income can benefit from the program. It is especially designed to benefit low-income individuals, including those on Medicaid or who only receive Social Security benefits.

Personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality are emphasized.

The BMA communities that participate in the program combine residential apartment-style housing with personal assistance, help with medications and such support services as three meals a day, housekeeping and laundry.

“I enjoy being able to maintain my freedom, independence and make my own choices, yet there are wonderful neighbors and staff here to support me when I need them,” says Heritage Woods of Chicago resident Patricia Black.

Currently, there are 143 Supportive Living communities in more than 70 counties in Illinois. Together, they house more than 11,500 apartments.

Of the 37 senior living and assisted living communities that BMA manages, 36 operate through the Supportive Living program.

AALC Logo

The Supportive Living Week celebration is the premiere event of the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC), a not-for-profit organization that represents individuals and companies that develop and operate affordable assisted living communities that participate in the Supportive Living program.

Throughout Supportive Living Week, BMA communities will be hosting special events and Open House, many of which are open to the public. We invite you to attend.

The events include the following (more information can be found on each of the communities’ websites):

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cambridge House of Swansea
Balloon Launch | 10:30 a.m.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
1920s Tribute | 10:30 a.m.
St. Teresa High School Jazz Band | 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Great Gatsby | 7:00 p.m.

Grand Prairie of Macomb
Music Therapy | 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Belvidere
Big Bob Coleman Magic Show | 10:00 a.m.

Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook
Texas Hoedown with The Singing Cowboy Rick Pickren | 2:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Centralia
Balloon Launch | 12:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Chicago
Balloon Launch | 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb
Resident Art Showcase | 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Flora
Balloon Launch | 11:00 a.m.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
1930s Musical Tribute with music of Bath Tub Gun | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
Balloon Launch | 9:00 a.m.

Heritage Woods of Moline
Bingo | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Rockford
Bingo on Board | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of South Elgin
Ice Cream Social | 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

John Evans of Pekin
Central Illinois Banjo Club | 2:00 p.m.

Prairie Winds of Urbana
Balloon Launch | 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cambridge House of Swansea
Comedy to Go Show | 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
Prairie Land Dance Club performance | 10:30 a.m.
Dogs & Miniature Horses Visit | Wizard of Oz | 7:00 p.m.

Grand Prairie of Macomb
Pamper Yourself Manicures | 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Heritage Woods of Batavia
Community Bingo | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook
Hollywood Movie Night | 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Centralia
Spinning Wool Presentation | 1:00 p.m.
Joe Lukasik Polka Music | 6:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Charleston
“It’s a Wonderful Life” Movie and Popcorn Bar | 1:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb
Casino Night | 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
1940s Tribute & USO Salute with Chi-Town Girls | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Watseka
Laughter Yoga | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Music of Vern and Vern | 3:00 p.m.

John Evans of Pekin
Milkshake Shop and Sock Hop | 2:00 p.m.

Prairie Winds of Urbana
Resident Art Gallery | 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cambridge House of O’Fallon
Open House | 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cambridge House of Swansea
Open House with music of Mike Cassidy | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Churchview Supportive Living in Chicago
Open House & Vendor Appreciation | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Deer Path of Huntley
Open House | 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
1940s Tribute | 10:00 a.m.
Open House | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Meet Me in St. Louis | 7:00 p.m.

Grand Prairie of Macomb
Open House | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Sing-Along with The Tollands | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Batavia
Coffee and Trivia | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Open House | 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Belvidere
Open House with Vito Zatto Music & Comedy Show | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Benton
Open House | 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Charleston
Open House | 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Scott Wattles and the Blue Suede Crew | 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Chicago
Open House with Live AM-1570 Radio Broadcast | 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb
Open House | 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Dwight
Open House | 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Music of Central Standard Time | 1:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Flora
Open House | 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Gurnee
Open House | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Manteno
Open House | 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Chris Stapleton country music | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
Open House with piano music of Kevin Sarnwki | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
Open House | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Moline
Community Cookout & Open House
With entertainment of Electric Leroy | 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon
Open House with The Horn Guys | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Rockford
Captain’s Cocktail Hour Open House | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Watseka
Open House | 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Yorkville
Open House & Drive for Kendall County Food Pantry | 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

John Evans of Pekin
Open House with Peoria Area Accordion Club | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Prairie Winds of Urbana
Open House | 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Purvis Nature Center program on American Woodcocks | 2:00 p.m.

St. Anthony of Lansing
Craft and Candy Fair | 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cambridge House of Maryville
Open House with Fred Bird, the St. Louis Cardinal Mascot | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Cambridge House of O’Fallon
Sing-a-Long and Name that Tune with Byron Foggs | 2:30 p.m.

Cambridge House of Swansea
Dean Farris & Ben Haslett Gospel Music | 2:15 p.m.

Churchview Supportive Living in Chicago
Disco Fever Family Night | 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
Healthy Cooking presentation | 2:00 p.m.

Grand Prairie of Macomb
Bingo | 1:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook
Hawaiian Bingo | 2:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Centralia
Community Cookout & Petting Zoo | 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Brad Darr guitar music | 6:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Chicago
Testimony Thursday with Pastor Cy Fields | 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Flora
Piano Music of the 1950s | 12:30 p.m.
Movie “Grease” | 6:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
1950s Elvis and Malt Shop Tribute | 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast | 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon
Good Ole Boys music | 1:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of South Elgin
Bingo with South Elgin Firefighters | 2:00 p.m.

Prairie Living at Chautauqua
Out of this World BBQ | 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cambridge House of Swansea
Collinsville Music Makers | 2:15 p.m.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
Gary Warnick piano | 2:00 p.m.

Grand Prairie of Macomb
Smoothie Social Hour | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook
Open House & Casino Night | 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Rat Pack music | 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Centralia
Residents vs. Staff Wii Bowling & Trivia Contest | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Charleston
Southern rock music of Breakaway | 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Chicago
Blackjack Tournament | 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb
Antique Showcase | 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Flora
Tammy Renee Harris Gospel Music | 6:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
1960s and 1970s Musical Tribute with Brian Fowler of NOSTALGIA | 1:30 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
Spring Cookout | 11:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Come Back Girls | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Moline
Happy Hour | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon
Brad Darr guitar music | 6:00 p.m.

John Evans of Pekin
Annual Luau Party on the Patio | 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Heritage Woods of Batavia
Open House | 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Flora
Brown Christian Church Choir | 1:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
Wilson Family Spring String Concert | 2:00 p.m.

Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon
Steven Foster Gospel Music | 2:00 p.m.

BMA Management has been nominated in two categories
– Best Senior Living Blog and Social Media Rockstar –
in the 2014 SeniorHomes.com Best Senior Living Awards Contest.
Click each badge below to go to the vote page for each nomination.

BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Social Media Rockstar BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Best Senior Living Blog


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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Posted in Assisted Living Event, BMA Management, Medicare

What Sports Teach Us about Life, Aging and Overcoming Adversity

April 10th, 2014

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

Here is an interesting question. When you are facing adversity, what is more productive, asking “why is this happening to me” or “how am I going to deal with this?”

Father Terry Keehan

Father Terry Keehan (pictured top right) explored this question during the Day of Renewal on “Life, Law and Football” that I attended this past Saturday.

The program was designed for men of all faiths and hosted by the Knights of Columbus. Father Keehan, who is the Pastor of Holy Family Church in Inverness, Illinois, was one of the presenters. His ties to sports include attending the University of Nebraska Omaha on a basketball scholarship. The Mavericks qualified to play in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament his freshmen, sophomore and junior years.

Supreme Court Justice Robert R Thomas

The program also featured Brandon New, head football coach for Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois and Bob Thomas (pictured bottom right), who was an Academic All-American at the University of Notre Dame and a placekicker for the Chicago Bears. Bob kicked the extra point that gave the 1973 Fighting Irish football team a 24-23 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and the AP National Championship. He now serves as a Supreme Court Justice in the Second District in Illinois.

All of us, Father Keehan noted, face setbacks, adversity and tragedy in our lives. They can challenge our character, damage our motivation, and force us to look at life in different ways.

The speakers illustrated the many ways that competition and playing sports provide experiences that help us in our lives and in overcoming adversity.

Among other things, sports teach us about the importance of performance, goal setting, practice, hard work, skill, passion, discipline, perseverance, concentration, mental attitude and desire.

Through sports, we learn about the importance of team work, team chemistry and everybody being on the same page. We also learn about the relationship between mental and physical toughness.

We discover what it takes to be the best and that often times you do not win on talent alone. The best teams on paper at the start of March Madness, for instance, did not compete Monday night for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

We learn that life is not fair or just, that being part of a team is not a sometimes thing and that quitting is not an option.

Personally, I never had the type of talent necessary to play high school or college sports. But boy, how I enjoyed all of the games of football, basketball and baseball I played with my brothers, cousins and friends. It didn’t matter whether we were playing in a parking lot, street, alley, driveway or field or how many of us there were. What we enjoyed was being outdoors and competing against each other.

Growing up in a family of four boys, sports also dominated our lives at the dinner table. My poor mother frequently asked if we might argue about something other than football, baseball, basketball or hockey.

Chicago Cubs Next Year License Plate

As lifelong Chicago Cub fans, we certainly have experienced year upon year of setbacks. But as we learned from other diehards early on in our lives, there is always next year.

From my years of experience in working with older adults and their families and with what BMA does in our senior living and assisted living communities, there was one point made by the speakers that, in particular, caught my attention.

When it comes to overcoming adversity, they stressed the importance of camaraderie, of building relationships, of support from family and friends, of people being there to help us through times of trouble.

They also pointed out the impact of love, courage, mental attitude and spirituality.

Asking how am I going to deal with this is a much more practical question than why is this happening to me, Father Keehan pointed out. We likely will never get an answer to why.

What do you think?

BMA Management has been nominated in two categories
– Best Senior Living Blog and Social Media Rockstar –
in the 2014 SeniorHomes.com Best Senior Living Awards Contest.
Click each badge below to go to the vote page for each nomination.

BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Social Media Rockstar   BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Best Senior Living Blog


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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Posted in BMA Management

Independence Often a Matter of Balance

April 3rd, 2014

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

The evidence is clear. Falls are the leading cause of injury and loss of independence among older adults.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention LogoFacts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speak for themselves:

One out of three individuals 65 and older fall each year.

Among individuals 65+, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries.

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury.

20% to 30% of those who fall suffer moderate to severe injury.

Individuals 75 and older are four to five times more likely to fall than those 65 to 74 years of age.

Many people who fall develop a fear of falling, even if they are not injured. As a result, they limit activity which leads to reduced mobility and a loss of physical fitness which increases the risk of falling.

Less than ½ of those who fall talk to their health care providers about it.

People fall for many reasons, including loss of strength and flexibility, the medications they are taking, their eating habits, clutter, the shoes they wear, and improperly adjusted or poorly designed canes and walkers. Hearing issues also can affect your balance.

Fortunately, falling is not a normal part of aging. There are steps you can take to improve your balance, reduce the possibility of falling. Here are some of them.

Talk with your doctor and other health care providers immediately if you fall or are having issues with your balance. Do not ignore the situation.

Have your doctor and pharmacist review all of the prescription and over-the-counter medications that you take, especially to identify any medications that may cause dizziness, drowsiness or other side effects.

Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and do not ignore any changes in your vision. Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration as well as not having the right prescription for your glasses can increase the risk of falling.

Reduce your risk of a hip fracture by getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium.

Wear properly-fitting shoes with non-slip soles.

Reduce tripping hazards in your home by eliminating the clutter. Also eliminate or tape down small throw or area rugs. As nationally recognized safety expert Dorothy Drago suggests in her recently released book on Living Safely – Aging Well, if the rug can’t go, consider hanging it on a wall like a tapestry.

Install grab bars by the toilet and in the shower/bathtub. Install railings on both sides of the stairs.

Be sure the lighting on both the inside and outside of your house is adequate. You should have lighting at both the top and the bottom of any staircase. Nightlights should illuminate the path from your bed to your bathroom.

Equip your shower/bathtub with non-skid mats.

Using a cane or walker can help reduce your risk of falling. Ask your doctor or other health care professionals for their recommendations on what cane or walker is right for you. Be sure your cane or walker is properly adjusted for your height and that you receive instructions on how to properly use your cane or walker. Remember, your cane or walker does you no good if you do not use it.

Be sure items you frequently use are stored in an area you can easily reach without having to use a step stool or ladder.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to exercise regularly, especially focusing on exercises that will strengthen your legs. Your legs are not only essential for mobility; they help you get out of bed, chair, car, bathtub or shower and off a toilet.

I encourage you to take every step you can to Age Well.

What do you think?

BMA Management has been nominated in two categories
– Best Senior Living Blog and Social Media Rockstar –
in the 2014 SeniorHomes.com Best Senior Living Awards Contest.
Click each badge below to go to the vote page for each nomination.

BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Social Media Rockstar   BMA Nominee for Seniorhomes.com 2014 Best Senior Living Blog


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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Unraveling the Costs of Assisted Living

March 27th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA assisted living management

Here are some tips designed to help you understand both the costs and potential value of assisted living:

The cost depends on a variety of factors, including the following:

The Apartment

What types of rooms and apartments are available? Floor plans can vary from semi-private and private rooms to companion suites and studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. What are the square footages of the floor plans?

Services

What services are included in the Monthly Fee?

Some communities charge an all-inclusive or a virtually all-inclusive Monthly Fee based on the size of the room or apartment. For example, at all of our affordable assisted living communities the Monthly Fee is based on the size of apartment. It includes all three meals each day, snacks, housekeeping, laundry and all of the personal assistance and help with medications a resident needs. If a resident’s needs change and more assistance is needed, the Monthly Fee does not change. The only additional costs are for telephone, cable and Internet access, if so desired by the resident, and for guest meals, beauty/barber services, and purchases in the convenience store.

Some communities charge a base Monthly Fee that includes a base package of services. Leveling Charges, Levels of Care or a Point System apply for residents who need services above and beyond what is in the base package. At some communities, there also are separate charges for medication reminders, supervision and administration and for incontinence care.

What types of transportation services are available? What is included and what is available for an additional charge? For instance, some communities include scheduled transportation to doctors’ offices one morning or one day a week and scheduled transportation for shopping once a week. Some communities do not charge for transportation within a certain distance of the community.

Entrance & Community Fees

Some communities charge a one-time Entrance or Community Fee at the time of move-in. Some of the more common amounts range from $500 to $5,000.

Comparing Costs

When looking at the cost of Assisted Living, I encourage you to do two cost comparisons. The first is a comparison of the cost of assisted living versus the cost of where you or your loved one is living now. You can use the Cost Comparison Worksheet below to help guide you through this process. When it comes to home repairs and maintenance, I suggest you look back over the past few years and add up all the costs and divide by the number years you are examining.

Often times, individuals are surprised at the results. After adding up all of the costs that they are paying on a piecemeal basis where they are living now, they discover that they spending more than they think. They also discover that assisted living can be as or less expensive than where they are living now. Of course, this is assuming that they are getting all of the help and assistance that they need instead of doing without.

The second is a comparison of the charges at each assisted living community that you are considering. You’ll find a chart below to help you with this comparison.

The Intangibles

In addition to the hard costs of living in assisted living, there are many intangible factors to take into consideration, including the following:

If you need some help and are not getting the help you need – for instance, you are not taking your medications when and as you should – you are likely increasing your risk of needing an emergency room, hospital or nursing home. How much more will this cost, and how will it impact your quality of life?

If a spouse or other family member is serving as caregiver, what impact is this likely to have on their health? So often, it is the caregiver who ends up with health problems because of the role they are playing.

If Affordability is an Issue

In Illinois, if you do not have the financial resources to afford private pay assisted living, a wonderful option is available. There are more than 140 affordable assisted living communities that operate through a special program called Supportive Living. These communities serve adults 65 and older of all incomes, including individuals on Medicaid or who only receive Social Security benefits. Several of the communities serve adults 22 to 64 years of age who have physical disabilities.

Of the 37 communities that BMA manages, 36 operate through the Supportive Living program. For more information, go to bma-mgmt.com/communities

Cost Comparison Worksheet #1
 
  Where You Are
Living Now
In Assisted
Living
Rent/Mortgage Payment    
Association Fee    
Property Taxes    
Homeowners Insurance    
Home Repairs
and Maintenance
   
Utilities    
Garbage Collection    
Lawn Care/Landscaping    
 
Food    
Housekeeping    
 
Emergency Response
System
   
Home Health Care    
 
Telephone Service    
Cable    
Internet Access    
Car Payments, Insurance,
License, Gasoline,
Maintenance & Repairs
   
 
Other Transportation
(Bus, Train, Cab Fares)
   
 
Exercise Classes    
Social & Recreational Activities    
 
Total    

 

Cost Comparison Worksheet #2
 
Name of Community  
 
Entrance/Community Fee  
Monthly Fee  
Leveling/Point Charges  
Medication Charges  
Incontinence Charges  
Telephone  
Cable  
Internet  
Other Charges  
 
Total  
 
Other Considerations
such as Location,
Staffing, Appearance
 

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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Baby Boomers, Aging & Technology

March 20th, 2014

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

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Society on Aging’s 2014 Aging in America Conference as both a participant and a speaker.

As a speaker, I conducted a workshop on “Speaking Out: Advocating for Affordable Assisted Living.” My focus was on BMA’s political advocacy efforts for the Illinois Supportive Living program. The program provides seniors and adults with physical disabilities who need some help to maintain their independence with a wonderful residential alternative to a nursing home. It especially benefits low-income individuals and serves as a model for how states can make affordable assisted living available to those who have a need.

Of our 37 senior living communities, 36 operate through the Supportive Living program.

As a participant at the Conference, I discovered a wealth of information about the baby boomers, aging and technology. Here are a few of the highlights:

Medicare Rights Center

Medicare Rights Center logo

The Medicare Rights Center is a national nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure affordable health care for older adults. The organization operates a national telephone helpline to answer questions from people with Medicare, their family and friends. Staff members and trained volunteers can help you understand Medicare benefits, find the right coverage and understand how any existing coverage works with Medicare. The helpline phone number is 1-800-333-4114. You can access the organization’s website at medicarerights.org

Boomers & Aging

“Steven

Steven French of the National Marketing Institute (NMI) provided some fascinating insights into how the more than 76 million Baby Boomers are going to change the aging landscape.

On average, Boomers want to live until at least 90.

Self-Responsibility is a key trend among Boomers. They are taking more responsibility for their health. The desire to remain independent and concerns about costs are two key reasons why.

The top fears among Boomers about aging are losing brain capacity; running out of money; being a burden on my family/loved ones; heart attack/stroke; and vision problems.

8 out of 10 Boomers want to Age in Place. They will kick and fight to avoid moving. Remaining independent is a top priority. Yet Boomers expect that somebody else will be taking care of them as they age.

The #1 Challenge for caregivers is TIME, having enough time to get everything done and having time for themselves.

French also noted that “we are one of the few societies that mainly live in single generational households.”

Technology & Aging

“Katy

In a presentation on “Technology and the Quality of Life in the 21st Century,” Katy Fike talked about how we need to look at how we can do more with less. Longevity is increasing. We are facing shortages in the number of health care professionals and caregivers that will be needed. And, the pressure is to reduce costs.

Katy is co-founder of Aging 2.0, a company that connects, educates and supports innovators in aging and long-term care.

Technology already is playing an exciting role.

We now walk around not just with computers in our pockets but with digital technology that connects you with doctors and other health care professionals.

There are new forms of social communication models that enable people to connect in meaningful ways.

We are creating mobile workforces, using tablets and smart phones.

Liftware is helping people with tremors eat independently.

A couple in New York developed Smart Diapers for children, which grew into diapers for older adults that can detect wetness, infections and dehydration.

You can grocery shop from your phone, with the food delivered within two hours.

Katy also mentioned self-driving cars and a way that you can detect whether individuals have digested their medications to help with medication management.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts about the conflict that Boomers have between what they think about self-responsibility, independence and aging in place and what they say about expecting that someone else will be taking care of them?

As you look at aging, what are your biggest fears?

Are we likely to see more acceptance of multi-generational households?

As we look at technology and aging, how do we maintain the human touch?


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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BMA Management, Ltd.
535 East North Street, Suite E
Bradley, Illinois 60915

Phone: 877-882-1495

Email: info@bma-mgmt.com



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