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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

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.

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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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Make Every Moment Count

August 15th, 2014

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

The wording on his shirt caught my attention as I walked past. I was in my first lap of a walk around one of the lakes at the Twin Lakes recreational area in Palatine, Illinois. He was sitting alone on a park bench alongside the walking path.

Make Every Moment Count

“Make Every Moment Count”

I am not sure exactly why, but I immediately put aside whatever it was that I was thinking about and began focusing on those four words.

“Make Every Moment Count”

Maybe it was because of everything that had happened the previous day. In the morning I went to see a doctor for a physical. I went because my family is concerned about my health. After all, I will be turning 63 in a few weeks. The last time I had a complete physical was more than 30 years ago. The last time I saw a doctor was in 2007, only because it was required to have a hernia repaired.

In the evening, my schedule allowed me to attend Tai Chi. I started taking the class in Chi Gong and Tai Chi at Holy Family in Inverness nearly two years ago. The class is taught by Paul Semanic, who has been a Do-It Yourself Messiah trumpet soloist in Chicago for many years.

I used to have mixed feelings about the warmer weather months. I loved the long hours of daylight, the sun and the opportunity to be outdoors without having to bundle up. But the warmer weather meant allergy season. My eyes would water and itch. My nose would run. I’d endure bouts of sneezing. Congestion would build up in my throat and chest. I am not sure if there is any connection; since I started the class, my problems with allergies have all but disappeared. In addition, I have more flexibility and less stress. I am sleeping better and sitting up straighter.

On my way home from Tai Chi, I heard the news about Robin Williams. He was only five weeks older than me.

As I continued my walk around the lake, I began noticing things about the park that before had not caught my attention.

The joyful noise from all of the children playing on the swings, slides and other playground equipment.

The group playing touch football.

The people out on the lake in paddle boats, and the young lad in a kayak that was gleefully weaving around the paddle boaters.

The mother sitting and talking with a young boy; her arm around his shoulder.

The group walking rescued greyhounds.

The older couple walking around the lake; he with an artificial leg.

I began thinking about how lucky I am.

To have a family that cares so much about me that they demand I see a doctor. I appreciate their teaming up to make sure I made and kept my appointment.

To have health that enables me to take long walks around a lake on a beautiful summer evening. More and more research indicates that regular exercise not only benefits your physical health, but also reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improves brain function.

To work for a mission-driven company that operates assisted living and memory care communities that serve individuals of all incomes.

To be able to exercise outdoors on a magnificent summer evening rather than being among those trapped on a mountain top in northern Iraq.

I also began thinking about all the ways I find to not Make Every Moment Count. The times that I find lame excuses for not exercising or not practicing the meditation, Chi Gong and Tai Chi routines that I learned. The times that I tune out family members or friends so I can watch some inane program on television.

In the days ahead, which I hope are many, I encourage you to join me in making every effort to Make Every Moment Count.


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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A Decade of Love, Compassion & Dignity

August 7th, 2014

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

Heritage Woods of Benton - Exterior Front Entry

What a difference ten years makes.

When we were here ten years ago, the WOW story was the opening of an 80,000-square-foot building on what was an open field just blocks east of Franklin Hospital, said Rod Burkett as the Heritage Woods of Benton affordable assisted living community celebrated its 10th Anniversary last week.

Rod is President and CEO of BMA Management, Ltd., which has managed Heritage Woods of Benton since it opened for occupancy in August 2003.

The community serves older adults who need some help to maintain their independence.

Ten years later, the new WOW story is that more than 500 individuals have been able to call Heritage Woods of Benton home. They have enjoyed a lifestyle that combines residential apartment-home living with the availability of personal assistance, help with medications, and support services such as housekeeping, laundry and three daily meals.

Residents also benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize with friends and neighbors and participate in social and recreational activities.

In addition, Rod noted, thousands of family members have benefited from the peace of mind and security of knowing that their family members have been able to live here.

Heritage Woods of Benton 10 Year Anniversary - Nicole Garrett and Ruth Brooks
Administrator Nicole Garrett &
Resident Ruth Brooks (L to R)

Our company was created with the mission of providing Love, Compassion & Dignity to older adults of all incomes.

Heritage Woods of Benton is one of 36 senior living communities managed by BMA that are certified to operate through the Illinois Supportive Living program.

The Supportive Living program is the best affordable assisted living program in the nation, Rod emphasized.

He thanked Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost, who was in attendance for the 10th Anniversary celebration, for his on-going support of Supportive Living.

Mike represents the 115th District in the Illinois House.

Supportive Living is “the right way to go,” Rep. Bost said.

It provides a wonderful alternative to a nursing home and saves both the State and the Federal government money over the cost of nursing home care. In addition, the program makes it possible for private investors and private companies to provide the housing and services.

Heritage Woods provides an invaluable service to seniors, truly providing a home away from home, said Gary Kraft, Mayor of Benton. |Town History|

As part of the Anniversary celebration, Heritage Woods honored two residents and four employees who have been with the community all ten years.

The employees who were recognized are Mary Curl, certified nursing assistant, who also was celebrating her wedding anniversary on the day of the 10th Anniversary party; Kim Hickam, certified nursing assistant; John David, cook; and Laura Potts, dietary manager.

Heritage Woods of Benton 10 Year Anniversary - 10 Year Staff
Laura Potts | Kim Hickam
Mary Curl | John David (L to R)

Both residents who were recognized, Ruth Brooks and Josephine Allen, moved into Heritage Woods of Benton on the day it opened for occupancy.

Ruth moved in when she was 84 years of age. She feels the affordable assisted living community is a good place to live.

She has been a member of the Heritage Woods Wii bowling team and continues to lead an active lifestyle through reading, sewing, quilting and painting. Her handiworks decorate her apartment.

She says she has no plans of stopping anytime soon.


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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St. Louis TV Story Highlights Lifestyle at BMA Affordable Assisted Living Communities

July 31st, 2014

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

Last week, the BMA Blog highlighted five reasons why you should consider an affordable assisted living community operated by BMA Management, Ltd., if you or someone you love needs some help to maintain their independence.

Cambridge House of Maryville Icon

Today, I want to bring to your attention a wonderful story about the Cambridge House affordable assisted living communities that BMA manages in the Metro East area of St. Louis.

All three Cambridge House communities operate through the Illinois Supportive Living program, which enables the communities to serve adults 65 and older of all incomes, including individuals on Medicaid.

The story by KSDK reporter Julie Tristan was filmed at the Cambridge House community in Maryville, Illinois, and aired on the local NBC television affiliate in St. Louis.

The story highlights comments from residents of the affordable assisted living community and from Tracy Skaer-Henry, Administrator of Cambridge House of Maryville.

I invite you to watch and listen to what they have to say here.


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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