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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Amazing Things Happen Every Day

October 15th, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

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Amazing things happen at BMA senior and assisted living communities ever single day.

We are constantly hearing about the wonderful team members who go above and beyond to treat residents with love, compassion and dignity. We also hear about residents who regain their independence, rediscover their passions and find people who genuinely care about their well-being when they move into the communities we manage.

So, it was refreshing to see some of those success stories highlighted as part of the 2014 Affordable Assisted Living Coalition Photo and Testimonial Contest (AALC).

Four BMA communities were recognized this year, including Heritage Woods of Manteno, which took first place honors for a testimonial from Helen Wotring. She moved to Heritage Woods seven years ago because she wanted a more active social life. Helen participates in nearly every activity that is offered at the community. She also volunteers in the Country Store and is the Resident Council Secretary.

Here’s what Helen had to say about her home: “I moved into a supportive living community to be around people, and the people here are great! I feel well taken care of, safe and secure. Living at Heritage Woods of Manteno allows me to attend lunch outings with other residents, volunteer my time and participate in countless activities.”

Cambridge House of O’Fallon received an honorable mention for a testimonial submitted by Pearl Davis, a resident at the community. Pearl moved into her apartment nearly three years ago and said, “I’m very pleased to be living here. The staff is pleasant, helpful, smiling and nice. I feel safe here, and there are many activities to take part in, if I choose. It’s a great group to be a part of.”

Two communities – Cambridge House of Maryville and Heritage Woods of Batavia – earned honorable mentions in the AALC Photo Contest. The Cambridge House photo shows Benjamin Bertram and Lynda Leggett, two veterans who live at the community, raising a new flag. The winning image from Heritage Woods is a fun shot of residents during an outing at the zoo.

Congratulations to all of the winners and to the staff members who create an environment that fosters these special moments – and countless other stories that go untold.


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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Is 75 the Ideal Age to Die?

October 9th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has stirred up some controversy about dying.

Zeke, who is 57 years of age, says he hopes to die at the age of 75.

Ezekiel

An article that he wrote on the subject was published last month in the Atlantic. | Article |

He also explained why death at age 75 is right for him in a recent interview on ABC News. | Article |

Emanuel contends that by age 75, he will have “lived a complete life.”

He also contends that “society and families – and you – will be better off.”

He associates “living too long” with decline and frailty, if not disability; the loss of creativity; and the loss of the “ability to contribute to work, society and the world.”

I find it curious given Emanuel’s position as Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania that “society” comes before “family” and before “you” in his wording and that he equates losing one’s ability to contribute to society with “living too long.”

Also, despite growing evidence to the contrary, Emanuel does not believe that that we can live decades beyond 75 and die without much in the way of aches, pains and the deterioration of the body and mind.

To his credit, Emanuel is not talking about ending his life through suicide or euthanasia, both of which actively opposes.

His focus is on the amount of health care that he will agree to and the steps that he says he will not take to try and prolong his life.

Here are some of the reasons why I disagree with Emanuel:

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author, has spent years studying locations in the world where people are most likely to live the longest, healthiest and happiest. One of the locations is Loma Linda, California. Based on his research, Dan has a much different view on aging. He contends we have two choices – “living a shorter life with more years of disability or the longest life possible with the fewest bad years.” Dan is featured in a Blog on “What You Can Learn from Communities Where People Live Past 100” that was posted on the Forbes website on Sept. 29, 2014. | Blog |

A report published in the July 12, 2013 of the New Scientist cites research by the Danish Aging Research Center that indicates that people in their 90s are getting smarter. | Article |

Sir George Martin, at the age of 80, co-produced the Beatles’ album “Love,” which is the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil play. The “Love” album was released in November 2006, nearly 40 years after “When I’m Sixty-Four” – a song that viewed 64 as old.

Pablo Picasso, at the age of 90, was still producing drawings and engravings.

An American composer by the name of Elliot Carter didn’t write his first opera until after he turned 90. Between his 90th and 100th Birthdays, he published more than 40 works.

A resident of the Heritage Woods affordable assisted living community that we manage in Bolingbrook, Illinois, took up wood carving at the age of 92. At the age of 96, Manny Shellist carved the Gettysburg Address into an 8-foot high display. The display has been featured at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. | Photo Gallery |

Over the coming months, I will be providing other examples.


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 Treasure for Seniors Celebrates 10th Anniversary

October 2nd, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

Churchview Supportive Living Community Icon

The theme during Churchview Supportive Living’s 10-year anniversary was simple: It was all about family.

And that wouldn’t surprise anyone who has spent time at the community that has called the Chicago Lawn and Marquette Park area home for the last decade.

Current and former employees shared stories during the celebration I attended last week, highlighting the great work that has been done at Churchview. They talked about how residents and the staff rallied around an employee who was diagnosed with cancer. Proceeds from wristband sales and a talent show helped the community and BMA, its management company, present that woman’s family with a check to cover part of her medical expenses.

Willie Tucker, the son of a resident, thanked the staff at Churchview for the way they treated his mother before she passed away. “My Mom was hardcore, but she loved it here. The staff was magnificent,” Willie told the crowd. “My Mom left here a year ago, but I still think of Churchview often. Continue the good work with the people who are still here.”

More than 80 seniors live at Churchview today, including Tangerine Word, a Chicago native who found her way to the community three years ago. Christopher Dale, a former Churchview administrator, recalled meeting her and immediately knowing that his team would make it their mission to help her regain the independence she’d lost after living in a nursing home. When it was time to get her things together and move, Tangerine grabbed a plastic grocery bag with 13 stuffed animals. It was all she had to her name. The Churchview staff went to work, searching for clothes she could wear and furniture to fill her apartment. Tangerine “got three meals a day. She moved into this beautiful building. But really, what she got was our arms wrapped around her and a promise to take care of her,” Christopher explained. “That is what we do. We wrap our arms around people, and we care. We care for them every single day.”

Churchview Supportive Living Community 10 Year Anniversary

The concept for this caring community began with the foresight of the Greater Southwest Development Corporation. The group developed and owns the property. BMA has managed the community since it opened in 2004.

Initially, the wow factor was a great building that would be a wonderful asset to this Chicago neighborhood. Today, the story has shifted to the more than 500 residents who have lived at the community, the thousands of family members who have been impacted by the compassionate care their loved ones receive, and the staff that continues to give their all to the men and women at Churchview, said Rod Burkett, president and CEO of BMA.

During the celebration, several employees were honored for their commitment to Churchview, including three team members who have been there since the beginning:


Cynthia Brown – Move-in Coordinator
Elizabeth Clippard – Resident Services Coordinator
Denise Donnigan – Housekeeper

“I truly believe that together we will continue to accomplish significant work for the greater good and lead the change to achieve our goal of serving seniors throughout the Chicago area,” Churchview Administrator Mark Delizo said, as he presented the staff awards.

Churchview employs more than 40 people and has pumped out millions of dollars in payroll over the past decade. During the celebration, Toni Foulkes and JoAnn Thompson, two Chicago alderwomen, described the positive impact that Churchview has had on the neighborhood and called it a treasure for seniors in Chicago.

To see more photos from the 10-year celebration,
visit the Churchview Supportive Living Community website photo gallery.


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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Giving Adults with Physical Disabilities Hope

September 25th, 2014

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.

Deer Path of Huntley

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.

Young Woman in Wheelchair with Young Man

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.”

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

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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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