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Archive for the ‘BMA Management’ Category

Move to Assisted Living Leads to a Rich, Full Life

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

By Amber Springer of BMA Management, Ltd.
& Yvonne Peterson, Director of Marketing at Heritage Woods of Rockford

Evelyn Roach

If you should run into Evelyn Roach and ask her how she likes living at Heritage Woods of Rockford, she’ll beam and tell you, “I love it!”

When you dig a little deeper, it is easy to see why.

Throughout her life, Evelyn has experienced many losses. Her father passed away when she was a teenager. Years later, her only daughter passed away as an infant. Then, after being happily married for more than 50 years, she lost her husband, Austin. Just 11 months later, their son, Brian, lost his battle with leukemia.

Evelyn was lonely and sad, and who could blame her?

Fortunately, Brian’s childhood friend, John, stepped in to help. He knew Heritage Woods of Rockford would be a perfect fit for Evelyn and brought her to the community for a tour.

Located in Winnebago County, Illinois, Heritage Woods of Rockford is one of the 36 affordable assisted living communities that BMA manages. Each of the communities operates through the Illinois Supportive Living program, which enables the communities to serve individuals of all incomes, including those on Medicaid.

Evelyn also liked the idea of having three meals a day available in the dining room and being surrounded by people again. She wanted to make her life easier and felt that Heritage Woods would help her achieve that goal.

Evelyn Roach by a car

Nearly two years later, Evelyn says she is in a “happy place” in her life.

She is extremely involved at the community. She enjoys working on puzzles, playing bingo, attending church services and rolling strikes as one of the stars on the community’s Wii bowling team.

Evelyn serves as a member of the Heritage Woods Ambassador Team, welcoming new residents to the community. She also joined the Baking Buddies group to help make cookies that are sold to raise money for local non-profit organizations.

Her active role at the community has led to many friendships and a rich and full life. For Evelyn, moving to Heritage Woods was “like finding a new family.”


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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Lowering the Boom on Ageism

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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

2 Billy C e

I had the opportunity while taking some time off to visit our two grandchildren in Colorado to read one of the books that our youngest daughter, Jessica, gave me for Christmas.

The book is “Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys” by Billy Crystal.

I found the book especially fascinating given BMA’s focus on assisted living, senior living and memory care. Billy provides a poignantly insightful and charmingly funny look at aging from the perspective of a Baby Boomer who recently turned 65.

One story, in particular, about 9/11 and Billy’s Uncle Berns brought back vivid memories. At the time, I was working for Classic Residence by Hyatt (now Vi). I first heard about a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers as I was riding the elevator up to my office on the 37th floor in our building on West Madison St. in downtown Chicago. A group of us sat in a corner office watching TV in dismay as events unfolded. As we watched, we heard that a plane was missing and possibly was heading for Chicago. The Sears Tower was in plain sight outside our window just two blocks away.

A colleague who worked in the office next to mine was out in New York. He was providing assistance at a retirement community that we had just opened in Yonkers. Billy’s Uncle Berns was living in an assisted living community located across the street from the World Trade Center. He had just moved in on Sept. 2. Because of the situation, Uncle Berns and the other residents of the assisted living community needed to be evacuated. Many were relocated to our newly opened community in Yonkers.

In the book, Billy provides fascinating insights into his career as a stand-up comedian, playing Jodie on the television series “Soap”, working on Saturday Night Live and on such movies as “When Harry Met Sally” and “City Slickers”, hosting the Oscars, and being the oldest person ever to play for the New York Yankees.

What I found to be even more fascinating were his insights into aging and his comments about ageism.

The comfort he takes in knowing that “his 65″ is not his “grandfather’s 65″.

The treasure of grandchildren and the joy of seeing your children raise their children.

The need to stay upbeat, positive and active as you age rather than giving up.

His belief that we should celebrate our birthdays as we age, especially when we turn 65.

His concerns about professions that have mandatory retirement ages and about people being encouraged to leave their jobs just because they happen to reach a certain age.

He wonders why we do not revere our elders the way they do in some other parts of the world, and he issues a Battle Cry to us Baby Boomers.

He wants Baby Boomers to wage war on ageism.

I could not agree more. Let’s Lower the Boomers on Ageism.


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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12 Highlights of 2014

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

The start of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on all that we were able to accomplish in the previous year.

Here are a few of our highlights:

  1. National Leader
  2. BMA Management continued to rank as the 16th largest provider of assisted living in the country, according to information published in Senior Living Executive & Provider magazines. We rank as the national leader in developing and operating affordable assisted living communities.

    In 2014, we served nearly 5,000 residents in the assisted living, senior living and memory care communities that we operate.

  3. Hero Award
  4. Elizabeth (Beth) Dreas, a cook at Heritage Woods of Centralia, was honored by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) with a 2014 Hero Award. The award recognizes individuals who are ideal representatives of the hundreds of thousands of people who serve in senior living communities. Beth was one of only five individuals to be honored by ALFA at its 2014 national conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

  5. In ALFA’s “Best of the Best” Spotlight
  6. ALFA placed BMA Management in the spotlight in its 2014 “Best of the Best” awards program for the Managed Care Quality Measurement Compliance and Automation technology program that BMA developed in partnership with Caremerge of Chicago.

  7. 100% Occupancy
  8. Three more BMA communities hit the 100% occupancy mark for the first time during 2014. They were Grand Prairie of Macomb, Heritage Woods of Gurnee and Heritage Woods of Huntley.

    Overall, average occupancy of our nearly 3,600 assisted living, senior living and memory care homes and apartments increased by more than 3% in 2014.

  9. Outstanding Caregiver
  10. Cathy Dickerson, who has been cooking and caring for residents of Heritage Woods of Flora for the past ten years, was honored with the Outstanding Caregivers Award at the 2014 Illinois Governor’s Conference. The award is presented by the Illinois Department on Aging and the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition to a direct care worker over the age of 55 who serves seniors in Illinois seniors housing.

  11. Honoring Excellence
  12. 
Two front-line staff members at affordable assisted living communities that BMA operates and a BMA Management staff member received 2014 Honoring Excellence Awards from Leading Age Illinois (formerly Life Services Network).

    Bonnie Miller, a housekeeper at Heritage Woods of Charleston, was a recipient of the Rising Star Award. The award honors individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary performance during their first 12 months of employment. Recipients demonstrate a strong work ethic, commitment, initiative, leadership and the ability to be a team player. They routinely go above and beyond what is expected.

    Roy Pfingsten with Resident Willie Knowles

    Roy Pfingsten, Director of Maintenance for BMA Management (shown right with Resident Willie Knowles), was honored with the Hearts and Hands Award. The award recognizes individuals who embrace person-centered care and service through efforts that go above and beyond the scope of their positions. Recipients recognize opportunities to create personalized experiences for residents and act on those opportunities to enhance their quality of life.

    Rita Richter, a staff nurse at Cambridge House of Maryville, was presented with the 2014 Strive and Thrive Award. The award recognizes individuals who are committed to excellence and use innovative, creative thinking to benefit residents.

  13. New Memory Care Community Opens
  14. In November, BMA opened White Oaks at Spring Street, a Memory Care community designed to serve older adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementia. Located in South Elgin, Illinois, the community houses 30 private apartments. The focus is on purpose and belonging through all the stages of dementia.

  15. 10th Anniversary Celebrations
  16. Four affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management celebrated their 10th Anniversaries this past year. The communities are Churchview Supportive Living in Chicago, Heritage Woods of Benton, Heritage Woods of Watseka, and Prairie Living at Chautauqua in Carbondale, Illinois.

  17. Best of Senior Living
  18. BMA was selected as a Finalist in two categories in the SeniorHomes.com 2014 Best Senior Living Awards contest. The categories were Best Blogs by Organizations and Social Media Rockstars – Organizations.

  19. Bowling and Trivia Contest Trophy Winners
  20. 5th Annual Wii Bowling Tournament IconA team of residents from Heritage Woods of Charleston finished in 3rd Place and a team from Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook brought home the 4th Place Trophy in the statewide 2014 Wii Bowling contest sponsored by the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC). A team of residents from Cambridge House of Maryville garnered 4th Place in the 2014 AALC Trivia contest.

  21. New Community Coming to Chicago
  22. BMA began taking reservations for a new affordable assisted living community that is being developed in Chicago. The New City Supportive Living community is scheduled being developed in a historic Goldblatt’s building on S. Ashland Ave.

  23. Assisted and Senior Living Conference Speakers
  24. Representatives of BMA Management spoke at a variety of national and state conferences in 2014, including the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Annual Conference, the Aging in America Annual Conference, the Leading Age Illinois Annual Conference, and the California Assisted Living Association’s Fall Conference.

2014 Year of the Horse


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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On Aging, Ageism and a Book I Am Reading

Friday, December 26th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Tis the day after Christmas
And my mind is spinning.
About ageism, our attitudes toward aging,
And a book I am reading.

Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King at Amazon.com

The book is the novel “Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King. I had checked it out of the library in my hometown of Palatine, Illinois. It was published earlier this year.

What happens to a character by the name of Hodges in the first 100 pages of the novel is what has me thinking about ageism and our attitudes toward aging and retirement. Hodges is a retired police detective. An event gives him new life – a new purpose for living. He now has better things to do than sitting at home in his La-Z-Boy, feeding his face, watching afternoon TV shows and taking two-hour naps. He never has felt more awake.

What I find spinning through my mind are all of the things that I have heard and read about the importance of purpose in life – a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. A news release posted earlier this year on the Association of Psychological Science website, for instance, talks about research that indicates that having a sense of purpose may add years to your life. It doesn’t matter if you are young, middle-aged or older. The news release also mentions the importance of positive relationships with others and the implications all this has for promoting positive aging. You can click here to read the news release.

I recall walking into the Activity Room of the Cambridge House affordable assisted living community that we manage in Maryville, Illinois, last week and hearing the excitement as our thespian residents were rehearsing for an upcoming performance.

I also recall a resident of the affordable assisted living community that we manage in Bolingbrook, Illinois, who took up wood carving at the age of 92. At the age of 96, he spent three-and-a-half months carving the Gettysburg Address into an 8-foot-high display, which has been featured at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

My mind also spins to the White Oaks memory care communities that we manage. The communities serve older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. The focus is on providing opportunities for residents to maintain a sense of purpose and belonging throughout the seasons of dementia.

I ponder why we so readily tend to automatically associate aging with frailty and senility.

Yes, the risk of Alzheimer’s increases significantly with age. But let me suggest looking at the statistics in a little different way – it appears that 97% of those 65 to 74; more than 80% of those 75 to 84; and more than 50% of those 85 and older are not suffering from the disease.

In terms of frailty and older adults suffering from chronic medical conditions, a Blog by Madeline R. Vann, MPH, that was posted in March of 2014 on the everyday HEALTH website, indicates that more than three-quarters of those age 65+ rate their health as good or excellent.

In addition, research done by Dan Buettner and the organization he founded called Blue Zones notes that there are places in the world where people thrive into their 80s, 90s and 100s. They are not only living longer, they are living healthier and happier lives. They are dying without having suffered from a variety of chronic medical conditions that we commonly associate with old age.

In my opinion, a change in the way we view aging and older adults is needed. We need to value older adults. From all of their years of experience, they can provide valuable guidance and wisdom. They can serve as role models, mentors and volunteers.

We should relook at the whole idea of retirement. Should the goal really to be to retire to a carefree lifestyle, to sit back and relax in an easy chair, to do nothing but fish or play golf or tennis? Wouldn’t it be much better for the goal to be “Repurposement” rather than “Retirement” – at how older adults can continue to contribute to families, neighbors, society and the world.

We should also look at how we can live decades beyond the age of 75 and die without much in the way of the aches, pains and deterioration of the mind and body usually associated with aging. There is plenty of evidence to say that this is possible.

I would love to know what you think.


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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Six Tips for Making the Holidays More Enjoyable, Safer for Seniors

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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

Happy Holidays from All of Us at BMA

The winter holiday season can be a time of great joy and celebration. There are the religious services, the family traditions, the gift giving and all of the food and drink. Families and friends get together for big holiday parties and smaller holiday gatherings.

At the same time, suicides and deaths are higher during the holiday season than at other times of the year, Bill Blanquart reminded those in attendance at an education program he conducted earlier this week at the Cambridge House affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in O’Fallon, Illinois.

Cambridge House of O’Fallon is one of three Cambridge House affordable assisted living communities located in the St. Louis Metro East area.

Bill is Director of Sales and Marketing for the Cedar Ridge Health & Rehab Center in Lebanon, Illinois. Bill was speaking on Holiday Stress and Safety.

Here are some of the tips he discussed for reducing stress and making the holidays more enjoyable and safer for seniors.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
While the holidays often involve busy days and nights, try to maintain as normal of a life during the holiday season as you do every day and try to do everything in moderation.

Carve out some time to rest, relax or take a nap. Also, don’t feel obligated to host or attend parties or family gatherings if you feel the stress level will be too high.

Adhere to a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy is one of the main things we need to do to protect our health and safety. Adhering to a healthy diet can be more difficult during the holiday season because more food usually is available and because people tend to eat more when they are stressed. One recommendation is to keep healthy options such as fresh cut fruits and vegetables on hand. Another is to focus on conversation rather than food at parties.

Stay Hydrated
We usually associate the need to stay hydrated with summer. Believe it or not, staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. Bill said that his grandmother used to tell him that if your fingers are cracking, drink more water.

Bill recommended drinking an additional two to three glasses a day.

He also reminded us that alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea or soft drinks with caffeine can dehydrate you. He suggested drinking two glasses of water for every one glass of wine.

Keep Exercising
Exercise is one of the best ways seniors can help preserve their independence. Be sure to keep up with you exercise during the holidays and the winter months. One option is to walk a few laps around an indoor shopping mall.

Take Steps to Reduce the Risk of Falling
If you use a walker or cane, be sure to bring it with you and to use it. Also, be sure to ask for help if you have to walk up steps and there isn’t a railing or ramp available or if the sidewalk or driveway is wet or icy. If you are having older adult relatives stay in your home, be sure to remove any potential tripping hazards such as area rugs and be sure there are night lights in the hallways and bathrooms. Ideally, have them stay in a bedroom that is close to a bathroom.

Remember, Bill said, a fall will usually send a senior to a nursing home. If you fracture a hip, your life span on average is shortened by three and a half years.

Breathing Issues and Allergies
Spray on snow and pine sprays can aggravate allergies. If you are on oxygen, oil based sprays, candles and the burnt oil from e-cigarettes can cause the filter to your oxygen to clog. Be sure to take an extra filter with you.

Our hope is that these tips will help make the holiday season brighter.


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

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