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Archive for the ‘BMA Management’ Category

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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You’ll Never Forget This Senior Living Shining Star

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

As Melanie Daniels, says, if you ever met Bridget Rumler, you will never forget her. It is easy to sense the genuine caring, the empathy, and the desire to improve the situations of all those she encounters.

2014 Shining Star  - Bridget Rumler of John M Evans SLC

Pictured above – Jo Ellen Bleavins | BMA Management, Ltd.
Bridget Rumler | John M Evans SLC 2014 Shining Star
Rod Burkett | BMA Management, Ltd. (left to right)

Melanie is the Administrator of John M Evans Supportive Living, the affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Pekin, Illinois. Bridget serves as the community’s Director of Marketing. Both Bridget and Melanie have been in their positions at John Evans since before the community opened for occupancy seven years ago.

Last Friday, Bridget was honored with BMA’s 2014 First Place Shining Star Award.

Our Shining Star program is designed to shine a spotlight on employees at our senior living, assisted living and memory care communities who exemplify our values of providing love, compassion and dignity and who through their work each day enhance the quality of life for residents.

Bridget is an outstanding example.

As Melanie notes, she is usually the life of the meetings – the ‘class clown’ who is always ready with a funny story. We all know what a great salesperson she is and of her desire to help enrich the lives of Senior Citizens in need by moving them into our community. But there is another side of her that people don’t always experience the way I do. I have sat in close proximity to her for many years and am privy to many of her phone conversations and family meetings, and she never ceases to inspire me with her concern for her fellow man.

We get many calls each week, and unfortunately there are times when we cannot meet the needs of the caller. They may, for instance, be under the age of 65 or at a skill level too acute for us to manage. Bridget still takes the time with each person to understand their situation and be a resource for them. “Tell me what’s going on with your loved one”, she will ask.

As a long time Marketer in our area, she has many contacts from all areas of the health care field, and she makes every effort to connect those in need with the right provider. It’s not always about the sale; the setting that ensures the highest quality of life and dignity for each individual is paramount for her.

Many of the callers are in desperate situations and don’t know where to turn when they have siblings, mothers or fathers that are under the age of 65 but in serious need of help. They do not finish a call without a sense of hope. She often calls other facilities and puts them in touch with the families. Many times she has given them her personal phone number and tells them “call me and let me know how things work out.”

2014 Shining Star pin

She has kept a list of names and numbers for many years with the hopes that more affordable assisted living communities for individuals under the age of 65 will be built. She was so excited to be able to refer people to Deer Path of Huntley when it opened. The community that we manage serves adults 22 to 64 years of age with physical disabilities.

As she explains it, “isn’t it worth it to drive a few hours to know your loved one is in a beautiful facility receiving quality care?” She often works tirelessly on her own time with many people that she knows may never live with us.

She is the same way with the residents of our building. When it is time for someone to move to a higher level of care, she works tirelessly to find the best solution for them. She helps the family coordinate movers if they need them, helps them pack belongings, arranges storage, delivers treasured personal items to their new homes. She assures the families that she will continue to visit- “once they are a part of our family, they always will be, no matter where they are”. This is so reassuring to families facing the fear of the “dreaded nursing home”. She often takes them their favorite treats after they are settled – candy or maybe a chocolate shake from the Dairy Queen.

She is an inspiration to our staff, reminding them that this could be the last home for many of our residents, and we need to make it a wonderful experience for them and their families. She is interested and concerned about the staff and their lives as well and always willing to lend a helping hand when she can. She has never met a stranger. I often here the woes of the gas station attendant or the store clerk she encounters in her travels, because she wants to help them out in any way she can – always the mother hen “We have many contacts and resources available to us, and others are not so fortunate.”

These are the qualities that make her a Shining Star- the passion, the caring attitude , the empathy, the desire to improve the situations of all those she encounters – the rich, the poor, the under dogs, the neglected of our society. This is why our building is always full – it is easy to sense the genuine caring. There is no sense of phoniness. It’s not just about the sale, it’s about the People!

2014 Shining Star - Group Shot


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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Puzzled by Medicare?

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

When I heard my family member’s question about Medicare, I was not surprised.

His sister needed to move from the apartment in a retirement community where she was living into a nursing home. He was trying to verify how much of the cost of nursing home care would be covered by Medicare.

I had to explain that Medicare would not be paying a dime. The reason why is because his sister needed nursing home care because of Alzheimer’s.

Medicare?

People often think that because “Mom has Medicare, she will be covered for her whole stay in a nursing home,” said Janet Dobbs, Administrator of the Douglas Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Mattoon, Illinois. She was talking about Medicare and Medicaid during an informational program at the Heritage Woods of Charleston affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Coles County, Illinois.

She emphasized that “just because you are in a nursing home does not mean you will be covered.”

Medicare benefits for skilled nursing only applies for short-term rehabilitation and only if you meet certain eligibility requirements:

You must be receiving care in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing care bed.

You must be moving into the nursing home after being in a hospital as an “inpatient” for at least three consecutive midnights.

You must need rehab and be making adequate progress toward recovery or partial recovery.

If you have traditional Medicare and you meet the eligibility requirements, Medicare will cover 100% of the costs of skilled nursing care for the first 20 days. For days 21 through 100, there is a daily co-pay. This year, the amount is $152 a day. Medicaid and most Medi-gap policies will pick up the co-pay amount, Dobbs said.

If you have Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, be sure to check with your plan about the specifics of what is covered.

Here is one more important point that Dobbs mentioned about hospitalizations.

Don’t assume that just because you are in a bed in a hospital room that you are considered an inpatient. These days, you might be in the hospital for five nights, but you may not be in the hospital as an inpatient for the three midnights required by Medicare, said Dobbs.

You may be in the hospital under “observation status” rather than as an “inpatient” so you should check with the hospital.

Whether you are in the hospital under “observation” or as an “inpatient” is not only important in regards to skilled nursing care benefits for rehabilitation. It also is important in regard to your hospital bill.

If you are considered an “inpatient,” Medicare Part A covers the cost. If you are considered under “observation status,” Medicare Part B coverage applies and significant co-payments may be involved.

For more information, go to www.medicare.gov, which is the official U.S. Government site for Medicare.

Also, the 2014 Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from now through Dec. 7. I encourage you to review and compare your coverage options for 2015.


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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Thinking Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

Gail Williams is a survivor.

She beat breast cancer more than a decade ago and didn’t look back until this summer when her mammogram revealed there may be trouble again.

A biopsy showed that everything was fine, but the second breast cancer scare pushed her into action. She wanted to raise awareness about the disease and figured her job at Deer Path of Huntley,  an assisted living community for adults 22 to 64 with physical disabilities, was the perfect place to start.

She reached out to community partners and put together the Pink Power Tea that was held at Deer Path last week. The two-hour event included survivor stories, early detection tips and mammogram advice. Everyone went home with a card they can hang in their showers as a reminder to do monthly self-exams.

“Breast cancer can happen to anyone. We need to do everything we can to make people more aware of how to recognize and treat this disease,” explained Gail, the marketing director at Deer Path.

This year alone, an estimated 232,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of death in women.

One in eight women will learn they have breast cancer at some point in their lives. The disease also affects men, although it is not as common. In 2014, about 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

These staggering numbers and a personal connection have pushed Gail to start thinking about ways to boost awareness efforts at Deer Path. She and her partners from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and Care Navigators would like to host annual educational presentations and bring a mobile mammogram station to the community.  The issue is especially important at Deer Path, Gail said, because the residents there are within the age range that is most at risk.

Heritage Woods of Rockford Pink for Breast Cancer 2014

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS SAVES LIVES:
SET UP AN ACTION PLAN

If you are 40 or older:

Have a yearly mammogram and continue to do so for as long as you are in good health.

Include a breast exam as part of a periodic health exam, preferably at least every year.

Report any breast change to your doctor right away.

If you are 20-39 years old:

Have a breast exam as part of your periodic health exam, preferably at least every three years.

Do self-exams. Report changes to your doctor.

Source: American Cancer Society

BMA Management, Ltd Pink for Breast Cancer 2014

Heritage Woods of Dwight Pink for Breast Cancer 2014

The pictures above show BMA and our communities
wearing pink to support breast cancer awareness.


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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Stayin’ Alive Can Help Keep ‘Em Alive

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

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

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to do CPR, here is a tip that I heard yesterday on WGN Radio. Think Stayin’ Alive.

I am referring to the Bee Gees 1977 disco hit.

Researchers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria discovered that the beat to the song mimics the ideal pace for hands only CPR – just over 100 beats per minute.

A video that actor, comedian and physician Ken Jeong did for the American Heart Association demonstrates what we need to do. First, call 911. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest. Push to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.


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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