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Archive for the ‘BMA Management’ Category

Assisted Living Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA senior and assisted living management

Helen Olson - Resident of Heritage Woods of Freeport
Helen Olson enjoyed a special
birthday celebration last week.
When reflecting on her life, she
said, “100 years. Wow. It’s a real
blessing that most people don’t
get to realize and enjoy, and
let me say, what a ride!”

Helen Olson is a youthful 100.

She celebrated her centenarian status in style last week, sporting a colorful lei and taking center stage as she tickled the ivories for guests at her birthday party. She played for more than an hour, taking requests and sharing a few of her favorite songs.

It’s a scene that’s not uncommon at her new home: Heritage Woods of Freeport. Helen can often be found in the corner of the dining room, peeking over the piano as the beautiful sounds she creates fill the halls.

“This is what I enjoy, what I love,” she said. “And it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share it with everyone here. This is my release.”

Helen, who worked for decades caring for others as a nurse, lived on her own until she was 99 ½. She was one of the first people to move in when the community opened last summer. Living at Heritage Woods has allowed her to maintain her independence, meet new friends and share her passion for music with others.

One of Helen’s daughters became emotional as she shared how touched she was that so many people – the residents and staff—had come out for her Mom’s birthday celebration.

“Mom is so, so lucky, and we are, too, that she could celebrate her birthday with all of you,” she said. “You have made this day very, very special for us, for her to have a whole gallery of friends here who love her as much as we do.”

The beauty about moving into a community like Heritage Woods of Freeport is that people come together for each other. Residents have a support system, a small army of people, who celebrate things – big and small – and help them thrive in their new homes.

Supportive living communities, such as Heritage Woods of Freeport, have improved the lives of thousands of people across the state of Illinois. Each April, we celebrate all of the wonderful things that make supportive living a blessing for the individuals who live in these communities. Helen is just one example of a resident who continues to enjoy an independent lifestyle because of the love, dignity and compassion provided at BMA communities.

Below is a video of Helen sharing her life story with her new friends. Feel free to leave a birthday wish for Helen in the comments, too, and we’ll share each of them with her.


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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Affordable Assisted Living in Illinois: It’s A Wonderful Life

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA senior and assisted living management

Laughing Seniors

Thousands of seniors and adults with physical disabilities in Illinois are enjoying a wonderful life because of a program in the State of Illinois that serves as a model for affordable assisted living.

The program called Supportive Living benefits seniors and adults with physical disabilities of virtually all incomes, including individuals on Medicaid. It provides them with a residential alternative to a nursing home.

This past week, the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC) posted a video that features residents sharing their comments about living in an affordable assisted living community. They talk about how the move has impacted their lives and how rewarding the experience has been.

I invite you to watch and listen to what they have to say. I also invite you to share your comments with us and this Blog and video with others.


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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Celebrating Affordable Assisted Living in Illinois

Thursday, 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.


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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What Sports Teach Us about Life, Aging and Overcoming Adversity

Thursday, 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.


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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Independence Often a Matter of Balance

Thursday, 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.


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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