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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Talking with Your Children about the Rest of Your Life

May 19th, 2015

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

The Other Talk - Tim Prosch

What Baby Boomers say they want and what they are likely to do when it comes to the issues associated with the end of life are two different things, Tim Prosch told us during the session he was conducting at ALFA15: The Senior Living Executive Conference.

The session was designed to provide attendees with concepts and techniques to help residents have what he calls “The Other Talk” with their children– the talk that comes after the talk about the one about the birds and bees.

Tim’s conclusion based on the hundreds of interviews he has conducted with Baby Boomers is they never want to put their children through what happened to them. Boomers do not want their children to suffer through the same “frustrations, arguments and unpleasant surprises they themselves experienced with their parents.

Yet, Tim cited a recent study by AARP that indicates that 75% will never talk with their children and 75% of adult children will never talk with their parents.

Unfortunately, most families wait to talk until there is a crisis when options are limited, time frames are tight and everyone is under stress.

Here are a couple of tips that Tim provided to help get parents started and have the talk with their children before there is a crisis when the situation is calm and normal:

Change the dynamic of the discussion from talking about the end-of-life to talking about the rest of your life and how you can get the most out of your time.

Look at this as an opportunity to take charge and actively plan versus surrendering control.

Parents can make sure their children are aware of their personal goals and wishes. They can make sure their children fully understand what the parent wants to happen. They can discuss “what if” scenarios.

To help guide parents through the process of talking with their children about the rest of their life, Tim has authored a book called “The Other Talk” and operates a website by the same name.

In the book, Tim puts forth a comprehensive, pro-active approach designed to guide parents through the decisions and actions that need to be taken. The book also includes short stories that serve as catalysts to help parents get started and to prep for the talk.

One of the chapters in the book guides you through a discussion about housing, including continuing to live in your current house; living with your children; sharing a house with other older adults; and moving into a retirement or assisted living community.

Tim recognizes that there are all kinds of reasons to build a wall of procrastination.

My advice is not to delay prepping for and having “The Other Talk” with your children, getting all of the documents you should have in order; and focusing your attention on how you can get the most out of the rest of your life.

As Tim says, your children will thank you for it.


All affordable assisted living communities managed by Gardant Management Solutions 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.

“Gardant Management Solutions 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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Posted in Gardant, Tips

Compassionate CNA Shines as Rising Star

May 7th, 2015

By Amber Springer of Gardant Management Solutions

Sharon Hester-Johnson Rising Star Honoring Excellence Award Winner

We are proud to announce that a front-line staff member at an affordable assisted living community Gardant manages in Chicago was honored this week by LeadingAge Illinois. Sharon Hester-Johnson received the Rising Star Award, which recognizes employees who, in their first year of employment, have demonstrated a strong work ethic, commitment, initiative, leadership and the ability to be team players.
Sharon couldn’t be more deserving of this honor. She is caring and compassionate – always going above and beyond her duties as a certified nursing assistant to help the residents at Heritage Woods of Chicago.

Last year, Gardant Management Solutions recognized her as a Shining Star for her efforts to improve the lives of the men and women who rely on her care.

Ellie Baum, the administrator at Heritage Woods, said that in only a short period of time, Sharon has proven to be an inspiration to other employees and works to provide a loving, dignified environment for residents each and every day.

To learn more about why Sharon is a star, read the nomination letter below:

Our Shining Star joined the Heritage Woods family as a CNA.

Sharon Hester-Johnson with Resident

Sharon came to us like a shooting star. She immediately stood out with her warmth, caring and compassion. And like a shooting star, she leaves a trail of light. The impression she leaves on those around her is one of warmth, dependability and professionalism.

She is always smiling, and consistently warm and engaging with everyone she encounters. If Sharon sees a prospective resident is touring and needs a wheelchair, she is quick to locate one. When an employee, resident or guest needs anything – from a flatbed to a helping hand – she shoots into action to help. Her coworkers appreciate her “can do” attitude and sense of teamwork. She quickly became a mentor who helps orientate new CNAs.

Our management team immediately noticed Sharon’s caring and professional demeanor and encouraged her to apply for a receptionist position. She politely declined, saying she prefers to take care of the residents. And care for them, she does.

Residents love how she cares for them. Each month, the full-time CNAs are rotated to another wing, and every month without fail, the residents Sharon served request that she become their permanent CNA. The residents say they never have to think about asking her for anything because she is always right there to assist them and anticipates their needs.

Sharon Hester-Johnson with Resident Laughing

Sharon embodies our values of love, compassion and dignity and lives our mission statement each day. When our team was challenged to choose employees that represented each of our values for an upcoming employee appreciation visit with Gardant President Rod Burkett, our team struggled with which one to assign to her, as she is truly a shining star each day and in all she does.

We chose compassion because of her ability to reach the most difficult of residents in the darkest of their days. Sharon’s care does not end with her shift. She visits residents in the hospital and brings them clothing or other things they request.

One of our more vulnerable, and challenging, residents has been in the hospital, struggling with health issues and navigating the health care system. This is particularly challenging for residents without the support of family or friends. Sharon was committed to making sure the hospital knew he had a support system and began visiting him personally as she is the only CNA, and one of the only employees, that the resident likes.

Thank you for shining your light so brightly, Sharon, and inspiring all of us with your genuine compassion and love for our residents!


All affordable assisted living communities managed by Gardant Management Solutions 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.

“Gardant Management Solutions 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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Posted in Gardant, Supportive Living

Is Victoria’s No Secrets What’s Next?

May 5th, 2015

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

Older gentleman

Will those of us in the Baby Boomer generation be shopping at a Victoria’s No Secrets in the near future?

I mentioned this to a couple of colleagues from Gardant as we were listening to Andrew Carle deliver his keynote address at the Leading Age Illinois 2015 Annual Meeting.

Leading Age Illinois represents providers of housing and services to older adults, including senior living, assisted living, supportive living and memory care communities.

Andy is an award-winning professor and founder of the Senior Housing Administration program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The program is the first in the nation to offer curricula dedicated exclusively to the senior housing field.

At the Leading Age Illinois meeting, Andy was speaking on “Innovations, Technology and the Future of Senior Housing.”

He talked about Global Aging. It is his belief that “Global Aging” will affect us long before “Global Warming.”

He noted that U.S. Census data indicates that as of the year 1900 there were an estimated 3,536 individuals in the United States who were 100 years of age or older. As of 2050, the number is projected to be 834,000. Was it coincidence that I received an e-mail earlier in the day about being invited to a 100th Birthday Party?

Eighty percent of the care being delivered to seniors today, Andy said, is being provided by unpaid caregivers – family members or friends. One problem is distance. A significant percentage of family members live more than an hour away from each other. Often, travel times are much longer. Another challenge for family members is trying to balance work, caregiving and their own family obligations. And many of the family caregivers are 65+ or 75+, caring for parents who are in their eighties and nineties and beyond.

Long-term home health care, with caregivers spending so much of their time driving from house to house, is inefficient.

The two biggest strategic questions we face as an industry with the coming surge of aging Baby Boomers, Andy says, are “Who Will Take Care of Them” and “Where Will They Live.”

I would add a third based on reports we have seen over the past few years about how so many Baby Boomers are very ill-prepared for retirement. “How Will We Be Able to Provide the Care They Need at a Price They Can Afford?

One avenue will provide some help is “Nanna Technology”, Andy says. A number of years ago Andy coined the term “Nanna Technology” to described technology designed for older adults.

He talked about some “Nanna Technology” products that are being introduced to the market or are in the research and development stage:

Smart Shoes – which use sensors to help improve balance and reduce falls. Testing has shown that by wearing the shoes, 73-year-olds had the same balance as 23-year-olds.

Smart Soles – an insert that contains a GPS tracking device.

Digital Pills that contain sensors so that there is verification that the individual swallowed the pill. The sensors also can tract how the person reacts to the medication.

Robots that can lift an individual in and out of bed or a chair, which will reduce the likelihood of caregivers injuring themselves.

Shirts that can administrator CPR while calling 911.

It was when Andy was talking about underwear with sensors that my remark to my colleagues came to mind.

Think of all the possibilities. Underwear that is able to monitor your blood pressure; heart beat; temperature; whether you are standing, sitting or lying down; asleep or awake; if you have fallen – all hooked to a tracking system that can send an alert if anything suddenly appears abnormal.

It had me thinking that Victoria’s No Secrets stores – in our favorite shopping malls and on-line – might become all the rage.

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Posted in Gardant, Tips

Ground Broken for New Affordable Assisted Living Community

April 30th, 2015

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

Lacey Creek Supportive Living - Logo

While our affordable assisted living communities were celebrating Supportive Living Week 2015 last week with a variety of special events, we were proud to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony for a new community that is being developed in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Lacey Creek Supportive Living will be our first community in DuPage County. We currently manage communities in northern, central and southern Illinois, including the City of Chicago and Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.

Lacey Creek which will serve older adults of virtually all incomes who need some help to maintain their independence.

“We are very excited to join a team that will help make this project a reality,” Rod Burkett, CEO and President of Gardant Management Solutions, said during last week’s ceremony. “The brick and mortar that will go up here will be a great asset for the local community, but more than that, this will be a building that more than 100 seniors will call home.”

The three-story, 108,000 square-foot building will house 120 private studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of the apartments will feature a kitchenette, with sink, microwave and refrigerator; spacious bathroom with shower and grab bars; individually controlled heating and air conditioning; and emergency alert system.

The building also will include a variety of community areas.

Certified nursing assistants will be on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As in all of the assisted living communities that we operate, our focus will be on providing residents with the Love, Compassion and Dignity they deserve in addition to the personal assistance and help with medications they need.

“The residents will be very fortunate to have the tender loving care that Gardant brings to every one of their residents at every one of their facilities,” Jim Martell, owner of Ridge Development, said as he described his company’s partnership with Gardant, the largest assisted living provider in Illinois.

Support services such as three meals a day and snacks, housekeeping and personal laundry will be included. Residents also will benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize with friends and neighbors and participate in activities and special events.

The community will be conveniently located on property at 4200 Lacey Rd., north of Ogden, between Main St. and Belmont and Finley. It is being developed by Ridge Development, a Transwestern Company. Alston Construction is serving as the General Contractor.

Downers Grove officials praised the project, saying the supportive living community is a much-needed solution for a village that has a growing number of seniors and no housing options for them. Soon, they said, Downers Grove will become a community where residents can age in place without having to worry about moving away after retirement.

Lacey Creek Supportive Living Groundbreaking

Individuals interested in having their name added to the Interest List for obtaining further information when we begin taking reservations can call 1-877-882-1495 toll-free.


All affordable assisted living communities managed by Gardant Management Solutions 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.

“Gardant Management Solutions 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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Posted in Assisted Living Event, Gardant

Heritage Woods Meets Demand for Senior Housing

April 24th, 2015

By Amber Springer of Gardant Management Solutions

Heritage Woods of Manteno - Image Logo Icon

When Heritage Woods of Manteno opened its doors 10 years ago, it was clear that the community would be a much needed resource for seniors.

No one realized just how large the demand would be though.

Within a month, 58 of the 66 assisted living apartments were filled, and before long, there was a waitlist. Construction hadn’t even finished on the original building, and plans were being made to expand. Years later, that demand is still there, and the community is always full.

“You didn’t make a mistake when you chose Manteno,” Mayor Tim Nugent told a crowd that gathered for the community’s 10th anniversary celebration last week. “Manteno is the right spot. The fact that you had all those people waiting to move in before you opened is a testament to this community and to the need for the services it provides.”

Because of Heritage Woods, the mayor said, residents who grew up and raised their families in town know they won’t have to go far to enjoy their golden years.

“We are very honored to be here for this celebration,” said Rod Burkett, President and CEO of Gardant Management Solutions. “We’ve been here since the beginning, providing love, compassion and dignity for residents.”

Heritage Woods of Manteno was the 10th community Gardant, formerly BMA Management, opened in Illinois. This is the first 10-year celebration we’ve had since changing our name.

“We’re still the same company. We have the same mission, but with a new name to help us with our platform as we grow our business beyond the boundaries of Illinois,” Burkett explained. “We are committed to providing an assisted living environment that offers care to seniors of all incomes.”

In the past decade, more than 500 seniors have lived at our affordable assisted living community in Manteno.

Two residents – Virginia Biesendorfer and Edith Paschke – were recognized at the anniversary party. Both women moved into the community after realizing they needed some help to maintain their independence. A decade later, they say they are still as happy as they were the first day they walked into Heritage Woods. The community is filled with friends, love and laughter – and for them, it’s home.

Marcia Langellier, a certified nursing assistant, was honored for 10 years of service as well. Marcia and the other employees at Heritage Woods have dedicated their lives to giving residents the care and assistance they need to maintain their independence, said Administrator Beverly Fetherling.

Head staff at Heritage Woods of Manteno
Heritage Woods of Manteno Department Heads

The community currently employs more than 50 people and has provided more than $8.5 million in payroll over the years.

The Illinois Supportive Living Program, which makes it possible for Heritage Woods to serve seniors of all incomes, has grown to include 144 properties with 12,000 apartments. By 2020, a third of the U.S. population will need senior services, said Wayne Smallwood, executive director of the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC).

“Heritage Woods of Manteno is part of the solution and continues to provide much-needed services to older adults. This building is a wonderful asset to the community,” Smallwood said.

“In our industry, one of the measures we use to determine the quality of a place is, ‘Would you allow your mother to live there?’ No one does it better than Gardant Management Solutions. My own mother lives in supportive living in Decatur, Illinois, so I can tell you, the answer is yes. I’m proud of Gardant, and I’m proud of the Supportive Living Program.”

To see more photos from the anniversary celebration, visit the Heritage Woods of Manteno Facebook page.


All affordable assisted living communities managed by Gardant Management Solutions 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.

“Gardant Management Solutions 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.

          

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Gardant, Supportive Living
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