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BMA to Share Operational Expertise at Senior Living Conference

March 12th, 2015

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

BMA will be leading sessions on life enrichment and wellness, management and operations, and sales and marketing at the Leading Age Illinois 2015 Annual Meeting and Exhibition. The conference is being held from April 29 through May 1 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Leading Age Illinois (formerly Life Services Network) is the largest eldercare association in Illinois. The statewide association represents the leading providers of services for older adults, including senior housing, assisted living, supportive living and memory care communities.

LeadingAge Illinois Annual Conference & Exhibition Logo

Representatives of BMA and communities that the company manages will be leading the following sessions:

If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage It

Kim Ioerger, Vice President of Operations, and Amy Eubank, BMA Interim Administrator, will be talking about how leaders can empower directors and front line staff to think strategically and quantitatively and about how an organization can measure success through numbers without appearing to be all about the numbers.

The Stetson Club: Baby Boomer Gentlemen’s Recreation in Senior Living

Kristiann Ruderman, Regional Operations Director, and Danni Holman, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Engagement, will be looking at what men of the Baby Boomers generation will desire in activities and life enrichment in senior housing and services. She will be presenting 25 great ideas for clubs, activities and other offerings for the masculine persuasion. She also will be presenting information on the 10 best low cost or no cost recreational pursuits for male older adults.

Ask for a Referral

Jo Ellen Bleavins, Senior Vice President of Operations, and Julie Simpkins, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, will be leading a discussion with professional referral sources on what is important to them and the challenges they are facing. The session also will cover how to partner with professional referral sources in the new managed care environment and how to assist professional referral sources with the challenges they are facing.

Re-Inventing Me: Activities and Wellness Programs for Young Adults with Physical Disabilities

Christopher Dale, Administrator, and Julie Helm, Resident Services Director, at Deer Path of Huntley will be leading this session. Deer Path is an affordable assisted living community for adults 22 to 64 years of age with physical disabilities that is located in Huntley, Illinois. They will be talking about the link between activity programming and improved physical, emotional and cognitive functioning and utilizing leisure, recreational and educational health and wellness programs to produce positive outcomes.

Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers for the conference will be Jeffrey Cufaude, President of Idea Architects, and Andrew Carle, President of Carle Consulting.

Jeff describes himself as an architect of ideas and idealist. In his presentation on “Thriving in the New Normal: How to Innovate in a World of Constant Change” he will be exploring the critical principles and practices required to build individual and organizational capacity, competence and confidence to thrive in the “new normal” in which we exist.

Andy is an internationally recognized expert in senior housing operations, marketing and technology and new models of care. In his presentation on “Innovations, Technology and the Future of Senior Housing,” he will be talking about the need for new models of housing to meet both the demographic and the psychographic needs of the seniors of today and tomorrow. He will be highlighting examples of current and future “Nana” (a term the he coined) technologies.

He also will be talking why the collapse of what he calls the Three-Legged Stool of Caregiving will drive growth of the senior housing industry and about what will drive government policy and consumer expectations in the years ahead.

For more information about the Leading Age Illinois annual conference and exhibition, click here.


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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Family Members Cite Benefits of Assisted Living

March 5th, 2015

By Amber Springer of BMA assisted and senior living management

For many people, the idea of a parent moving to an assisted living community can be emotionally challenging.

Will my parent be able to adjust to living in a new and unfamiliar environment? Will his or her needs be met? Did we/they make the right decision to move? Did we/they select the right community?

We recently received some testimonials from family members who had loved ones make the move to assisted living communities that BMA manages. We thought that reading about their first-hand experiences could help put minds at ease.

A Cat Named Boo

My Mom and Her Cat Named Boo

My mom and her cat, Boo, have been living at Heritage Woods of Huntley for almost a year. She has made many new friends, and she absolutely loves the staff and the CNAs, who take such good care of her every day. She often says she feels well cared for and loved.

Heritage Woods offers many activities for residents, which Mom partakes in on a daily basis. She always looks forward to all the social outings to her favorite shops and restaurants.

It is extremely comforting for our family to know that Mom is being so well taken of by such wonderful and caring people.

Making Dad’s Last Year of Life a Good One

My Dad so enjoyed his year with Heritage Woods of Rockford. He made a number of friends, and we are very thankful for the loving care he received as well.

In those 12 months, I could see a real positive change in Dad. He was healthier and eating better meals, and his attitude certainly improved with the companionship of friends and the Heritage Woods staff taking good care of him.

Thank you to the staff and residents for making the last year of our father’s life a very good one.

Bringing Peace and Happiness

We want to take this opportunity to share our appreciation for the beautiful and well-planned Heritage Woods of Freeport community and its staff. It is difficult to find the perfect words to express the happiness and peace of mind our family has found here.

Bringing Peace and Happines

Our parents were at a point where they knew they needed assistance with their daily routines, but wanted to retain their independence with dignity and respect. At Heritage Woods, they have found that special combination of assistance with independence. Even though suggesting the move was difficult, the staff helped make the discussion so comfortable that my parents could easily see the wonderful opportunity in front of them. Before they moved in, so many residents came up to us to tell us how glad they were to live at the community that we were deeply impressed.

The combination of medical support, interesting and varied meal options, housekeeping assistance and private apartment-style living has been nothing short of perfection. The community atmosphere and spirit of the residents is emotionally fulfilling and endearing. The activities are fun and engaging. The Christmas decorations, activities and caroling performances were so beautiful our mother stated she felt in awe and was seriously overwhelmed. The recent Elvis show was outstanding and “rocking,” according to our Mom. Our father has been able to retain his driving privileges and continue his hobby of building remote control airplanes. Both have truly enjoyed the musical sing-alongs. Mom is trying to persuade Dad to get up the courage to sing and play his harmonica for the other residents. (He is getting close to actually doing it!) Our parents’ church is nearby, so they also continue to enjoy the spiritual connection they’ve enjoyed for years.

Our greatest joy is seeing our parents relax, and feel happy and safe. Our mother, who has experienced some major health concerns, is gaining strength and mobility again, and her fun personality is returning. Dad is breaking out in impromptu songs during the day for no apparent reason — except he is happy. We had no idea what a wonderful place was here and available to our family.

Our fears and worries have been lifted. We can enjoy our time together, and know that when we aren’t in town, we can rest easy knowing all is well. Heritage Woods has the vision and professional ability to make senior living comfortable, safe and rewarding. The staff is selected to support the mission of the community, and everyone has gone above and beyond our expectations. We could not be happier with Heritage Woods.


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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Putting Customers First

February 26th, 2015

By Rick Banas of BMA assisted living management

Love Compassion & Dignity - Covered Hand

A number of years ago, before Macy’s acquired Marshall Field’s, I bought my wife a dressy winter coat for Christmas. Unfortunately, I missed the mark on the style of the coat so I went back with her to Fields. She found a style that was perfect.

We went to the checkout counter in the coat department to make the exchange and pay the higher price for the coat that fit her so well. The clerk, and later her manager, pointed over to the Return Department and informed us that we would have go there to return the coat and then come back to the Coat Department to purchase the new coat. It was our only option, they said.

The line for returns was long. I grew up with the way Marshall Fields handled returns when the department store was in its prime. Return anything, anytime, no questions asked. Customers did not even have to purchase the item from Fields.

My response was that I did have another option. I could return the coat and not purchase the new one. Fields would be out of the money I spent on the original coat plus the higher amount I would be spending on the new coat.

Nothing else we can do, they reiterated. After talking with my wife about the situation, I informed the clerk and her manager that we would not be purchasing the new coat. They could hang it back up on the rack. We were going to return the coat and leave. As we headed toward the Return Department, the manager stopped us and said that on second thought, she could handle the return and purchase right then and there.

All that aggravation for nothing.

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence - Book Cover

I recalled the incident last night as I began reading a book on “The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence” that I had purchased over the weekend at a used book fair.

In the introduction, the authors tell a story about a female customer who called the Nordstrom store in Salem, Oregon, because a hubcap had fallen off her car as she was driving past the mall. A Nordstrom employee went out, checked the road, found the hubcap, washed it, and called the customer to let her know she could come in and pick it up.

The authors cite a comment from Pete Nordstrom about how this level of customer service helps create the perception that Nordstrom is not just a place to buy things. It is a “place where they can find solutions.”

Is it a coincidence that Marshall Fields, once one of Chicago’s landmarks, is now found in historical photographs and Nordstrom is going strong?

Here at BMA Management, residents of the senior living, assisted living and memory care communities we manage and their families rank as our #1 priority. It is something we emphasize during the hiring, orientation and training process and in our day-to-day operations.

Our focus is on providing residents with the love, compassion & dignity they deserve in addition to the services and assistance they need.

Our 2015 ALFA Hero Award Finalist serves as a great example. In describing David Noles, a Dietary Aide at Heritage Woods of McLeansboro, Administrator Kendra Millenbine says “we have seen many residents come and go since we opened our doors, and David has always shown each one of them how special they are.”

Another wonderful example is our 2014 Gold Shining Star award recipient Bridget Rumler from John Evans Supportive Living in Pekin, Illinois. “We get many calls each week, and unfortunately, there are times when we cannot meet the needs of the caller,” says Melanie Daniels, the community’s Administrator. “Bridget still takes the time with each person to understand the situation and be a resource for them. They do not finish a call without a sense of hope.”

Melanie adds that Bridget “often calls other facilities and puts them in touch with families. Many times she has given her personal phone number and tells them “call me and let me know how things work out.”

The discretionary effort from these employees shows us that how we treat our customers is often much more important than what we do for them.

As a young boy, my mother and father used to go to the same pizza restaurant. The food was good, but not much different than many of the other choices located nearby. We went there because they treated us like family. Staff members would even hold my baby brothers if they got fussy, so my parents could eat.


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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Take Control of Your Health

February 19th, 2015

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Health in Words

One of the best ways to maintain your independence as you age is to take control of your health.

You’ll significantly reduce your risk of developing the types of chronic health problems commonly associated with growing older. You’ll reduce your risk of needing nursing home care. And, you’ll also likely reduce the amount of money you have to spend on health care.

Here are six steps you can take to take control.

Be Social

More and more research is showing that social connectivity is one of the keys to aging well.

Researchers are finding that people tend to be happier when they are with other people than when they are alone.

Socializing also helps keep your mind sharp.

Eat Healthy

Healthy Foods Measurement

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cite many benefits to healthy eating. The proper diet can help you maintain your energy and proper weight; may help reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure, manage diabetes, and lower high cholesterol; and reduce your risk of other chronic health conditions.

Recommendations for eating healthy include eating a balanced mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins every day; limiting your intake of salt, added sugars and saturated fats; and drinking plenty of liquid, especially water. Choose a variety of colors and types of vegetables.

The amount you should eat, the NIH notes, depends on your age, whether you are a man or a woman, your height and weight, your metabolism, and the amount your physical activity level.

Exercise

The lack of exercise is one of the key reasons why people lose their mobility and independence, says Dr. David Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., in his book “How to Keep Mom (and Yourself) Out of a Nursing Home.”

He suggests 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four times a week. In addition some sort of weight training also is recommended.

Strengthening your quadriceps is of vital importance because of the role they play in helping you get in and out of bed and a chair.

Balance exercise can help reduce falls, and stretching exercises can help with flexibility.

Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.

Monitor Medications

Take your medications as prescribed – the right amount at the right time of day.

Do not stop taking your medication just because you are feeling better.

Tell your doctor about all of the over-the-counter and prescribed medications you are taking.

Buying all of your medications at the same pharmacy can help you keep track.

Call your doctor if you are feeling any adverse effects of the medications you are taking, especially if you are taking a new medication or a different dose.

Ask your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to potentially help you reduce your medication intake.

Smoking

If you smoke, stop.

The American Lung Association cites cigarette smoking as the #1 cause of preventable disease and death.

Smoking can lead to cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, coronary heart disease and a host of other health problems.

Watch Your Weight

The health risks associated with being overweight include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea and liver and kidney disease.

If you reach and maintain a normal weight, you’ll likely feel better, have more energy, and feel more like exercising. It also may help your loved ones stay healthier.


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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Posted in BMA Management, Tips

A Major Wedding

February 12th, 2015

By Amber Springer of BMA Management, Ltd.

Love has a way of finding you when it’s least expected.

Will and Donna Major - Wedding Image

That’s what happened to Will Major and Donna Webb when they moved into Prairie Living at Chautauqua, an affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Carbondale.

Will, a Chicago native and former Southern Illinois University English professor, came to the community after a stroke forced him to retire from the Gaia House Interfaith Center last year. A friend suggested the staff at Prairie Living might be able to help him get back on his feet again. Will took a tour and immediately knew that the community was the perfect fit for him.

For Donna, Prairie Living has always been like a second home. More than a decade ago, when the community opened, she was hired to care for residents as a certified nursing assistant. Donna left to go back to college and pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. She went on to nurse countless patients back to good health until she was sidelined by her own medical issues. After a second heart attack, Donna didn’t feel safe living alone. She turned to Prairie Living, the only place she knew she could get the assistance she needed while maintaining her independence.

The two crossed paths in their new homes and became fast friends, attending church together, accompanying each other during weekly shopping trips and eating out with other residents. One day, Will took Donna on a date. A few weeks later, she asked Will to go with her to one of the community’s social dances. They began spending more and more time together, and before long, they were making plans to get married at Prairie Living.

Everyone at the community sprang into action, planning the wedding of their dreams. Babetta Halleran, the resident services coordinator, welcomed guests, and Ray Norwood, one of the cooks, proudly stood up for Will as a groomsman. The entire wedding party was made up of neighbors and friends of the couple, many of whom live at the community. Andy Mabrey, the Prairie Living chef, prepared the menu, and all of the details – both big and small – were taken care of by residents and Megan Becker, a nurse at the community who took on the role as their wedding planner.

Afterward, the newlyweds enjoyed their honeymoon at a local bed and breakfast. Since then, they’ve become advocates for Prairie Living and the lifestyle it provides for older adults. The couple serves on the welcome committee, helping new friends get accustomed to a different environment.

Will and Donna Major - Enjoying a Moment

“I can’t think of anyone who could do a better job helping people adjust than our resident newlyweds,” said Terri Pasquino, the community’s administrator. “Although Will and Donna come from very different backgrounds, they both found love and support at Prairie Living.”

The couple says they are eternally grateful that Prairie Living brought them together and helped them find love.

“This is our home, and we want to share our joy here,” Will explained. “We want to show everyone that just because we live in a supportive living facility, that doesn’t mean we can’t make our own decisions. We know we are still in control of our destiny, and only we can control the path our lives take.”

When residents move into our assisted living communities, one of the first perks they notice is all of the opportunities they have to socialize with others. They develop meaningful friendships, and every once in a while, if they’re lucky like Donna and Will, they’ll find someone they want to be with for the rest of their lives. Seeing that new love blossom is a beautiful thing.

Help us wish the newlyweds many years of love and happiness – and be sure to visit the Prairie Living Facebook page to see more photos from their special day.


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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Posted in Assisted Living Event, BMA Management
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