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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

How The Times They Are A Changin’

February 5th, 2015

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

Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night

Our daughter, Elizabeth Clark, left me a voice mail a couple mornings ago. “Dad, I want to give you a heads up on something you might be interested in for a Blog. I heard a report on NPR about how Bob Dylan had just put out an album of Frank Sinatra re-make songs. He only did one interview for promotion, and it was with AARP (Interview).”

Wow! As a child of the 60s, I grew up listening to Bob (Robert Zimmerman) as a folk singer, performing such great hits as the “Subterranean Home Sick Blues,” “Just Like a Woman,” “Positively 4th Street” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”

A couple of decades later, Dylan joined up with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty as a member of the Traveling Wilburys. The group recorded its first album at Dylan’s home studio in Malibu, California, in 1988. I have a copy of the CD, which we purchased used for just $2, in my collection. “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” is one of my favorites.

But, raspy voiced Bob Dylan doing 10 Frank Sinatra classics such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Why Try to Change Me Now” in his new album “Shadows in the Night.

Be careful not to prejudge about how people can change, I reminded myself. After all, take a look at Joni Mitchell. In my late teens and early 20s, I was listening to her as a folk singer, sounding off about how “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot” in “Big Yellow Taxi.” Her “Both Sides Now” CD, which was released in 2000, features beautiful versions of Joni singing “At Last,” a popular song from the 1930s that was made famous by Billie Holliday, and “You’re My Thrill,” a song written in the 1940s for a musical. I have played the CD for many family and friends without telling them who is performing the songs. They are so surprised to hear that it is Joni Mitchell.

Then there is Robert Plant. Back in the early 1970s, I saw him singing with the hard rock band Led Zeppelin at the old Chicago Stadium, performing such classics as “Stairway to Heaven.

Forty some on years later, I had the opportunity to see him perform with Alison Krauss at Ravinia, the oldest outdoor musical festival in the United States. He had transformed himself into a highly successful bluegrass musician. The “Raising Sand” CD by Plant and Krauss won five Grammy Awards in February 2009.

So I mentioned it to my wife. Bob Dylan doing Frank Sinatra, she cringed.

And, as for Dylan only doing an interview with the AARP magazine, he is 73, she reminded me.

I’m thinking, why would Dylan try to change himself now, at this point of time in his life, and do an album of songs that are at least a half a century old and performed by Old Blue Eyes. He explains why in his interview with AARP.

As for the “Shadows of the Night” album itself, Rolling Stone magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars. In his review that is posted on USA Today, Chris Chase notes that “quite remarkably, Dylan sounds great.”

Respectfully, I have to disagree. Yes, Dylan does the songs “His Way” rather than simply covering the songs. Yes, the quality of Dylan’s voice is much better than it has been in recent years; you can actually understand most of the words. Yes, I like the musical accompaniment. To me, however, Dylan’s voice never sounded great. But his unique vocal style and quality that worked so well on such albums as “Blonde on Blonde,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “The Times They Are A Changin” do not work on “Shadows of the Night.”

What are your thoughts about his new album and about his only doing one interview to promote the album – with AARP rather than with a publication like Rolling Stone.


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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ALFA Hero Finalist Called to Serve Seniors

January 29th, 2015

By Amber Springer of BMA Management, Ltd.

From an early age, David Noles felt like he was called to serve older adults.

David Noles and Resident

He has the kind of gentle spirit and loving heart that makes you feel like he really cares about you – traits that make him a favorite among residents at Heritage Woods of McLeansboro, an affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Hamilton County. The dietary aide can make the simplest meal feel like a 5-star dining experience because of the service he provides, but it’s the way he listens and enriches the lives of the men and women who live at the community that make him stand out.

Last month, David was recognized as a 2014 BMA Shining Star, and earlier this week, he learned that he was on a short list of finalists for the 2015 ALFA Hero Award.

Each year, the Assisted Living Federation of America recognizes five ALFA Heroes as the ideal representatives of the hundreds of thousands of people serving in senior living communities. The search committee received nearly 300 nominations this year, and narrowed the field to only 20 finalists.  The five finalists who receive the most votes will be recognized at ALFA 2015: The Senior Living Executive Conference in Tampa. (You can vote for David every day between now and Feb. 6 via the ALFA website listed below.)

This is the second year in a row that an employee at an assisted living community managed by BMA has been selected as an ALFA Hero finalist. Last year, Elizabeth “Beth” Dreas, a cook from Heritage Woods of Centralia, was one of only five ALFA Hero Award winners in the country.

The national recognition speaks to the love, compassion and dignity that is seen at each of the communities we manage and reminds us of why we do what we do every day. David is the perfect example of how we want to serve all of the men and women who walk through our doors, looking for a home where they can regain their independence and maintain their dignity.

From the moment he came to Heritage Woods, David made his presence felt. It’s not unusual to see residents at the community stop David for a quick chat. They know he is always there to listen to their troubles and offer a funny story to cheer them up.

“We’ve seen many residents come and go since we opened our doors, and David has always shown each of them how special they are,” explained Heritage Woods Administrator Kendra Millenbine.

One resident loved to talk about the small community where she was raised. She told David about the old Indian burial grounds there and said she was convinced that Heritage Woods was built on burial grounds, too, because she’d heard noises in her apartment. They joked about that and when David left that day, he stopped by her place to let out a loud Indian call. “David, is that you?” she asked, bursting into laughter. It’s a story she shared with everyone, often laughing until she cried. One year, the woman’s sisters wanted to send flowers for her birthday. They lived in Kansas, so David went out to buy the flowers to surprise her. She was touched that her family remembered her favorite flowers on such a special day.

When David noticed residents shared his passion for birds and wildlife, he bought several bird feeders and bird baths, so they could watch the birds from the dining room or patio. The group even took an unforgettable trip to see the peacocks, chickens and doves that had taken up residence at his home.

Another time, all it took was overhearing a resident say it’d be nice to see more butterflies, and David sprang into action, helping plant a butterfly bush in the flower garden. Every spring, residents come out to see the beautiful blooms on the hibiscus and all of the butterflies that flock to the plant.

David comes in on his off days to spend time with residents.  He cheers them on when they join in on the games, crafts and other activities offered at the community – and has that same enthusiasm with his coworkers. He is the first to welcome new dietary employees, showing them how to do their job well and demonstrating great leadership qualities along the way. David takes great pride in his work, and it shows. He wants other team members to have the same success.

Outside of work, David is just as committed to older adults. He volunteers with senior groups at his church and donates his time and money to local organizations that benefit seniors. When he hears about an elderly person having difficulties living alone, he immediately shifts gears to tell them about Heritage Woods and the benefits of supportive living. David is extremely humble and shies away from taking credit for all that he does. Instead, he credits his faith and says his only hope is that when he meets his Creator, He will say, “Well done.”

Let’s thank David for a job well done by helping him receive the recognition he deserves as one of the top senior living employees in the country.

There are two ways to cast your vote.
(vote once a day per email – links below)

ALFA Website       ALFA Facebook

After you cast your first vote, you will receive a confirmation email from Wishpond. You must follow the link for your vote to count.

Share with your friends & family via Email | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter


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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Is Assisted Living or Home Health Your Best Choice?

January 23rd, 2015

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

When it comes to whether assisted living or home health care might be the best choice, a lot depends on what you need and what is important to you.

Based on my years of experience, here are a few things to consider:

Three woman socializing

Socialization and Companionship

More and more research is showing that social connectivity is one of the keys to aging well and feelings of isolation and loneliness are dangerous to your health and well-being.

For many, the biggest advantage that assisted living has over home health care is all of the opportunities that are available in assisted living for socialization and companionship. You don’t need to drive anywhere or even go outside, which is especially nice when the weather isn’t. Just step outside your apartment door. Join other residents for programs that exercise your mind and your body, card games, musical entertainment, Wii Bowling, community health education programs, a cup of coffee or breakfast, lunch and dinner. It certainly beats eating alone at home while watching the late afternoon news or Wheel of Fortune.

I long ago lost count of the number of families who insisted prior to Mom moving into assisted living that Mom is not likely to come out of her apartment because she is one who doesn’t like to socialize. Several weeks later, the family is calling the community to check if Mom is okay. They have been calling her phone number for hours and Mom is not answering. Much to their surprise, Mom has not been in her apartment because she is socializing with other residents and participating in activities that are available.

24/7 Staffing

In assisted living communities, staff is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide residents with the personal assistance and help with medications they need. How many hours a day and how many days a week will home health care be available to you?

Specially-Designed Apartments and Community Areas

Are any of the following an issue in your house, townhome, apartment or condominium:

Do you need to walk up and down stairs to get into your house, to the place you sleep, to your washer and dryer?

Are the doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter?

Is a bathroom conveniently located near the place you sleep? Is the bathtub equipped with grab bars? Can you easily maneuver a wheelchair or scooter in the bathroom? Can you easily get into and out of the shower or bathtub?

The apartments and community areas in the assisted living communities BMA operates are especially designed for those who may need some help to maintain their independence. The apartments feature bathrooms that can accommodate the turning radius of a wheelchair or scooter. There are easy-access showers and grab bars by the toilet and shower. An emergency pull cord is located in the bathroom and an alert button in the bedroom/sleeping area of the apartment that residents can activate to alert staff in case of an emergency. The flooring is appropriate for individuals who may be encountering issues with balance or ambulation.

Three Meals a Day Seven Days a Week

With home health care, what steps might need to be taken to ensure that you are eating when and as you should?

The monthly fee in the assisted living communities BMA operates includes three meals a day, seven days a week, plus snacks. The meals are served restaurant-style in the community’s dining room so you are eating with others.

In our assisted living communities, housekeeping and laundry services also are included.

Cost

According to MetLife’s most recent Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, the average fee for home health care was $21 an hour, which adds up to $84 a day for two hours of home health care in the morning and two hours at the end of the day. The survey dates back to 2012, The hourly rate does not include all of the other expenses associated with living in your house.

Depending on the type and frequency of services that you need, assisted living may be more cost-effective than home health care. It can pay to do a detailed analysis.

If you need help but are tempted to do without either home health care or assisted living, I suggest you take a look at the costs that can be associated with doing nothing. If you are not eating properly, taking your medications as you should or staying socially active, you are significantly increasing the likelihood of developing more complicated health problems that lead to hospitalizations and the need to move to a nursing home. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in the United States as of 2012, according to the Met Life Survey, was more than $90,500, which was more than double the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in assisted living.

Both home health care and assisted living have their place. Be sure to do your homework.


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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