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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Puzzled by Medicare?

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

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

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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Amazing Things Happen Every Day

October 15th, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

It's

Amazing things happen at BMA senior and assisted living communities ever single day.

We are constantly hearing about the wonderful team members who go above and beyond to treat residents with love, compassion and dignity. We also hear about residents who regain their independence, rediscover their passions and find people who genuinely care about their well-being when they move into the communities we manage.

So, it was refreshing to see some of those success stories highlighted as part of the 2014 Affordable Assisted Living Coalition Photo and Testimonial Contest (AALC).

Four BMA communities were recognized this year, including Heritage Woods of Manteno, which took first place honors for a testimonial from Helen Wotring. She moved to Heritage Woods seven years ago because she wanted a more active social life. Helen participates in nearly every activity that is offered at the community. She also volunteers in the Country Store and is the Resident Council Secretary.

Here’s what Helen had to say about her home: “I moved into a supportive living community to be around people, and the people here are great! I feel well taken care of, safe and secure. Living at Heritage Woods of Manteno allows me to attend lunch outings with other residents, volunteer my time and participate in countless activities.”

Cambridge House of O’Fallon received an honorable mention for a testimonial submitted by Pearl Davis, a resident at the community. Pearl moved into her apartment nearly three years ago and said, “I’m very pleased to be living here. The staff is pleasant, helpful, smiling and nice. I feel safe here, and there are many activities to take part in, if I choose. It’s a great group to be a part of.”

Two communities – Cambridge House of Maryville and Heritage Woods of Batavia – earned honorable mentions in the AALC Photo Contest. The Cambridge House photo shows Benjamin Bertram and Lynda Leggett, two veterans who live at the community, raising a new flag. The winning image from Heritage Woods is a fun shot of residents during an outing at the zoo.

Congratulations to all of the winners and to the staff members who create an environment that fosters these special moments – and countless other stories that go untold.


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 75 the Ideal Age to Die?

October 9th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has stirred up some controversy about dying.

Zeke, who is 57 years of age, says he hopes to die at the age of 75.

Ezekiel

An article that he wrote on the subject was published last month in the Atlantic. | Article |

He also explained why death at age 75 is right for him in a recent interview on ABC News. | Article |

Emanuel contends that by age 75, he will have “lived a complete life.”

He also contends that “society and families – and you – will be better off.”

He associates “living too long” with decline and frailty, if not disability; the loss of creativity; and the loss of the “ability to contribute to work, society and the world.”

I find it curious given Emanuel’s position as Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania that “society” comes before “family” and before “you” in his wording and that he equates losing one’s ability to contribute to society with “living too long.”

Also, despite growing evidence to the contrary, Emanuel does not believe that that we can live decades beyond 75 and die without much in the way of aches, pains and the deterioration of the body and mind.

To his credit, Emanuel is not talking about ending his life through suicide or euthanasia, both of which actively opposes.

His focus is on the amount of health care that he will agree to and the steps that he says he will not take to try and prolong his life.

Here are some of the reasons why I disagree with Emanuel:

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author, has spent years studying locations in the world where people are most likely to live the longest, healthiest and happiest. One of the locations is Loma Linda, California. Based on his research, Dan has a much different view on aging. He contends we have two choices – “living a shorter life with more years of disability or the longest life possible with the fewest bad years.” Dan is featured in a Blog on “What You Can Learn from Communities Where People Live Past 100” that was posted on the Forbes website on Sept. 29, 2014. | Blog |

A report published in the July 12, 2013 of the New Scientist cites research by the Danish Aging Research Center that indicates that people in their 90s are getting smarter. | Article |

Sir George Martin, at the age of 80, co-produced the Beatles’ album “Love,” which is the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil play. The “Love” album was released in November 2006, nearly 40 years after “When I’m Sixty-Four” – a song that viewed 64 as old.

Pablo Picasso, at the age of 90, was still producing drawings and engravings.

An American composer by the name of Elliot Carter didn’t write his first opera until after he turned 90. Between his 90th and 100th Birthdays, he published more than 40 works.

A resident of the Heritage Woods affordable assisted living community that we manage in Bolingbrook, Illinois, took up wood carving at the age of 92. At the age of 96, Manny Shellist carved the Gettysburg Address into an 8-foot high display. The display has been featured at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. | Photo Gallery |

Over the coming months, I will be providing other examples.


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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