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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Posts Tagged ‘assisted living’

A Valentine Wish of Love, Compassion & Dignity

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show

One of my favorite memories dates back 50 years ago. I was one of the more than 70 million viewers to watch the debut performance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1964. I was parked in front of the TV set as the lads from Liverpool launched into “All My Loving.”

Six months later, my brother Don and I convinced our parents to take us to a movie theatre in downtown Chicago so we could see A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles first movie. (Movie trailer below)

We were hooked and with each new album, grew to deeply appreciate their musical and song-writing talents.

My passion for the Fab Four continues to this day. A Sunday morning family tradition is tuning in to Breakfast with The Beatles radio show on WXRT here in Chicago. A summer tradition is attending the performance by American English, a Beatles tribute band, at Community Park in Palatine.

Of course, this past Sunday, I was parked in front of the television, with the channel once again tuned to CBS, to watch “The Night that Changed America – a Grammy Salute.”

As I watched, I found it hard to believe that Ringo is 73 and Paul is 71. It seems like only yesterday when I first heard “When I’m Sixty-Four” in which Paul questions what life will be like when he gets older and loses his hair, many years from now. Will a certain someone still need him, feed him and be sending him a Valentine?

Valentine's Day Heart

My wish for you as we celebrate Valentine’s Day 2014 is that each and every day of the year is filled with Love, Compassion and Dignity.

If you or a certain older adult or person with a physical disability needs someone to feed them, provide help with medications or other types of personal assistance, I invite you to contact any of the senior living, assisted living and memory care communities that BMA operates to see if we may be of help.

Happy Valentine’s 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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Help Paint Our Nation Red

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

American Heart Association - Go Red for Women -logoThis month, we celebrate the 10th Birthday of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign and tomorrow, Feb. 7, is the association’s National Wear Red Day.

The goal of National Wear Red Day is to paint the nation red in support of Women’s Heart Health.

WHY?

Heart disease, according to the American Heart Association, is the #1 killer of women.

It kills more women than all other forms of cancer combined.

In addition to encouraging us to wear red, the American Heart Association is asking us to raise our voices to save lives. Talk to the women in your life about this serious issue. Encourage them to check into their cardiovascular risk and into the steps they can take to live longer and healthier lives.

All of us also should be familiar with the signs of a heart attack and what you should do in case of an attack.

Signs of a Heart Attack

Not all heart attacks are like what you see in the movies or on TV, where a person collapses after grabbing their chest. Yes, some heart attacks are sudden and intense. There is not any doubt about what is happening.

Most heart attacks, however, start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort, notes the American Heart Association.

Here are the signs that you may be having a heart attack, according to the association:

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back.

Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without discomfort or pain.

Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom for women.

Women are somewhat more likely to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.

What To Do If You Suspect a Heart Attack

If you experience any of the signs of a heart attack, the American Heart Association says do not wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1.

Here are the reasons why you should call 9-1-1 for help rather than calling a son, daughter, friend, neighbor or physician:

Emergency medical staff can begin treatment when they arrive at the scene.

They can treat you on your way to the hospital and prepare the hospital for your arrival.

They are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped.

Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital.

Do not try driving yourself to a hospital unless you have absolutely no other option.

Here is what you should do if you encounter someone who is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack:

Call 9-1-1 immediately, or ask someone else to call 9-1-1 if you are not able to make the call.

Be sure to let the operator know where you are located, especially if you are using a cell phone.

Wait for instructions from the operator.

If the person is an adult or teenager who has collapsed, begin administering Hands-Only CPR immediately after calling 9-1-1. Administering CPR can more than double a person’s chances for survival. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Staying Alive.” The song has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

Here are a couple of heart association videos that can help:

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk

There are things you can do to improve the health of your heart and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Recommendations from the American Heart Association include the following:

Manage your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Control your cholesterol.

Lose weight if your Body Mass Index number is at unhealthy level.

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Physical activity has many other physical and mental health benefits in addition to helping your heart.

Eat a heart healthy diet.

If you smoke, stop. Programs are available to help you quit.

To help find out where you stand, the American Heart Association invites you to take a My Life Check assessment. It only takes about seven minutes of your time and costs you nothing. Just 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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The Wonderful World of Walt Disney and the Process of Aging

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Lady & the Tramp - Disney Original Book

Last week, I went with my wife and our daughter, Jessica, to the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.

Having grown up in the 1950a and 60s, the Treasures of Walt Disney Archives exhibit that is at the museum through May 4 was of particular interest.

The exhibit covers nine decades of the history of the Walt Disney Company and features many artifacts, including a Davey Crockett coonskin cap and the books used to introduce Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

I have wonderful memories of watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, Zorro and the Mickey Mouse Club with Jimmie, Roy and, of course, Annette, on TV and of going to the movies to see Bambi and Mary Poppins, which was released 50 years ago.

I learned that Walt was born in Chicago; his parents lived on N. Tripp St. less than 2½ miles from where I spent the first eight years of my life. I also learned that Walt lived most of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri. When I was in college at the University of Detroit, I served as Managing Editor of the yearbook. The company we used to print the yearbook was located in Marceline, and several of us took a road trip to the plant to do a press okay.

Walt died in his mid-60s, a year before construction started on Walt Disney World in Florida.

Here are some of the things I found most fascinating about his life:

Walt was passionate about combining technology with creativity. His studio, for instance, developed a multi-plane camera to make cartoons more realistic and enjoyable by creating a three-dimensional effect. Walt explains in the video below.

Annete Disney Mickey Mouse Club Outfi

He was highly attentive to the small details. To be sure the facial expressions and body movements of characters in his movies were accurately portrayed, animators in the Disney studio would study actors going through the motions.

Unlike so many others involved in the film industry, he embraced the emerging media of television.

During our visit to the museum, we also visited the YOU! The Experience exhibit, where you can learn about four locations in the world where people tend to live the longest and healthiest. The locations are Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda California; and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

You can also hear from scientists who study aging and listen to what centenarians have to say about life. Among the things they stressed as important are having the right attitude, spirituality, social interaction, having a sense of purpose and maintaining strong family ties. They also stressed the importance of regular, moderate exercise.

It was a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious kind of 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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From the Harlem Shake to 106th Birthday Celebrations

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

Being cooped up inside because of all of the snow and bitterly cold temperatures that we have endured in the Chicago area since New Year’s Eve gave me the chance to do some reflecting back on 2013. What were we as a development and management company able to accomplish toward our mission of providing dignified lifestyles in caring environments that are enriched by our values of love, compassion & dignity?

Here are just some of the highlights:

Heritage Woods of Sterling became part of the Harlem Shake dance craze, with nearly 40 residents and staff of the affordable assisted living community participating in the making of a video that was posted on YouTube. The video has generated more than 13,500 views. (Video below)

AALC 4th Annual Wii Bowling Tournament IconThe Heritage Woodsmen, the resident Wii bowling team from Heritage Woods of Charleston, took home the First Place trophy in the 2013 Affordable Assisted Living Coalition’s (AALC) statewide Wii Bowling Tournament. Oy Vey!, the team of residents from Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook, took home Third Place.

ALFA's 2013 Best of the Best Award Icon BMA was honored by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) with a 2013 “Best of the Best” award for our nutrition and exercise initiative. It was the second time BMA Management has been presented with an ALFA “Best of the Best” award.

Over Labor Day weekend, residents at the Heritage Woods of McHenry and Heritage Woods of McLeansboro affordable assisted living communities celebrated their 106th Birthdays.

BMA opened and began management of our first affordable assisted living community designed to serve adults 22 to 64 years of age with physical disabilities. Deer Path of Huntley houses 128 private studio and one-bedroom apartments. We also opened Heritage Woods of Freeport in Stephenson County, Illinois, and St. Anthony of Lansing in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Both of these affordable assisted living communities are designed to serve adults 65 and older. In addition, we opened the expansion of Grand Prairie of Macomb, which nearly doubled the size of the affordable assisted living community in McDonough County, Illinois.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb - Caring Star 2013 - caring.comHeritage Woods of DeKalb was named a Caring Star of 2013 senior care service award winner by Caring.com, a national on-line senior care search website. The award placed the affordable assisted living community among the top 1.2% of assisted living and Alzheimer’s care communities in the United States.

Cambridge House of O’Fallon, Eagle Ridge of Decatur & Heritage Woods of Batavia celebrated their 10th Anniversaries of providing affordable assisted living to adults 65 and older who need some help to maintain their independence.

Heritage Woods of McHenry was recognized by Comfort Keepers for being the Second Place winner in the 2013 September through December Feed Seniors Now campaign. The affordable assisted living community collected 1,359 pounds of food that benefitted needy seniors in Lake and McHenry Counties.

Prairie Living at Chautauqua 2013 Spelling Bee Team Norine RoseThe Four on the Floor team of residents from Cambridge House of Maryville finished in Second Place and the Prairie Bees from Prairie Living at Chautauqua located in Carbondale, Illinois took home Fourth Place honors in the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition’s statewide Spelling Bee.

Denise Toro, receptionist at Heritage Woods of Chicago, was honored by BMA with its First Place Shining Star Award for all that she has done to improve the quality of life for residents at the affordable assisted living community on Chicago’s west side.

Heritage Woods of Huntley & Heritage Woods of McHenry were recognized as “One of the Best” in the Retirement Centers category for the 2013 McHenry County Best of the Fox Northwest Herald Readers’ Choice awards.

For the second year in a row, Grand Prairie of Macomb created a fantastic Christmas Light Display. The nearly 50,000 lights synchronized to the sounds of classic Christmas songs. Visitors where able to listen by tuning their radios to a individualized station. An exterior speaker system played for those who braved the elements. (Video below)

Ellie Baum, Administrator at Heritage Woods of Chicago; Meghan Chasek, Administrator at Heritage Woods of Moline; and Melanie Daniels, Administrator at John Evans Supportive Living; in Pekin, graduated from the Assisted Living Federation of America’s 2013 Executive Director Leadership Institute.

Bowman Estates of Danville continued to raise money for the United Way of Danville with its annual golf outing. It is the only affordable assisted living community in Vermilion County, Illinois.

BMA’s first affordable assisted living community in Lake County, Illinois, Heritage Woods of Gurnee was awarded a Silver Certified Green Building certificate from the National Association of Home Builders’ Research Center (NAHB).

Heritage Woods of Batavia held its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Silent Auction to benefit the Batavia United Way Adopt-a-Family program. The Heritage Woods of Batavia affordable assisted living community is located in the Tri-Cities area of Kane County, Illinois.

Heritage Woods of Ottawa held its annual Festival of Wreaths Silent Auction. The event featured more than 50 wreaths decorated by local businesses and by residents of the affordable assisted living community. Funds raised benefitted the OSF St. Elizabeth Hospital Care-A-Van program.

For the second year in a row, residents of Heritage Woods of Manteno smoked Manteno firefighters and paramedics in the 2nd Annual Wii Bowling Challenge. The affordable assisted living community is located in Kankakee County, Illinois.

Phillip Bradley, a resident of Heritage Woods of Chicago, won First Place honors in the 2013 Affordable Assisted Living Coalition’s Testimonial Contest.


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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Little Mother Honored as Shining Star

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.

At BMA Management, our focus is on compassionately providing a dignified lifestyle in a caring environment and on providing residents of our senior living, assisted living and memory care communities with love, compassion and dignity.

Each year, we honor employees who, through their work each day, enhance the quality of life for residents in special ways.

Denise Toro the BMA 2013 Shining Star Winner
(Left to Right)
Rod Burkett · President & CEO of BMA
Denise Toro · Heritage Woods of Chicago
Jo Ellen Bleavins · SN VP & COO of BMA

We recently honored Denise Toro of Heritage Woods of Chicago with our First Place Shining Star award. The affordable assisted living community, which is located at Fulton and California on the west side of Chicago, serves low-income seniors who need some help to maintain their independence.

Denise joined the staff at Heritage Woods as a receptionist four years ago.

While her title may be “receptionist,” her duties far exceed the balancing act of juggling the telephone, intercom system, pull cords, doorbells, residents, guests, vendors and visitors signing in and out.

Denise maintains the pulse of the community, quickly identifying needs and addressing them or bringing them to the attention of management.

Whether it’s performing manicures for activities, participating in a marketing blitz, helping to paint and turn over apartments or cover extra shifts, she personally does whatever is needed to meet the needs of the community.

Denise is often called “the little mother” by our management team. She ensures that every visitor, employee and resident need is addressed.

When a visitor needs a resource, she will find it. Whether it is a city bus driver needing to use our restroom, someone who has lost their way or a caller looking for a different type of resource, she will provide an answer or find someone who can.

If an employee has a headache, she is the first to offer a pain reliever. She brings homemade meals to share with other employees. When employees endure hardships due to health, finances, fires or other disasters, she provides personal assistance and alerts management, so that others can assist.

While Denise is committed to all of her customers, she is most dedicated to her residents. If a resident needs gloves, she personally provides them. She is currently collecting coats for our residents most in need. Residents bring her their mail for advice on how to process it. Denise knows who needs to go to the store and reminds them to sign up for our trips.

There are countless stories of the personalized attention she provides to residents. For one resident who has an impairment, she checks the receipt to make sure the resident received the correct change. Another resident is a deaf mute who cannot read, write, or sign. He consistently seeks out Denise, who innately understands him, and she communicates for him by writing letters on his behalf to his family, making telephone calls and voicing his requests.

Denise has a long track record of generating “touching lives” stories. A few years ago, she helped a resident attend his mother’s funeral by coordinating transportation and purchasing a suit for him to wear. She assisted a senior who called Heritage Woods in a panic that she had no food and needed help; Denise insisted the administrator accompany her to the woman’s home that evening to assist her. The woman moved into Heritage Woods. Later, when she needed to move to a nursing home, Denise’s commitment continued as she filled the role of surrogate daughter and made sure the resident was transferred to a good nursing home.

Her dedication is unwavering and her commitment and love to the residents of Heritage Woods knows no end. As staff members proclaim, Heritage Woods of Chicago is more than a community; it is a family supported by their “little mother” – Denise Toro.


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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