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Posts Tagged ‘assisted living’

Winter is Coming: Be Prepared

Friday, November 14th, 2014

By Jo Ellen Bleavins of BMA Management, Ltd.

Our daytime high temperatures that past two days have failed to reach the freezing mark. Our nighttime lows have been in the teens. Weather forecasters are predicting the possibility of snow over the weekend. They are saying that this weather pattern will likely to continue over the next several weeks.

All this and the official start of winter is still more than five weeks away.

Cold weather can be dangerous for older adults. They are among those most vulnerable because of a diminished ability to endure long periods of cold temperatures.

One source, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, certainly has all bases covered when it comes to Illinois and surrounding states. On one hand, a drier than average winter with average temperatures is forecasted. At the same time, we fall into a part of the country which has an “equal chance for above, near or below normal” temperatures and precipitation.

Over the past two years, no area of Illinois escaped the wrath of winter weather.

Last year, we endured the polar vortex.

Some highlights of the winter of 2012-13 included the following:

Older man using a snowblower

On Dec. 26 of 2012, much of southern Illinois was crippled by near blizzard conditions and six to 12 inches of snow.

On March 5, 2013, a storm dumped six to ten inches of snow on the northern third of the state.

On March 24, 2013, central Illinois was clobbered by a record-setting snowfall, thunder and lightning.

In the past few weeks leading up to the official start of winter, periods of snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures has hit the entire state.

Older adults are among those who are especially vulnerable to winter weather because of a diminished ability to endure long periods of exposure to cold temperatures. Older adults often make less body heat because their metabolisms are slower and they are less physically active. Certain diseases such as diabetes, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s Disease, and arthritis and some medications, including over-the-counter cold remedies, can make it harder for your body to stay warm.

Some older adults can even develop hypothermia after exposure to relatively mild cold weather or a small drop in temperature.

With hypothermia, your body temperature drops to dangerously low levels. Among older adults, significant health problems can occur when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Hypothermia can cause a heart attack, problems with your kidneys, and damage to your liver. It can cost you your life.

Based on information from the National Institute on Aging (NAI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some things you can do.

  • Set the temperature in your home or apartment to at least 68 degrees. Be sure to check the temperature often.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages as they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Dress in layers as the air between the layers help you keep warm. Wear wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers as these fabrics hold in heat better than cotton. Wear a hat or cap.
  • Wear long johns under your clothes. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • Wear long johns under your pajamas. Use extra covers. Wear a cap or hat when in bed.
  • Stay inside when it is very windy outside. A high wind can quickly lower your body temperature.
  • Finds ways to stay active.
  • Talk with your doctor about any health problems and medicines that can make hypothermia a special problem for you.
  • Ask relatives, friends, neighbors to check on you frequently, especially when the weather conditions are extremely cold.
  • Know the signs of Hypothermia and watch for them.

Signs of Hypothermia

Pale skin, cold feet and hands.
Puffy or swollen face.
Shivering.
Slower speech, slurring words.
Acting sleepy.
Anger or confusion.
Trouble walking or moving.
Clumsiness.
Stiff or jerky arm or leg movements.
Slow, irregular heart beat.
Slow, shallow breathing.
Blacking out, loss of consciousness.

If you think someone has signs of Hypothermia, call 911 and get medical attention immediately.

Until medical help arrives, get the person into a warm room or shelter. Wrap the person in a blanket. Warm the center of the body first. Do not rub the person’s arms or legs, do not use a heating pad, and do not try to warm the person in a bath.

To read the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) guide to Winter Weather Preparedness, 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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Puzzled by Medicare?

Thursday, 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

Thursday, 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

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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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