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Posts Tagged ‘assisted living’

Is 75 the Ideal Age to Die?

Thursday, 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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A Treasure for Seniors Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

Churchview Supportive Living Community Icon

The theme during Churchview Supportive Living’s 10-year anniversary was simple: It was all about family.

And that wouldn’t surprise anyone who has spent time at the community that has called the Chicago Lawn and Marquette Park area home for the last decade.

Current and former employees shared stories during the celebration I attended last week, highlighting the great work that has been done at Churchview. They talked about how residents and the staff rallied around an employee who was diagnosed with cancer. Proceeds from wristband sales and a talent show helped the community and BMA, its management company, present that woman’s family with a check to cover part of her medical expenses.

Willie Tucker, the son of a resident, thanked the staff at Churchview for the way they treated his mother before she passed away. “My Mom was hardcore, but she loved it here. The staff was magnificent,” Willie told the crowd. “My Mom left here a year ago, but I still think of Churchview often. Continue the good work with the people who are still here.”

More than 80 seniors live at Churchview today, including Tangerine Word, a Chicago native who found her way to the community three years ago. Christopher Dale, a former Churchview administrator, recalled meeting her and immediately knowing that his team would make it their mission to help her regain the independence she’d lost after living in a nursing home. When it was time to get her things together and move, Tangerine grabbed a plastic grocery bag with 13 stuffed animals. It was all she had to her name. The Churchview staff went to work, searching for clothes she could wear and furniture to fill her apartment. Tangerine “got three meals a day. She moved into this beautiful building. But really, what she got was our arms wrapped around her and a promise to take care of her,” Christopher explained. “That is what we do. We wrap our arms around people, and we care. We care for them every single day.”

Churchview Supportive Living Community 10 Year Anniversary

The concept for this caring community began with the foresight of the Greater Southwest Development Corporation. The group developed and owns the property. BMA has managed the community since it opened in 2004.

Initially, the wow factor was a great building that would be a wonderful asset to this Chicago neighborhood. Today, the story has shifted to the more than 500 residents who have lived at the community, the thousands of family members who have been impacted by the compassionate care their loved ones receive, and the staff that continues to give their all to the men and women at Churchview, said Rod Burkett, president and CEO of BMA.

During the celebration, several employees were honored for their commitment to Churchview, including three team members who have been there since the beginning:


Cynthia Brown – Move-in Coordinator
Elizabeth Clippard – Resident Services Coordinator
Denise Donnigan – Housekeeper

“I truly believe that together we will continue to accomplish significant work for the greater good and lead the change to achieve our goal of serving seniors throughout the Chicago area,” Churchview Administrator Mark Delizo said, as he presented the staff awards.

Churchview employs more than 40 people and has pumped out millions of dollars in payroll over the past decade. During the celebration, Toni Foulkes and JoAnn Thompson, two Chicago alderwomen, described the positive impact that Churchview has had on the neighborhood and called it a treasure for seniors in Chicago.

To see more photos from the 10-year celebration,
visit the Churchview Supportive Living Community website photo gallery.


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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Heritage Woods: A Blessing for Genoa Family

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.

When her parents health continued to decline, Amy Hueber knew they could no longer live on their own.

She began researching alternatives and found Heritage Woods of DeKalb, an affordable assisted living community managed by BMA that is not too far from where they lived in Genoa.

Dixie and Arden Awe moved in this summer; it has taken a huge burden off of them and their daughter.

“I was overwhelmed,” Dixie said, “and I needed something more than what I had where we were living – supportiveness for Arden and myself – and it’s here.”

The support system comes in the form of medication assistance, meal preparation, help with daily activities, ongoing health monitoring and certified nursing assistants that are available 24 hours a day.

“Knowing that there is nothing to worry about, that they can push a button and somebody can come to their aid anytime – day or night – is very reassuring,” Amy said.

Dixie appreciates the busy social calendar that is available to residents. They can play bingo, make crafts, attend church services at the community and go on outings together.

The staff and other residents at the community have helped ease the transition to their new home, and every day, Dixie says, the couple realizes how lucky they are to have a place like Heritage Woods to call home in their golden years.

“Heritage Woods is a blessing,” an emotional Dixie explained, “It’s a place between home and the rest of the journey.”


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 Ideal Way to Die

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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

Betty White

I have to admit it. I fell for it.

I quickly read the headline and began plotting out in my mind the Blog I was going to write about the life and death of Betty White.

She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922. My pediatrician, Dr. Raycraft, had his office in Oak Park.

She starred with Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan in the “Golden Girls” when she was in her 60s. Her TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” premiered in 2010, when she was 88 years old. Also in 2010, she became the oldest person to host “Saturday Night Live.”

In 2013, she was honored by Guinness World Record for being the female entertainer with the longest television career.

This past July 18, Betty became the oldest person to be nominated for an Emmy. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that Betty was nominated as Outstanding Reality Host for her NBC television show “Betty White”s Off Their Rockers.” Let’s not forget about Betty’s Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball spoof to promote her Off Their Rockers show.

I also began thinking about Dan Buettner and his study of the secrets of leading a long and healthy life and about a Blog that I wrote earlier this summer on “Talking about Death Much Earlier in Life.” The Blog focused on a presentation by Katy Butler, an award-winning journalist and author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death.”

Of course, the headline about Betty on the Empire News story should have been a dead giveaway: “Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully in Her Los Angeles Home”. The story reveals that Betty is not a natural blonde. The brunette has been peacefully dying her hair all these years in her home.

Here is wishing Betty many more years of being able to live life to its fullest and of being an excellent role model on how to age well. I hope that when she does die that it is peacefully and in the comfort of her home.


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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Debunking the Notion that People Hate Change

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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

Roger E. Breisch profile & logo

The idea that people hate change is wrong, Roger E. Breisch told those of us in attendance at an “Identifying Barriers to Creativity” workshop that he conducted last week.

People Love Change.

To illustrate, Roger held up a device that all of us in the room have. It used to be nothing more than a mobile phone. Today, my iPhone enables me to take pictures; connect to the Internet; access my e-mail, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter accounts; check my calendar and the weather; and get directions to where I want to go.

We rush out to be among the first to change from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5.

My alma mater, Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois, introduced iPad learning last year.

No matter how much we have come to love the old, we welcome the opportunity to try new restaurants, listen to new songs, and try new and improved products.

During a phone conversation with my mother earlier this week, she reminded me about how years ago she was totally against air conditioning. In her opinion back then, we simply didn’t need it. Now, with the Chicago area having one of the few stretches of hot and humid weather that we have had all summer, she is so thankful that my father had air conditioning installed in the house.

What people hate, Roger said, is being changed. They hate the loss of control.

Roger speaks, conducts workshops and publishes Blogs and other written materials that are designed to help people open up new possibilities in their lives, their businesses and the organizations they are involved in by Asking Questions that Matter.

Part of our challenge when it comes to working with older adults is that they are being changed by sudden and dramatic changes in their health; by the onset of chronic health conditions; and by the loss of employment, a spouse and friends.

They hate that they are losing control because of changes that are occurring in their lives.

They often believe, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that a move to senior living, assisted living or memory care will mean a loss of independence and control.

They perceive, even though they have not yet made a visit, that senior living, assisted living and memory care are just fancy names for a nursing home.

They are of the mindset that, no matter what, the only way I am leaving the house is in a horizontal position.

They view the efforts of their concerned adult children to move them into senior living, assisted living or memory care as another sign that they are losing control.

I have the privilege of experiencing the ways senior living, assisted living and memory makes a difference in the lives of older adults and their families each and every time I visit one of the 37 communities that BMA manages.

I hear from residents about how they love the change they made. Often, their only regret is why did I wait so long to make the move.

As Roger said, people love change. They hate being changed and losing control.

Follow Roger E. Breisch on
Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube


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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