By Rick Banas, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at BMA Management
Leonard Hawk told me that he did not waste any time making the decision that he and his wife, Marilyn, should move to the Lighthouse at Silvis when the community opened for occupancy several years ago.
The native of Moline, Illinois, explained that he was a graduate of Moline High School and that he had attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, on the GI Bill after serving in the Infantry in World War II. While on leave from the Army in 1943, he married Marilyn, his high school sweetheart. She also was from Moline. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2008.
Leonard talked about being a singer in high school, about continuing to study music at Augustana and about trying out in Chicago for a part in Brigadoon before going to work selling ads in the Yellow Pages. When the company wanted him to transfer to a territory near St. Louis, he declined. Instead, he started the A1 Rental Company from scratch and became the first President of the American Rental Association. Founded in 1955 and based in Moline, the American Rental Association has grown into an international trade association.
Leonard explained that his decision to move to the Lighthouse was based on years of experience with Alzheimer’s disease, first with his mother-in-law for 14 years and then with Marilyn for seven years.
Marilyn had been in and out of the best nursing homes in the area, Leonard said. What the Lighthouse had to offer and the atmosphere was so different from a nursing home.
Being in good health, Leonard moved into one of the senior living apartments at the Lighthouse and Marilyn moved into The Harbor, a specialized neighborhood of apartments for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.
The Lighthouse was brand new, said Leonard. The cost for Marilyn was a $1,000 a month less than in a nursing home, and she had a private room rather than having to share a room with another resident. She had staff who treated her like family.
Leonard, who considers himself a pretty good cook, said that he especially appreciates the nice kitchen that is in his apartment. He had thought that Marilyn might like to enjoy a meal that he prepared in his apartment but found that she much preferred staying in The Harbor.
The Harbor and The Pointe, the specialized neighborhoods for memory care, are two of the biggest assets of the Lighthouse, Leonard noted. This is the place that anybody with Alzheimer’s should be.
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“BMA Management is the leading provider of affordable assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”