By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
As far as I am concerned, what happened during a trip out of town provided further evidence of my belief that there is no such thing as Chance & Coincidence.
While I tend to be on the road quite a bit, normally I am not away from home on weekends.
This one Friday night was an exception. After arriving at the hotel and spending some time getting my work out in, I decided to head to a restaurant that I hadn’t been to in quite a few years. Being a Friday night, it was crowded. Quite a few people were waiting for tables so I felt fortunate when a seat opened up at the bar.
As I finished my meal, I became engaged in conversation with the couple sitting next to me. Their mother, as it turns out, had looked at two of the senior living communities that we manage in the area and moved into the one that she felt best suited her. As soon as she walked in the front door, she knew that this was the one for her.
Mom knew she needed to move because of her health, but leaving the house where she lived for the past 30 years was by no means an easy decision, the couple told me. There was no way that she wanted to move into a nursing home; fortunately, the community she selected was anything but a nursing home.
Their only regret, they said, was that Mom was only able to live at the community for six months. Despite being in her early 70s, she was not in good health and passed away.
The couple hesitated before continuing to talk about Mom living in one of our Supportive Living communities. Knowing that I was from “Corporate”, they stressed that didn’t want to get anyone into trouble. Your community has a rule that residents need to come to the dining room for meals. We certainly understand why. But with all of the health problems that Mom was experiencing, she didn’t always feel like going to the dining room. On these occasions, staff always made sure that she didn’t go hungry. A tray of food would just happen to find its way to her apartment.
The couple went on to say that Mom, with all of her health problems, frequently would get scared, especially at night. One of the staff members working the night shift always seemed to find the time to sit with her to help her handle the situation.
One staff member went so far as to run out to a local store to buy Mom snacks that she loved to have in her apartment. They wanted to be sure that I understood that the staff member did this on her own time, not while she was on-duty.
We talked for a while about how lucky we are here in the State of Illinois to have the Supportive Living program and about our commitment at BMA to serve those of all incomes and embrace those on Medicaid.
Toward the end of Mom’s stay, they told me, she was running out of money and applied for Medicaid. The State, however, did not approve her application until two months after she died. Not once, they said, did this make a difference. She wasn’t treated any differently.
As a company, we work hard to be sure that the staffs at each of our communities understand our values of providing Love, Compassion & Dignity and understand our philosophy that residents, and their families, are always the top priority. We make a point to talk about our values and philosophy frequently – during the hiring process, orientation, training and staff meetings.
I find it hard to believe that it was only by Chance & Coincidence that I ended up at a restaurant that I hadn’t been to in years, with a seat opening up next to a couple who would tell me about how the staff at one of our communities touched the life of their mother by living out the values and philosophy that we hold so dear.
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.”
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