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Touching Lives · Providing Dignified Lifestyles

 

Archive for the ‘BMA Management’ Category

What Life with Alzheimer’s is Really Like

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Richard Nix Profile Image

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

The message in the e-mail from Richard Nix of AgingCare.com was compelling: Help Change the World View of Alzheimer’s.

AgingCare.com is a website that enables people caring for an elderly loved one to ask questions, find support and share experiences.

After analyzing thousands of questions, answers and comments, one of the things that became clear to us, said Nix, is that even with all of the information that is available, people wanted to know how Alzheimer’s impacts real life.

In response, they developed the “Fade to Blank: Life Inside Alzheimer’s” website.

The website features personal stories that take you inside the lives of individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families.

You will meet…

David Hilfiker, a physician in his late 60s, and his wife, Marja.

Rick Phelps, who spent more than two decades serving as an emergency medical technician; Phyllis Phelps, his wife and primary caregiver; and Sam, Rick’s Alzheimer’s Service Dog.

Jean Del Campo, a 72-year-old with a “motherly spirit that pervaded every aspect of her life, and Michele DeSocio, her 47-year-old daughter and primary caregiver.

Their candid accounts, presented in words and video, lets you see some of the most private aspects of their lives. You will gain a truer understanding of what life with Alzheimer’s is really like.

The stories “demonstrate that there is so much more to this devastating disease than its finality – more life, more hope, more humanity,” says Nix.

The individuals featured on the website talk openly about diagnosis, doubt, denial, stigma and self-awareness. They also talk about the importance of on-line forums and support groups and about caring, coping, compassion, hope and love.

Love is the one thing that the disease cannot take away, declares Michele.

On the site, you’ll also find insights from Dr. Jagan Pillai, a neurologist and an Alzheimer’s disease expert with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The site was developed with no advertising or commercial aspects to encourage you to visit and share it with others.

The goal is to help change how the world views people with Alzheimer’s.

“Now that we know more, we can help others learn more,” says Nix.

You can visit the Fade to Blank website at www.fadetoblank.org. You can help by sharing information about the website to your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and social network.


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 Wonderful Role Model for Aging Well

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

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

Manny Shellist woodcarving for Rick Banas

I first met Manny Shellist in January 2010 as I stood admiring his wood carving of the Gettysburg Address that was on display at Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook, an affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Will County, Illinois.

Manny was 98 and a resident of Heritage Woods. He had moved into a studio apartment to take advantage of the lifestyle and services that were available.

As I learned as we sat and talked, Manny had been living in a condominium right across the street from where I went to high school – Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois – before moving to Heritage Woods. The community’s location in southwest suburban Chicago was convenient; his daughter lived not far away.

Manny had a remarkable zest for life and outlook on aging.

He found out when he retired for the first time that a steady diet of golf and pinochle was not for him. He went back to work, helping out at the Niles Township Sheltered Workshop, an organization that served men and women with mental and physical handicaps.

After retiring for the second time, he began going to the Glenview Senior Center in Glenview, Illinois, where he took up woodcarving at the age of 92.

Manny Shellist woodcarving of the Gettysburg Address

Four years later, as our country and our state celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday, Manny undertook the Gettysburg Address woodcarving project at the Senior Center. The woodcarving stands eight feet high and contains 1,211 individually carved letters, each three-quarters of an inch in height. Just prior to coming to Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook, Manny’s woodcarving had been on display at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

Two others – Bob Crampton and Paul Gotschewski – helped put the finishing touches on Manny’s piece of art. One stained the wood, and the other built a combination frame and easel so the woodcarving could be easily displayed for others to see.

Manny’s zest for life and for woodcarving did not stop because of a move into an assisted living community. He invited me to see how he was able to do his woodcarving in the privacy of his apartment.

Much of his work consisted of carving nameplates for friends, residents and staff members. I feel honored that he presented one to me. I have it proudly displayed on my desk.

Manny Shellist meeting Governor Pat Quinn

He also did a woodcarving of BMA’s Mission Statement and presented it to Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook. The woodcarving calls attention to our mission “to provide a Dignified Lifestyle defined by Integrity and enhanced by our Values” of “Love, Compassion and Dignity.”

His zest for life was not just displayed in woodcarving. He talked frequently with other residents about the need to stay active and do something with your life. He joined with other residents for an annual visit to the Illinois State Capitol to advocate for affordable assisted living and meet with the Governor.

He was a member of the Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook’s Wii Bowling Team that finished in Second Place in the 2012 Affordable Assisted Living Coalition’s Wii Bowling Tournament. During the awards ceremony, he was recognized as the oldest bowler to compete in an AALC Wii Bowling Final Four. He was just short of his 101st Birthday and averaged 176 in the Final Four competition.

During a visit to Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook last week, the staff informed me that Manny had passed away. He was 102 years of age.

He certainly was a wonderful role model for how to age well.

Pictured above
Top – woodcarving desk name tag by Manny for Rick Banas
Middle – Manny with his woodcarving of the Gettysburg Address
Bottom – Manny meeting Illinois Governor Pat Quinn


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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BMA Assisted Living Communities Host Healthy Living Programs

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Senior Working Out

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

At BMA Management, we are driven by our mission of Touching Lives by providing Dignified Lifestyles.

Our focus is on helping individuals to achieve and maintain as much independence as possible for as long as possible.

Hosting informational, screening and exercise programs designed to improve the health of body and mind is part of our focus. Here is a sampling of upcoming programs being offered by communities managed by BMA that are open to residents and the general public.

Bowman Estates of Danville
The affordable assisted living community in Vermilion County is hosting an informational program on Veterans Benefits on Oct. 24.

Cambridge House of Maryville
The affordable assisted living community in the St. Louis Metro East area is hosting a presentation by the Cedar Ridge Health Center on Arthritis on Oct. 16.

Cambridge House of O’Fallon
The affordable assisted living community in the St. Louis Metro East area is hosting a presentation by the Cedar Ridge Health Center on Arthritis on Oct. 15.

Cambridge House of Swansea
The affordable assisted living community in the St. Louis Metro East area is hosting a Flu Prevention presentation on Oct. 14 and an informational program on Medicare Enrollment on Oct. 17.

Eagle Ridge of Decatur
The affordable assisted living community hosts a Live Strong exercise class on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Heritage Woods of Benton
The community is hosting a Flu Shot Clinic on Oct. 21.

Heritage Woods of Centralia
The affordable assisted living community hosts Yoga for Seniors on Wednesdays.

Heritage of ChicagoThe affordable assisted living community on Chicago’s west side hosts Senior Fitness exercise classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The community also is hosting a Zumba class on Oct. 25.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb
The affordable assisted living community hosts Tai Chi on Thursdays.

Heritage Woods of Dwight
The affordable assisted living community is hosting a program on Therapeutic Tai Chi on Oct. 22.

Heritage Woods of Flora
The affordable assisted living community is hosting a Senior Healthy Living Fair in conjunction with Clay County Hospital and the Clay County Health Department on Oct. 17.

Heritage Woods of McHenry
Bone density scans will be available at the affordable assisted living community on Oct. 17.

Heritage Woods of McLeansboro
The affordable assisted living community is hosting a presentation by Hospice of Southern Illinois on Oct. 16.

Heritage Woods of Moline
The affordable assisted living community will be hosting a program on Breast Cancer Awareness on Oct. 18.

Heritage Woods of Plainfield
The affordable assisted living community is hosting a Picasso’s Workshop on Oct. 17.

Heritage Woods of Rockford
The community is hosting a Flu Shot Clinic on Oct. 17.

Heritage Woods of South Elgin
The affordable assisted living community hosts a Step in Time exercise program to help improve balance and reduce the risk of falling on weekdays. The community also hosts a Sit & Fit chair aerobics exercise program on Mondays and Tuesdays, Tai Chi on Wednesdays and Yoga on Thursdays. The community is hosting an informational Medicare Update program on Oct. 21 and a Keeping Roots Alive Caregivers Support Group meeting on Oct. 22.

Heritage Woods of Sterling
The affordable assisted living community is hosting a program on Fire Safety on Oct. 14.

John M. Evans Supportive Living Community
The affordable assisted living community in Pekin, Illinois hosts a Strong for Life specialized strength training class for older adults on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The community hosts Test Your Wits Trivia on Thursdays and is hosting a Flu Shot Clinic on Oct. 16.

Prairie Living at Chautauqua
The affordable assisted living community in Carbondale, Illinois, hosts a Flu Shot Clinic on Oct. 15.


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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What You Can Do About the Flu

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

By JoEllen Bleavins of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.

Fight the Flu

Last year, the flu hit Illinois hard, with some hospitals being so swamped that they had to turn away sick people.

This year, the seasonal flu season reportedly had an early start. Usually, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu season begins in October and can last through May.

For older adults, the flu can be a very serious illness, in particular because our immune defenses become weaker as we age.

The CDC estimates that 90% of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60% of flu-related hospitalizations in the United States occur in people who are 65 and older.

From information available from the CDC and my experience as a registered nurse, here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of contracting seasonal influenza and things you should do if you get the flu.

Signs of the Flu

Watch for signs of the flu. Symptoms can include diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, abdominal pain and cramps, fever, feeling tired and weak. Headaches and muscle aches also are possible signs.

Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk

The CDC strongly encourages older adults to get the flu shot. The shot may not keep you from getting the flu, but helps with the symptoms.

This year, two shots are available for those 65 and older – a regular dose and a new high dose vaccine. The CDC is not expressing a preference on which shot older adults should get because the ability of the stronger vaccine to provide greater protection is not yet known.

Since flu viruses can travel through the air, avoid close contact with a person or an animal who has the flu.

Do not drink from the same glass or share clothes or linens.

Encourage everyone in your house to wash their hands often, especially after they use the bathroom and before preparing and serving meals. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Wash the clothes and towels that you use while you are ill separately from the rest of your laundry.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Use tissues to blow your nose and throw them away.

Cover your coughs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, eat nutritious food and drink plenty of fluids.

What to Do If You Get the Flu

Make sure you stay hydrated. Dehydration is the biggest reason why people end up in hospitals. Dehydration can be life-threatening for people with health problems and for older adults. Without treatment, dehydration can affect your organs. Even if you feel sick or have been vomiting, suck on ice chips or take small sips of clear liquids often. Slowly increase the amount of clear liquids you drink.

When you feel hungry, begin eating foods that are soft and bland such as bananas, clear soups, potatoes and applesauce. Do not have dairy products, alcohol, sugary drinks or drinks with caffeine until you feel better.

Rest as much as possible. When you begin to feel better, slowly start to do more each day.

Seeking Medical Help

Contact your primary care physician should you have any concerns.

Contact your caregiver or physician if you are not urinating as much as you usually do, you have a fever, you continue to vomit or have diarrhea, or if your mouth or eyes are dry.

If you are living in an assisted living community, do not hesitate to contact the nurse or other staff member.

For more information on the Seasonal Influenza (flu) click here

Please do not hesitate to contact your nearest BMA Managed Community for details on their flu clinic or to get assistance in finding a flu clinic near you.

Jo Ellen Bleavins is Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of BMA Management and a Registered Nurse.


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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Advocating for Assisted Living on Capitol Hill

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

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

Last week, I had the opportunity to join nearly 150 members of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA.org) in advocating for assisted living on Capitol Hill.

We met with members of Congress and their staff members, talking about what assisted living is; how assisted living differs from institutionalized nursing home care; and how assisted living is benefitting hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families across the United States.

Mike Evenson of Crimson Pointe in Rockford, Illinois, and I met with Patrick Ptak, legislative staff member for U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who represents the 16th Congressional District in Illinois. Steve Levy of Senior Lifestyle Corp., Maegan Bouc of National Research Corp., and I met with Stu Megaw, legislative staff member for l U.S. Rep. William Enyart, who represents the 12th Congressional District in Illinois.

We at BMA manage six assisted living communities that are located in the 16th Congressional District and five communities that are located in the 12th Congressional District, as follows:

16th Congressional District

Heritage Woods of Belvidere

Heritage Woods of DeKalb

Heritage Woods of Dwight

Heritage Woods of Ottawa

Heritage Woods of Rockford

Heritage Woods of Watseka

12th Congressional District

Cambridge House of O’Fallon

Cambridge House of Swansea

Heritage Woods of Benton

Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon

Prairie Living at Chautauqua in Carbondale

Here a few key points that we stressed:

Assisted living provides a wonderful residential living alternative to a nursing home or to struggling alone at home for individuals who need some help to maintain their independence but do not require skilled nursing care.

Assisted living communities combine apartment-style housing with the availability of personal assistance, help with medications, and a variety of convenience and support services such as three daily meals, housekeeping and laundry. Trained staff is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents also benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize with their neighbors and participate in a variety of activities.

Assisted living is guided by a philosophy of care that embraces four key principles – Choice, Independence, Dignity and Quality of Life.

Assisted living residents are highly satisfied. Recent surveys indicate that 94% of assisted living residents are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of life in their assisted living community; 99% say they feel safe or very safe in their community; and 91% say they are safer living in an assisted living community than they would be living on their own.

Assisted living is a much more affordable option than living in a nursing home. As of last year, the cost for a private apartment in assisted living was nearly 53% less than for a private room in a nursing home, according to information in the Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs that was published in November 2012 by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

2012 Average Cost

Monthly Cost AnnualCost
Private Apartment in Assisted Living $3,550 $42,600
Private Room in Nursing Home $7,543 $90,520

We support strong oversight of assisted living at the state level. Currently, assisted living communities are licensed and regulated at the state level in all 50 states. The regulations and oversight should balance resident safety with resident choice, dignity, independence and quality of life. Strong state regulations should support informed choice, resident rights, quality staffing, appropriate building codes and standards, and zero tolerance for elder abuse.

If a few changes are required in a few states to strengthen regulations and enforcement procedures, our thinking is to push for those states to make the needed changes rather than for the federal government to take on oversight of assisted living, as has been proposed from time-to-time.

Adding federal regulations on top of already existing state regulations would create a number of drawbacks:

Federal regulations would create a one-size-fits-all regulatory environment for a constituency that is not one size. Seniors are all different and have different needs and desires. What might work in California or New York might not be appropriate for Illinois.

Federal regulatory requirements would increase the cost of care without any benefit of an increased quality of care or of life.

Federal regulations would reduce resident choice, which is one of the cornerstones of assisted living and one of the reasons why assisted living has become such a popular option.

Changing technology, changes to our health care delivery system and the aging of Baby Boomers will have an impact on the “next generation” of assisted living. States are much more likely to be able to respond swiftly to a changing world and consumer.

For more information on and pictures of the 2013 ALFA Fly-In, go to http://www.alfa.org/News/3436/Advocates-Tell-Congress-the-Story-of-Assisted-Living

What are your thoughts?


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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Bradley, Illinois 60915

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