September 1

When Care Needs Change

By Bridget Rumler, Director of Marketing for John Evans Supportive Living, the affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Pekin, Illinois.

As the Baby Boomers boom, the Sandwich Generation grows and many people are finding themselves simultaneously caring for their parents, children and grandchildren.

How do we manage to care for everyone, including ourselves, at the same time?

We must prepare in advance by anticipating what the future holds. Role reversal – becoming a Parent to Our Parents – is truly a life altering event that can change our lives forever.

When possible, it is best to create a team of willing assistants to travel this journey with you. Juggling doctor and hair appointments, grocery and prescription management, laundry and housekeeping, meal preparation along with yard and home maintenance can become overwhelming. If you are an only child or the only child who lives in the area, you can find yourself trapped in a whirlwind, feeling like there is no escape.

There are many options that we often do not explore because Mom or Dad refuses to consider living anywhere other than their memory-filled family home. Clinging to what is familiar and routine often can result in isolation, loneliness and depression. Many older adults fear the financial burden of leaving their home or hiring in-home help. All too often, I have heard someone say that they want to save their money so they can leave to their children or grandchildren. Often at the same time, their children are saying that they just wish that Mom or Dad would let go of their money and use it to care for themselves.

When the independence of our parents has been compromised and they are now depending on us for their needs, we are losing, or have lost, the natural order of our relationship. We find that there is very little, if any, quality time spent together due to all of the “caregiving chores” needed by our parents.

Often times, the situation is tolerable if it is temporary and we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. We frequently see, however, the light burning out when dependency needs increase.

Doesn’t it seem strange that we often times base our decisions on how to handle the situation on what we feel we cannot do versus what we can do. Rather than basing our decisions on the negatives, we should instead focus on the positives. It’s not about leaving home; it’s about a new home with the services necessary to maintain an independent lifestyle. It’s not about leaving the neighbors; it’s about making new neighbor friends with whom we can share life experiences. It is about writing another chapter on our book of “Life.”

Approached positively and with encouragement, a move or transition from living dependent at home to living independent in a new home can prove to be a great decision.

By now, we are all familiar with options such as Independent Living, Assisted Living and Nursing Home care. In Illinois, there is another, much newer option, called Supportive Living. This option is similar to Assisted Living. The biggest difference is that Supportive Living is designed for those who need some help to maintain their independence, of all incomes and financial means. Those on Medicaid or who only receive monthly Social Security benefits can qualify to live in a Supportive Living community. With Assisted Living communities, you must have the financial ability to pay out of your own pocket. If you should reach the point where your income and assets are no longer sufficient to pay the monthly charges, you must move out.

The emphasis of Supportive Living is on personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality

Residents live in a residential environment and certified staff is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services include . . .

Personal assistance with such activities of daily living as bathing, walking, dressing and hygiene.

Medication set-up, reminders and assistance.

Three meals a day plus snacks.

Housekeeping and laundry.

On-going health monitoring and assessments..

Assistance with transportation needs.

For residents of John Evans as well as the residents of all of the other Supportive Living communities operated by BMA Management, our management company, all of these services are included in the monthly fee, which makes it easier to budget how much it will cost each month. They don’t have to worry about paying any additional fees should the amount of care or the frequency of assistance change.

Plus residents of Supportive Living communities benefit from plenty of opportunities to socialize with neighbors and friends and to participate in social and recreational events and programs.

Currently, there are 128 Supportive Living communities in operation in more than 70 Counties throughout Illinois.

BMA Management, Ltd., the company that manages John Evans, is the largest provider of Supportive Living in the State, operating 31 communities from as far north as McHenry and Rockford to as far south as Benton and Carbondale.

You can learn more about Supportive Living by clicking on Supportive Living or Affordable Assisted Living.

You can click here here to view a map showing where BMA Supportive Living communities are located.

To reach Bridget Rumler at the John Evans Supportive Living Community in Pekin, Illinois, call 309-477-8800.

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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