Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Tailoring a Life that Fits


By Sara Browning

Living By Your Design, Inc. is providing
retirement community placement free of charge to the senior and his or
her family. Most seniors and their families may find themselves caught
in a whirlwind of gathering information and making decisions as emotions
are running rampant in one of the most stressful times of their lives
if mom’s or dad’s health crashes. What if Mom develops a health
condition and can no longer care for herself? What if I need to relocate
to a retirement home?

Since 1992, Medical Reimbursement &
Management Services, Inc., has been helping seniors and their families
navigate the “What ifs?” of planning for the expected and unexpected
events related to aging.

“The ‘sandwich generation’ (people
between the ages of 45 and 60 with parents and children) often require
assistance in what is usually a very consuming and stressful time,” says
Steve Buttice, President and Founder of Medical Reimbursement and
Management Services, Inc. “This generation may require some guidance and
assistance in order to make sound, critical life decisions for their
parents. They often ask: ‘Where do I turn to for information?’”

On January 30, 2013, Steve founded Living By Your Design, Inc. to
assist seniors and their families with finding an appropriate “home.”
The business is now offering retirement community placement free of
charge to the senior and their family. Joining Steve’s staff is Vicki
Reliford, an experienced and well-respected advocate in the senior
living industry.

Says Steve: “We took the proven concepts and
services from the advocacy division of Medical Reimbursement &
Management Services, Inc., one of the largest Medicare brokerage
agencies in Central Illinois, to create Living By Your Design, Inc.
These advocacy services have been available since 1992 helping seniors
and their families identify legal, financial, healthcare and lifestyle
issues on a fee bases. Our mission is to save seniors and their families
stress, time, and money while providing increased quality of life and
the security of knowing the senior and his family does not have to face
life’s journey alone.”

Sorting through the Advocacy Division
Living By Your Design, Inc.provides families with the tools they
need to successfully navigate circumstances that may arise as part of
life’s journey. Individuals seeking help with life’s issues of aging may
be dealing with questions, such as: What should I know before I move
into a retirement community? Do I have all of my papers in order if I
should fall and become incapacitated for a time?

“In all areas
of the advocacy division, people should plan ahead,” says Steve. “For
example, in legal situations, having healthcare and financial or durable
Power of Attorney can be critical.” Living By Your Design, Inc. also
helps seniors with financial aspects and provides seniors with plans for
medication monitoring and with resources to make certain seniors live
in a safe environment and receive proper nutrition.

communicate with seniors’ doctors and relay that information to the
family,” Steve says. “Even if a son or daughter lives out of state, we
can be the ones they can rely on to know it’s getting done and done

In addition, Living By Your Design, Inc. assists with
relieving stress factors inherent with caring for parents with all types
of illnesses, including dementia. “Planning for the future is key to
ensuring quality of life, security, and safety for seniors and their
families,” says Steve.

Finding Home Sweet Home
As part of the advocacy division, Steve and his staff are renewing
their focus on senior lifestyle management by offering free residential
placement for seniors. According to Steve, when working with senior
citizens and their loved ones, it is important to consider all aspects
of residential living and offer seniors options that allow them to
choose the best fit for their emotional, physical, and healthcare needs.

“Some seniors who may have lost their spouse and wish to participate
in social activities may be good candidates for an independent living
retirement community. But if, for example, Mom is aging and requires
healthcare monitoring, an assisted living community may be best for
her,” says Steve.

Seniors interested in residential placement
can visit and fill out the one-page survey
form. The survey helps Steve and his team research and identify the
types of retirement communities that best fit seniors’ needs. “We focus
on which facilities offer seniors the best quality of life and amenities
to meet their needs. Then, we can counsel them and their families to
discuss their options,” says Steve. “We set up an appointment with any
retirement community they choose for a tour and interview. It’s all done
for them at no charge!”

Recognizing the Need
Steve’s professional staff can help lessen the burden on families by
providing the knowledge and planning that will place seniors in an
environment where the families know their loved ones will be safe and

But Steve’s passion for helping seniors and their
families with lifestyle arrangements is also personal as well as
professional. “I lost my brother when he was 52 years old after living
the challenges of dealing with mental and physical disabilities. I was
there for him, walking with him through the medical, transportation,
financial, and living issues to the last days of his life. For me, it
always comes back to: ‘What if?’”

A Helping Hand
When Timothy Harper’s father began suffering from a range of health
issues, Steve helped Timothy and his parents make the proper

Says Timothy: “My mom had Alzheimer’s, and my dad was
caring for her. Steve sat down with us, asked us questions and really
got to know my family and me.”

Steve along with Timothy’s family
decided that a local senior living community in Peoria was the best
retirement home for his parents to live. “With Steve helping us, things
moved smoothly and quickly,” says Timothy, adding: “He knows the people.
He understands healthcare and administration well and every piece of
advice he gives seems to be the right way to go.”

Bob and Nel
Wells also benefited from Steve’s guidance and counsel. Nel’s mother and
her husband Bob’s mother, both dealt with unique physical and medical
needs. One mother suffered from dementia and required assistance in
attaining the proper health care plan. Complicating issues further, she
needed to change her Medicare plan in the middle of the year, which was a
crucial step to becoming accepted into the health care program of a
Peoria-area senior retirement facility. The other mother required more
financial aid assistance.

“Steve was wonderful,” says Nel. “He
worked with us and her financial resources to find the perfect
accommodations for her specific needs. He also acquired assistance
through the VA Aid & Attendance Pension.

Bob says he and his
wife “always felt Steve was giving our mothers the best opportunity for
their remaining time here on earth. His vast knowledge was such a
valuable resource. Steve is truly professional and very trustworthy.”

Steven A. Buttice graduated from University of Illinois, Champaign
Illinois in 1976. He founded Medical Reimbursement Services in 1984,
incorporated in 1992 as Medical Reimbursement and Management Services,
Inc. In 2013, Steve founded Living By Your Design, Inc.

For more information on Living By Your Design, Inc. please call
309-285-8088 or Living By Your
Design, Inc. is located at 809 West Detweiller Drive, Peoria, IL 61615.