The Bristal Assisted Living Blog

The Bristal Assisted Living Blog is a guide for seniors and caregivers. We offer information geared towards helping you remain active, healthy and happy and provide valuable resources to determine if and how to initiate the assisted living process. Access our resources here to see what our assisted living communities around Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey have to offer.

Helping a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Experience the Benefits of Staying Active

Posted by: The Bristal

Evidence has been accumulating for some time that physical and mental exercise may help slow or reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s. While researchers continue to try to draw direct and conclusive results based on this evidence, it is still beneficial to encourage a loved one with Alzheimer’s to stay active. Maintaining activity and interests may help invoke a feeling of purpose. Arranging activities with a goal can further heighten that sense of accomplishment. Some examples might include: grocery shopping while checking off a list, tending a garden and harvesting fresh vegetables from it, cooking or baking a favorite recipe together, … read more

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Posted in: Senior Care
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Staying Mentally and Physically Fit While Caring for a Spouse with Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s can be challenging in many ways, but also can be richly rewarding. It can deepen the bonds between spouse and caregiver, and open the door to new relationships through education and support groups. However, much may depend on the caregiver’s determination not to allow the new circumstances to compromise his or her own mental and physical well-being.

As the day-to-day demands on the caregiver and the emotional toll of watching a loved one impacted by the disease increase, it is vital to remain positive and take proactive steps that ease the burdens on the caregiver, … read more

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Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Benefits of a Memory Care Support Group

Posted by: The Bristal

Memory care support groups offer an opportunity for caregivers, family, friends or those with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia to provide support to one another in group settings. In meetings held at regular intervals and led either by trained facilitators or a group member, the groups offer people in similar circumstances the chance to share practical advice and coping skills, as well as to discuss feelings, concerns and frustrations.

Some people dealing with the onset of memory loss withdraw from social activities because it can be a painful reminder of their daily challenges. In a memory care support … read more

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Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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February Is American Heart Month: Heart-Healthy Tips

Posted by: The Bristal

February is American Heart Month, putting a spotlight on an issue that is of special concern to older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. And, unsurprisingly, American Heart Association statistics show that about 66% of cardiovascular deaths occur in people age 75 and older.

As we get older, changes take place in the heart and blood vessels that make us more susceptible to heart disease, as the National Institute on Aging explains. For example, blood vessels may stiffen, heart valves may … read more

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Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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A Look at Senior Eye Health

Posted by: The Bristal

As we age, it is natural for vision changes to occur. As a result, some people may struggle to see as clearly as they did when they were younger. Regular eye exams by an ophthalmologist help keep eyes healthy by uncovering certain conditions that can seriously impair sight, including the following:

Cataracts. Cloudy areas in the lens of the eye, cataracts usually form slowly. Some may become large or thick and impair vision. In these cases, the cataracts can usually be removed by surgery.
Dry Eye. This condition occurs when tear glands do not produce enough tears. It can cause itching, burning … read more

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Posted in: Senior Care
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Ways to Relieve Knee Pain

Posted by: The Bristal

While people may experience knee pain at any age, in older adults it is typically caused by changes in the body due to aging. Those changes can include weakening of the bones, decreased muscle strength, inflammation from arthritis and other conditions.

According to the National Institutes of Health, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people and a frequent cause of debilitating pain. It occurs when the cartilage that protects the knee’s bones breaks down. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 2 people may develop knee osteoarthritis by the age … read more

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Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Ways You Can Give Back This Holiday Season

Posted by: The Bristal

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year filled with celebrations and gratitude. One of the best ways you can express your thankfulness is to give back this holiday season. There are many opportunities for people of all ages to give back, so we’ve compiled this list of possibilities to sift through to find the perfect way to give back this holiday season.

Tap Into Your Talent

There is always a way to give back while doing something you love; sometimes you may just have to get a little creative. Here are some suggested ways you can give back this holiday … read more

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Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Why Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Is Important

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, creates challenges for an individual’s memory, thinking skills and behavior. While the symptoms typically develop slowly and become worse over time, the Alzheimer’s Association says the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is important.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person, and while during the early stage, an individual may still be able to drive, work and participate in daily activities, he or she may notice some cognitive changes. Those changes result in problems that include, but are not limited to, difficulty in identifying the right word or name, remembering names when introduced … read more

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Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Helpful Tips to Manage Medications

Posted by: The Bristal

Medication management can sometimes be overwhelming for seniors, especially when it comes to managing multiple prescriptions and doses. The Washington Post reports that an increasing number of elderly patients nationwide are on multiple medications to treat chronic diseases, which raises their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects (see article).

Moreover, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists estimates that more than 34% of seniors are prescribed medications by more than one physician, and 72% use medications they were prescribed more than six months prior.

Seniors must be especially mindful of how to manage medications to avoid serious side … read more

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Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Why Vitamin D Is Important for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in certain foods, including fish, eggs, fortified milk and cod liver oil. It is also available as a dietary supplement. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D’s primary role is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, and assist the body in absorbing calcium, which forms and maintains strong bones. It thus plays a vital role in protecting older adults from osteoporosis, and may also help protect against high blood pressure, cancer and other diseases.

This vitamin is a critical nutrient … read more

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Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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