Dear Maryellen Blog | Q&A

The Dear Maryellen Blog is designed to giving you first-hand guidance from our Senior Vice President of Operations, Maryellen McKeon. Maryellen offers years of compassionate experience, and offers her counseling to family members of residents with the optimum level of concern. Find answers to your questions about senior living here.

Assessment for Admission to Assisted Living: What to Expect

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

My husband suffered a stroke a few months ago and is currently in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. He is reaching the end of his therapy and will soon be discharged. I have reluctantly accepted that he will not be able to come home. His physician has advised me to find an assisted living community for him. Can you tell me what kind of assessment is required for admission to The Bristal? Also, is there a waiting list for new residents?  -Alicia in Huntington Station, NY

The evaluation process is fairly simple.

Dear Alicia,

I’m sorry to hear about … read more

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Living with Macular Degeneration: Is Assisted Living an Option?

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Safety features, such as handrails, are found throughout The Bristal communities.

Dear Maryellen,

My 84 year old father lives alone in Woodcliff, New Jersey. He has a large, older home with a lot of stairs. A few years ago he was diagnosed with macular degeneration. Since that time he has been slowly losing his vision. I have just begun to explore senior housing options for him. I would like to have him be able to make the move and get settled in while he still has some of his vision remaining. My question for you is this: how can assisted … read more

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Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Independent Living at The Bristal

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

My 85 year old father is very independent. He still drives himself to appointments and to run errands. However, since my mother died he is lonely. I am also concerned that maintaining his home on his own is getting to be too much for him. I wondered if there are other independent residents like my dad living at The Bristal? I think he would enjoy the companionship of having people with similar interests and hobbies close by. – Veronica in Armonk, New York

Residents enjoy a game of cards a The Bristal.

Dear Veronica,

Companionship and freedom from the responsibilities of … read more

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Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Assisted Living Residence, Enriched Housing, Adult Home: What’s the Difference?

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

My siblings and I have been visiting assisted living communities in Westchester County, New York for our 82 year old mother. One thing that we’ve noticed is how some communities refer to themselves as enriched housing and others as an assisted living residence. We are a little confused by this terminology. Is there a difference? If so, what is it? -David in Westchester

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Dear David,

Good question! Here is a quick overview of these types of senior living.

Adult Home: The Department of Health’s definition of an adult home is defined as an … read more

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Assisted Living for Married Couples: Is It the Right Fit?

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

My wife and I are considering moving to an assisted living community. The majority of our friends who have made this move before us are single people. As a married couple, what should we expect in assisted living? -Dan in Westbury, NY

Dear Dan,

Jack & Shirley Millstein of North Hills

Thanks for asking this question. While single residents outnumber couples, we are seeing more and more couples living in our assisted living communities. Many make the move so they can receive help with activities of daily living, while others make it to have freedom from the worries of home … read more

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Veterans Medical Benefits

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen, 

Are you aware of the VA Aid & Attendance?

My husband and I are beginning to research assisted living communities on Long Island for his father. His dad is a veteran who currently receives his health care and prescriptions from the local VA. In trying to determine what his budget for assisted living might be we wondered if these types of communities have relationships with the Department of Veterans Affairs? We would ideally like him to be able to continue seeing his VA physicians and having his medications covered through his VA benefit. Is that possible if he … read more

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Medication Management: Tips for Seniors & Caregivers

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Managing Medications

Dear Maryellen,

My father is my mom’s caregiver. Due to a variety of health issues my mother takes several different medications daily. My father manages all the meds. He calls in the prescriptions, fills the pill organizer and administers. With so many medications it can be very confusing. Can you offer some advice on how to better manage all these meds?

-Cynthia, Massapequa Park, NY

Dear Cynthia,

Medication Management is a big responsibility and can be overwhelming especially when there’s more than one prescription. Medication errors are far too common among the elderly. There’s no surprise when you consider the number of … read more

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Tips for Senior Caregivers

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

Tips for Caregivers

I need help. My 85 year old father resides with me and my family. He has early signs of dementia and often times gets frustrated and lashes out at my family. I’m Dad’s full-time caregiver, I manage the house and tend to my kids. My siblings are out of state so Dad’s daily needs are dropped in my lap. I love my dad dearly but I am exhausted and need help. -Sue, Westbury, NY

Dear Sue,

I’m so glad you are reaching out. Caring for an elderly parent is difficult and very demanding. First and foremost, you … read more

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Warning Signs an Older Family Member Needs Help

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Is more help needed?

Dear Maryellen,

My 90-year old father lives 7 hours away from me. The kids and I went to visit him after the end of a busy school year. We hadn’t been able to visit him since the holidays. I know it was hectic for him with three very active kids in his house, but something just didn’t seem right. He says he is “fine.” But I think he is struggling to keep up with the house and with preparing meals. I’m worried. How do I know if he needs help and just isn’t willing to admit … read more

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Making the Move to Assisted Living: When to Sell Your Elderly Loved One’s House

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

After more than a little persuading, my 94 year old father agreed to move to an assisted living community near his home in Sayville, New York. Our next step is to try to figure out the timeline for him making this move. He has a very large home to sell. We aren’t sure if we should sell it before he moves or after. Can you offer any advice on making this move to assisted living?

Monica

Dear Monica,

When sorting, focus on one room at a time.

It is usually easiest on the older adult if you can help your father … read more

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