Caregiving & Family Blog

We offer our compassion and valuable resources to help support caregivers. We understand that caring for loved ones comes with many lifestyle changes. The Bristal’s family support resources are designed to help you adjust to the lifestyle changes both you and your loved one are experiencing. For more information on support for caregivers, please view our posts below.

Multi-Generational Vacations: Exploring our National Parks

Posted by: The Bristal

If you’ve been trying to plan a multi-generational road trip that involves grandparents, parents and kids – one of our country’s national parks just may be the answer. There are 392 of them scattered across the country. They offer ranger guided wildlife walks and scenic bus tours that might appeal to the seniors in the family. For the younger generation, hiking, biking, swimming, and more active pursuits are a part of most of our national parks.

A little known perk if you have a senior in the crowd.

Seniors can buy a lifetime Interagency Access Pass for $10. That entitles the … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Lifestyle Blog
READ The Whole Article

Living with Macular Degeneration: Is Assisted Living an Option?

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

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 living support someone with a vision impairment and would it be … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article

Independent Living at The Bristal

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

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

Dear Veronica,

Companionship and freedom from the responsibilities of maintaining a home are two of the main reasons … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article

Elderly Bathing and Personal Hygiene: Tips for Caregivers

Posted by: The Bristal

One of the most difficult aspects of caring for a senior loved one.

Settle on a bathing schedule.

For caregivers and their aging family member, personal care time can be emotionally and physically exhausting. The physical act of providing care is strenuous in that it requires lifting and transferring. It can also be psychologically strenuous. Aging parents are generally embarrassed and sad that an adult child has to give them a bath or dress them, and children are heartbroken from having to do so.

If you are struggling to find a way to manage the personal care needs for a … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article

Organizing Your Medical Records: Helpful Tips & Tools

Posted by: The Bristal

Keeping important health information organized can be a challenge at any age.

Seniors often juggle multiple medications.

As we grow older, it becomes even more complex. Seniors often juggle multiple medications, a variety of physicians and specialists, and a more complicated medical history. Adult children often worry about how well their senior loved one is doing managing it all.

What We Know About Older Adults and Medical History Management

If your aging parent is like most, they have considerable faith in the advice their physician gives them. That often leads to an overreliance on their doctor that isn’t very realistic in … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article

Medication Management: Tips for Seniors & Caregivers

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

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 drugs an … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article

Tips for Senior Caregivers

Posted by: The Bristal

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, … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Senior Care
READ The Whole Article

Helping Aging Parents: Coping with the Emotions

Posted by: The Bristal

When an aging parent reaches the point where they can no longer be independent, families often find themselves in the front seat on an emotional roller coaster. Guilt, resentment, stress, fear and doubt are just a few of the emotions that adult children must find a way to work through. While most of us agree that long term care and assisted living is something we should plan for before we need it, the majority of families don’t. Then a senior loved one experiences a sudden illness or accident and adult children find themselves trying to cope with the medical … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Senior Care
READ The Whole Article

How do I Evaluate an Assisted Living Facility?

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

My brother and I are searching for an assisted living community for our parents to move to this summer. We are in the process of scheduling visits. My question is this: how do we really get a true picture of what these communities are like beyond the promotional literature? How do I evaluate an assisted living facility?

Denise in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Dear Denise,

You are already on the right track! A personal visit is one of the best ways to gain insight about an assisted living community. You can talk with residents, staff and other families during your visits and … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Senior Care
READ The Whole Article

Technology that Helps Seniors and their Caregivers

Posted by: The Bristal

Many of us have the belief that you can’t learn new things when you get older. Technology is proving otherwise.

As more tech products and health care apps were being introduced on the market, the question of whether seniors would be willing to learn how to use them was often raised. Now we know unequivocally the answer is yes. Senior citizens are embracing the latest technology for the variety of benefits it brings to their lives. The experts at Pew Research found that over half of adults age 65 or older are using the internet and email. Almost half of them … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
READ The Whole Article