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.

Early Alzheimer Symptoms

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Readers,

Here’s another impromptu entry regarding a great new Web site I came across on Alzheimer’s disease that takes the issue to a whole new perspective: early-stage diagnosis. It’s called EarlySymptomsAlzheimers.com. The site is being launched by pharmaceutical giant Roche to commemorate Alzheimer’s Day, and, to my knowledge, it’s the first available Web site fully dedicated to early-stage (prodromal) Alzheimer’s disease. It’s definitely worth a look.

Targeting healthcare providers, patients and caregivers alike, the comprehensive Web site was developed to draw attention to the latest progress in exploring the value of early diagnosis and treatment for … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Senior Care
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How to Help Prevent a Stroke

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

My mother died from complications of a stroke just last year. Dad lives with us now, and I am terrified that the same may happen to him, and that we’ll have to put him in long-term care or something. What do you know that can maybe help us prevent this from happening? Any suggestions at all would be welcomed. Thanks! -Isaac

Dear Isaac,

I appreciate your concern. I can hear it in your words, but strokes often come completely out of the blue, perplexing clinical professionals even to this day, despite all that has been learned. With so many variables and … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Tips to Ward Off Memory Loss

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

Mom is going on 82, and her mind is still pretty sharp. But she has been showing signs of a slipping memory. What’s the latest thinking out there when it comes to seniors and memory loss? How can I help her? -Jessica

Dear Jessica,

At 82, memory loss is a common thing, part of the normal aging process. Studies are going on all the time to discover ways for fending off this natural functional erosion of the mind, as well as the more serious kinds of memory problems, such as those related with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues. … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Senior Care
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Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

I see that you write extensively about Alzheimer’s disease in your blog. I think we might be dealing with the beginning of this with my mother, unfortunately, but we’re in the middle of tests right now, and we don’t know for sure. Is this awful disease preventable in any way?  -Joanne, Elmont, NY

Dear Joanne,

If I write so much about Alzheimer’s disease, it is because of its rampant and spreading prevalence in our nation’s rapidly aging boomer population. So many more people seem to suffer from it with every passing year — and not just individuals, but their families … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Senior Care
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Medicaid and Assisted Living

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

We are considering The Bristal for our mother and have set up an appointment to visit one of The Bristal communities. She has resources now, but does The Bristal accept medicaid when the funds run out? -Mona

Dear Mona,

All of The Bristal communities are private pay and do not accept Medicaid. It is important that you take a look at the amount Mom receives from Social Security, and what investments she has, to assess how long her money will last before you make any commitment to assisted living. It is not fair to either Mom or you if … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Senior Care
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Yoga and Tai Chi for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

I read your recent blog entry about Tai Chi being a great exercise for seniors. My seventy-plus-year-old mom is more interested in Yoga, though. I was wondering if there were similar benefits. -Andrea, Sands Point, NY

Dear Andrea,

In fact, there are many similar benefits between Yoga and Tai Chi. Yoga is not only an excellent way for elderly adults to improve strength and flexibility, but studies are showing it’s also good for improving overall balance — especially in older stroke patients. And, of course, it goes without saying how vital good balance is to seniors, which can help … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Is Assisted Living the Right Fit?

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

I just wanted to preface my inquiry by saying what a lovely picture of you on the blog homepage! But down to business…my 83 year old uncle has become frail, forgetful and, sometimes, downright mean. My family and I simply cannot handle him any longer. He needs not only physical, but psychiatric care. Would the Bristal Assisted Living communities be an ideal choice for my ailing uncle? P.S. He refuses to move anywhere where he cannot watch his weekly episodes of TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. Thanks so much for your help. -Jennifer Granger

Dear Jennifer,

Don’t … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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Assisted Living: An Option for Married Couples

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

My parents were in a very bad car accident and their healing/ needs are different. At this point, dad has returned home, but has no car, and now requires a walker. Mom is due to be discharged soon from the nursing rehabilitation facility, but with her broken leg still requires a wheelchair. I am considering a Bristal Assisted Living environment as the next step for mom, though she still requires continued physical and occupational therapy, wants to return to her independent status, but with the wheelchair, has limitations.

I suspect that it is unlikely that they will ever resume their … read more

Posted in: Dear Maryellen, Lifestyle Blog, Senior Care
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