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.

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

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

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 that the body needs to function … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Tips for Seniors to Have a Healthier Thanksgiving

Posted by: The Bristal

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be surrounded by family, friends and scrumptious food. Though, the holiday can present some dinner-table challenges for seniors because aging is frequently associated with a decrease in taste and smell, and their bodies do not metabolize foods the way they did when they were younger. While it is important for everyone to follow a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains, seniors need to be especially mindful of their salt, fat and calorie intake. Here are some tips to help you have a healthier Thanksgiving.

Eat Breakfast & Lunch. It is … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Fun Fall Activities for the Family to Enjoy

Posted by: The Bristal

It’s always sad to say goodbye to summer, but that won’t stop us from shifting our focus to saying hello to fall! Think of the wonderful colors, the crisp air and spending time with family. There are so many fall activities to be done with family and friends of all ages! Here are some of our favorite fall activities:

Explore, Collect, Create.

A lot of fall activities deal with the staple fall items: apples, pumpkins and changing leaves. The first step is to get outdoors and explore the fall landscape.

Take a walk and admire the fall leaves; collect your favorites to use … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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How to Use Nonverbal Skills to Communicate with Someone with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

Older adults with dementia may experience decreased communication skills. It can be helpful for a family member or caregiver to use certain techniques to help alleviate the communication hurdles. We recently wrote a blog about the verbal techniques that can be useful in communicating with your loved one. Nonverbal skills are particularly important and we provide some suggestions in this post.

Carol Kinsey Gorman, a contributor with Forbes magazine wrote, “Nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.” She goes on to explain various techniques to help improve nonverbal communication. Below are … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Ways You Can Celebrate Halloween with Grandchildren

Posted by: The Bristal

Halloween isn’t just a holiday for young kids. It’s a great opportunity for you to create special memories with your grandchildren. You can embrace the spirit of the Halloween season and indulge in the celebration of all things spooky and supernatural with the following ideas, which you and your grandchildren of any age can enjoy together.

Dress Up With Your Grandchildren

Nothing completes a costume like a companion! Get the whole family involved with these multigenerational costume ideas. Feeling crafty? Make the costume yourself; there are many no-sew DIY Halloween costume possibilities. Not crafty? Don’t worry! Store-bought costumes are bound to look … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Daily Living Tips to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease can have an impact on daily living. There are some practical tips that the caregiver of a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may find useful in helping to maintain their loved one’s independence.

At times, your loved one may become frustrated because the daily tasks that were once easy to carry out have now become difficult. It can be valuable if a caregiver understands that a certain level of patience, love and support are needed in helping a person with Alzheimer’s disease take on tasks each day.

Here is some advice from the Alzheimer’s Association, … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Speed Training May Delay Onset of Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

It’s widely known that certain brain exercises, such as memory games, reasoning tests and crossword puzzles, have the potential to boost our brain health. However, a relatively new method called “Speed Training” that tests mental quickness is getting a lot of attention among dementia and Alzheimer’s disease experts, after some promising research has been put forth.

The results of a new study called ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly), led by Jerri Edwards, director of the School of Aging Studies and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida, compared different types of cognitive training in a 10-year … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Important Tips for Communicating with Someone with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

People with dementia can often find it challenging to communicate. They may face difficulties in finding the right words to say or in maintaining their train of thought. They also may even speak less often. As a result, they may lose confidence, become frustrated and/or feel depressed, isolated or withdrawn.

For the caregiver, specific verbal communication skills and techniques can be learned to help prevent these feelings for someone with dementia.

Here are some helpful tips for caregivers to keep in mind:

Speak Clearly & Calmly. When talking to your loved one, speak clearly and calmly and at a slightly slower pace. Try … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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