The Bristal at Armonk Blog

Entertainment with Bob Larro in Armonk

Bob Larro brought his talents over to The Bristal at Armonk for an afternoon of music. He played the guitar and sang some of our favorite songs. We all sang along, and even made a few requests. Everyone had a great time.

American Airpower Museum 2014

Residents from all of the Long Island Communities kicked off Memorial Day Weekend with a trip to the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport. Out on the grounds, there were planes of all kinds parked so that we could get a close-up view. In the hangar was where we enjoyed lunch and dancing!

The day started with the National Anthem sung by our very own Barbara Heaphy from East Northport. The Bristal and the Airpower Museum arranged for certificates to be handed out to veterans who wished to be a part of the Legacy Keepers program. The vision of the program is to allow Long Island students and living historians to meet with our veterans, listen to their life’s experiences first hand and then pledge to retell those stories for years to come before school groups, at living history events and veterans tributes. It is a great opportunity for our veteran residents to share their stories so that the community at large can learn from their courage, strength, patriotism, and sacrifice for our nation.

After the ceremony, the Bay City Rambers took it away and played all of our favorite standards. Some of us danced the day away, and others took the chance to tour the planes. We all enjoyed a lunch of assorted sandwiches, and hot dogs right from the cart! It truly was a wonderful way to begin our Memorial Day Weekend. Check out our photo gallery from the day:

Armonk’s Family Recipe

Each month, we feature a family recipe from one of our residents on the menu. This month, Annette stepped into the kitchen with Chef Lisa and shared her family recipe for Pasta Fagioli Soup. They cooked and seasoned the soup together, tasting along the way, until it was perfect. That night, Annette’s delicious soup was on the menu for the entire community to enjoy! Thanks to Annette for sharing her recipe and putting a little love into the batch that was prepared for residents at The Bristal.

Armonk’s May Birthday Party

Each month, we like to celebrate all of our residents who are celebrating a birthday within that month. Here are a few shots from our May Birthday Party. We enjoyed a homemade cake prepared by Chef Lisa, as well as cookies and coffee. It’s always fun to celebrate with friends.

Cinco de Mayo in Armonk

Cinco de Mayo here in Armonk was a blast! We enjoyed Margaritas prepared by Chef Lisa and the dining services team. Also, we had an entertainer that was like no other we had seen. She sand and danced with a piano accompaniment – and she put on quite a show. We were so impressed with her moves, so we all got up to give it a try! Everyone had a great time.

Easter in Armonk

On Easter Morning, residents gathered in the Bistro for some morning coffee, and to enjoy the laughter of the visiting children. To make Easter in Armonk extra special, Chef Lisa came in with a basket of eggs for the children to choose from. They picked their favorite colors, and then Chef Lisa baked the eggs into a personal Easter Bread for the children to take home with them. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a wonderful buffet lunch together.

Employee of the Year 2014

Congratulations to Guadalupe Tovar from our White Plains Community! Guadalupe was chosen as The Bristal’s Employee of the Year at our annual celebration, held in Westbury (pictured below with the golden envelope). Last year, Al Montalvo enjoyed his trip to the Caribbean – we’re sure Guadalupe will be doing the same this year. He has won an all expenses paid trip for two to the Caribbean, and as an added bonus, he gets an additional week of vacation time so that he can enjoy that trip. Congratulations to Guadalupe, and thank you for all of your hard work!

Employee of the Year 2014

Here are some other great shots from the celebration:

The Bristal at A Taste of Long Island

The Bristal Wins The People’s Choice Award at A Taste of Long Island

The Bristal Assisted Living attended A Taste of Long Island, held at Coindre Hall in Huntington. We got to cook in the company of 2013 Master Chef winner Luca Manfe, Hell’s Kitchen Contestant Barret Beyer and Anna and Michael from LI Restaurant Review. Chefs Amanda, Joe and Michael prepared a shrimp and grits with avocado aioli appetizer for everyone to enjoy. There were more than thirty amazing restaurants and food establishments from all over Long Island at the event, but the culinary creation made by The Bristal chefs was so delicious, that it was awarded the People’s Choice Award that night! Congratulations to the culinary team on their impressive win. It was a fun night for everyone, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Taste of Long Island.




New Staff Orientation in Armonk

Training and Orientation Begins in Armonk

During our New Staff Orientation this week, we welcomed all of the new team members to The Bristal at Armonk. Each department carefully reviewed all policies and procedures to ensure that each team member meets and exceeds the expectations and standards of Ultimate Care Management, the exclusive management team that oversees operations at every community of The Bristal.

The beauty of The Bristal is that every community is free to maintain a personality all its own, because Ultimate Care is there to ensure excellence across the board. The result: a better quality of life for all residents. The Bristal at Armonk will be no different, and the orientation session got us geared up to begin this new journey by giving each resident the very best experience that we can. We’re extremely excited to start moving residents in to their new home!

‘Outstanding Personal Care Professional’ Awards from LIAF

Members of The Bristal Team Earn Outstanding Personal Care Professional Awards at the Coping and Caring Conference

Hosted by the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation

The Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF) recently held their annual Coping and Caring Conference and Awards Luncheon. We would like to congratulate Cheryl Witsell from The Bristal at Westbury and Bibi Annief from The Bristal at Massapequa. Both women work in the Reflections neighborhood of The Bristal, caring for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and memory loss.

These two team members were honored at the luncheon with the Outstanding Personal Care Professional Award.


Cheryl Witsell

Cheryl Witsell
Award Winner
Outstanding Personal Care Professional

Cheryl Witsell was nominated by Westbury’s Director of Reflections, Colleen Jones. As a part of the qualification, nominators were asked to share a story that illustrates the nominee’s remarkable qualities. Cheryl’s story shows genuine care for Reflections residents as well as their families.

The granddaughter of a resident was getting married and expressed that she really wanted her grandmother there. Cheryl decided that she would make it happen. She hired a car service and accompanied the resident to the wedding! The family was incredibly thankful for Cheryl’s generosity and for going above and beyond expectations. Cheryl made sure to take lots of photos of the resident and her family so that she would always be able to remember that day.

Cheryl’s director, Colleen, had this to say: “Cheryl has been working here with residents who have dementia for more than seven years. It takes a special person to work with residents with dementia. They need to have patience, they need to be able to think on their feet, and they need to be loving and understanding. That is exactly what Cheryl is. She is an asset to the Westbury community as she mentors the new Bristal staff, sharing experiences and knowledge of the residents.”

Cheryl grew up in Queens. She later moved to Westbury, where she lived with her parents. Cheryl loves to sing and dance. She is always smiling and has a contagious laugh. She has been married to her husband, Merrick, for 12 years and they have three children. Cheryl treats each of the residents at the Bristal as if they were her own parents.


BiBi Annief

BiBi Annief
The Bristal at Massapequa
Outstanding Personal Care Professional

Bibi Annief was nominated by Massapequa’s Executive Director, Debra Figueroa. To illustrate Bibi’s remarkable qualities, Debra recalled a story where she witnessed Bibi exhibiting true patience and kindness.

A Reflections resident was refusing assistance. Bibi was able to gently redirect him using her comedic wit and gentle manner. She asked him directly what she could do to assist him. Bibi listened to the resident’s needs and did exactly what he asked. She gained his trust, and was able to help the resident. When she was finished assisting him, he gave her a big hug and told her what a beautiful person she was. Bibi knows how to give, and lets the residents guide her in their needs.

Debra expressed that they often use this story as an example to teach others that sometimes, all we need to do is ask the resident what they need. Debra said of Bibi: “She has a huge heart and is always willing to give of herself to residents, family members and co-workers. She has a unique ability to easily calm residents when they are exhibiting difficult behaviors. Bibi is confident in herself, but very humble. She always takes the additional steps to make things work.”

Bibi was born in Guyana where she studied Management and Accounting, eventually working as an Accountant. She and her brothers and sisters joined her parents in the United States in 2010. Her parents had been in the United States for 13 years prior to her arrival. Once she came to the U.S., she studied to become a CNA and found that she enjoyed working with the elderly. She eventually came to work for The Bristal, and she enjoys communicating with and caring for residents. In her free time, Bibi enjoys reading. She also spends time on the computer researching medical information and would like to progress in her career.


The Bristal would also like to congratulate Mr. Allan Vann. A family member of a resident at The Bristal at East Northport, Mr. Vann was recognized at the Coping & Caring Luncheon as an Outstanding Alzheimer’s/Senior Care Advocate.

Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients!

LIAF Coping & Caring Luncheon 2014

The Bristal Team at the LIAF Coping & Caring Luncheon 2014


Click here to learn more about Reflections at The Bristal

Alzheimer’s Disease Training from the ADRC: Continuing Education

Alzheimer’s Disease Training Curriculum

for Professional Healthcare Providers and/or Professional Caregivers, Recently Completed by Team Members from The Bristal Assisted Living

Hillary Gilbert

Hillary Gilbert

Several staff members from The Bristal Assisted Living recently participated in a continuing education program offered by the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center. Hillary Gilbert, Colleen Jones, ToniAnn Notarfrancesco and Angela White all completed the program, called Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias.

This fourteen week course included homework, tests, projects and participation in lectures and guest speaker appearances at various venues. The course was taught by Masters Level Certified instructors and its aim was to improve the job performance of its participants through teaching new skills.

ToniAnn Notarfrancesco

ToniAnn Notarfrancesco

The Alzheimer’s Disease training course objectives were clear:

1. Know the process and development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
2. Identify the specific behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and how to manage these behaviors.
3. Learn and utilize communication skills to increase effectiveness.
4. Strategize planning for activities and interventions that address the specialized needs of those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Angela White

Angela White

Angela White, Director of Reflections at The Bristal at Massapequa, said of the Alzheimer’s Disease training: “I really enjoyed this course.” Angela expressed that it provided an “in-depth teaching on the working mechanisms in the brain, explaining the loss of white matter and how it affects memory processing.”

She also felt that the course focused well on the use of techniques to assist those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia. Angela was happy to learn other ways “to allow a person with Dementia to complete tasks independently by giving them time and guidance during the task.” The course also stressed “knowing when the task is too demanding for the person and how to step in to assist with completion of the task.”

Colleen Jones

Colleen Jones

Colleen Jones, Director of Reflections at The Bristal at Westbury, took some positive things away from the course. “The class went into the differences between all the categories of dementia and the behaviors in each. The biggest part was the domains of the activities; trying to look at each activity and making sure that we are hitting the social, emotional and physical domains.” Colleen also stated “I think that the class gave me a different perspective on the disease.”

Reflections Programming Specialist for The Bristal, Kate Schneider, had a special message for those who completed the Alzheimer’s Disease training course:

“Congratulations to Hillary, ToniAnn, Angela and Colleen! Taking this course to further educate yourselves is truly a testament to your dedication. The Bristal is proud and grateful to have you on our team. Thank you.”

Click here to learn more about the Reflections Memory Care Program at The Bristal Assisted Living

Holiday Luncheon at The Swan Club

A few of The Bristal communities headed out to enjoy a holiday luncheon at The Swan Club. Not only do we enjoy going out for a meal with our friends, but it’s always great to meet new friends from nearby communities! After lunch, we enjoyed a little dancing before heading home.

The Frosty Parade in Armonk

Last weekend, The Bristal at Armonk’s Director of Community Relations, Nancy Campagna, joined Regional Director of Business Development Janine Valentiner at the annual Frosty Parade in Armonk! Everyone was bundled up and the streets were lined with folks ready to catch a glimpse of Frosty the Snowman. Frosty then lead the parade-goers to Wampus Brook Park where everyone got to see the holiday lighting ceremony.

Nancy and Janine handed out Frosty the Snowman pencils to the local shops as well as the children watching the parade. The Bristal is glad to be joining the community of Armonk. Here are a few shots from the event:

According to the Armonk Frosty website:
“Located in the Town of North Castle, Armonk’s Historic District is the “Village Square” in the song’s lyrics where Frosty dared the children to “catch me if you can.”

The lyricist of the winter holiday classic, Steve Nelson, was a frequent visitor to Armonk after World War II from his home in nearby White Plains, NY.  In 1950, he wrote the song’s lyrics which he put to Jack Rollins’ music; it was the same year that he was looking for land in Armonk on which to build his new home.  Gene Autry recorded the song that year, making it an instant classic, following his earlier one of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.””