The Bristal at East Northport Blog

St. Patrick’s Day in East Northport

Here in East Northport, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a full day of fun. We all wore our favorite green attire and began the morning learning the history of St. Patrick’s Day. After that, we all had an enormous luncheon together. As you may have guessed, we feasted on the traditional corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and vegetables. It was absolutely delicious. After lunch, we enjoyed a live entertainer playing Irish music. We all had a great day.

East Northport’s Mardi Gras Party

We had a terrific Mardi Gras Party here in East Northport! We all donned our masks, hats and beads for the Fat Tuesday celebration. We enjoyed a New Orleans style feast that was fit for a king. Afterwards, we enjoyed the sounds of Tony Grant as we danced the afternoon away. Everyone had a great time!

Anya Lundberg: An Evening of Opera

East Northport residents enjoyed a very special evening at the Opera with Anya Lundberg. The best part about it was that the Opera came to us! Anya brought her talents to The Bristal at East Northport and truly wowed us all. She sang beautiful Opera favorites with a piano accompaniment. We invited family and friends to join us for this unique experience, and those who joined us were glad that they did! We all sipped champagne as we listened to Anya Lundberg’s amazing voice.

‘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

Remembering Shirley Temple in East Northport

Celebrating the Life of Shirley Temple

Residents of The Bristal at East Northport remembered Shirley Temple Black, the beloved child star of Hollywood. We all learned the sad news of her passing at age 85.

Today, we geared our “Great Actor Series,” part of our February BBU program, toward the many films that Shirley Temple made as a child. Residents recalled how she danced and sang her way into their hearts when she was just 5 years old with the movie Bright Eyes.

Staff program directors led the residents through an interactive presentation. It featured video clips, and a group sing along at the end to Temple’s signature song, The Good Ship Lollipop –  complete with lollipops for all!

“What a beautiful program – thank you for bringing back so many sweet memories for me” said resident Marion Rosenberg. Below are a few photos from our memorial.

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

Chinese New Year in East Northport

The Bristal at East Northport held their annual Chinese New Year Celebration. We welcomed Lincoln Center Harpist Olivia Lu, and she played beautifully for us as we welcomed the year of the horse. Our luncheon consisted of traditional Chinese fare. We’re all looking forward to the prosperity that the Chinese New Year will bring!

East Northport’s New Year Celebration

We rang in the New Year here in East Northport with an afternoon of music and dancing. The live band had us all singing along to our favorite songs. We’re all looking forward to a wonderful 2014, and we’ve made a few resolutions to help up stay happy and healthy:

  • To play the piano more often – Marie
  • To make my own days happy – Margaret
  • To keep exercising my body and brain to stay healthy – Roz

Happy New Year from all of us here in East Northport!

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.

Holiday Party in East Northport – 2013

We were very much in the holiday spirit here in East Northport during our annual Holiday Party! The decorations, the food and the music were all just perfect. The real highlight of the night was having our friends and family join us for this special holiday party. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we all did! Here are a few photos from the night:

Testimonial from Joyce Kleiner

Testimonial by Joyce Kleiner

Read Original

Dear Maryellen McKeon,

I am sending you this letter to express my sincere gratitude for the past 13 months that my husband, William Knight, has been a resident at the Bristol in East Northport.

He was in the Reflection unit.

Your team of caregivers, Steven Williams, Jennifer Muratore, Jasmine Blaise and Karen were wonderful in making his stay pleasant and comforting. Their compassion for his well being always gave me peace of mind knowing he was well taken care of.

So again I Thank You, and know I will always be grateful to you and the entire Bristol family.


Joyce Kleiner

East Northport Residents Visit the United Nations

East Northport residents had a wonderful experience during a recent visit to the United Nations in New York City. We entered through the same doorway as the President, and we were given a very interesting tour. The security staff and tour guides were extremely friendly and treated us with special attention. After the tour, we sat down for a delicious lunch comprised of globally inspired cuisine in the Delegates Dining Room overlooking the East River. This trip was a unique experience that everyone was glad to have the opportunity to enjoy. Below are a few pictures from the day:


Thanksgiving 2013 in East Northport Reflections

We held a Thanksgiving Buffet Dessert Party in East Northport Reflections. We hosted about 90 family members, and we’re so glad they all could join us. There were plenty of sweet treats including cupcakes, bread pudding, apple strudel, strawberry parfaits and sugar-free mini pies. We all enjoyed live entertainment, Ginger Bread House decorating & a family project called “The Gratitude Tree.” We asked families to write their name and what they were grateful for on a card to hang on the Tree. The Gratitude Tree is currently on display in our lobby.

Testimonial from Joanne Herrygers

Testimonial by Joanne Herrygers

Read Original

June 26, 2013

Dear Ms. Carapolli.

I am writing to tell you about your exceptional employee, Susan Murphy. My mother lives in The Bristal in East Northport. Mom and I have witnessed firsthand Susan’s professionalism and kindness.

Susan served our meal twice when Mom and I dined in the guest dining room with family. Susan did more than just “serve”; she treated us as if we were family visiting her home for lunch. She cared about our enjoyment and did everything possible to make it a pleasant lunch. She chatted with us and helped us select dishes we would like. She even made us custom sundaes for dessert!

Watching Susan interact with Mom brought tears to my eyes. She knew Mom’s preferences. It was evident that she cared about Mom and the other residents. Her integrity was also evident in that she refused to accept a substantial tip.

Mom often tells me how kind Susan is to residents who may be unhappy or angry. Susan apparently is skilled at diffusing conflicts and encouraging smiles.

I hope that this letter will communicate to you, her employer, what a treasure Susan is and how much Mom and I appreciate her.

Yours truly,

Joanne Herrygers