The Bristal at Lynbrook Blog

Memorial Day in Lynbrook

We celebrated Memorial Day by enjoying the patio. The gorgeous weather was just begging us to come outside! We had a delicious barbecue and enjoyed it al fresco together. Happy Memorial Day!

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:

Lynbrook’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Our Cindo de Mayo Celebration here in Lynbrook was lots of fun! We all donned our chili pepper beads and danced the afternoon away. The DJ really kept us dancing!

Dance and Music Therapy in Lynbrook

Lisa joined us recently to lead us through a morning of dance and music therapy. Lisa really gets the group moving. We do some of our warm up and exercises while we sit, then the music picks up and we start standing and moving! Thanks for the motivation, Lisa. We look forward to your next visit and another round of dance and music therapy.

Lynbrook’s Passover Seder

Residents from Lynbrook enjoyed a very special Passover Seder Dinner this year. The Cantor led us as we read through the Haggadah together. The table setting was lovely and it made for a wonderful sense of togetherness on this holiday. Pesach Sameach from all of us here in Lynbrook.

Entertainment in Lynbrook Reflections

Everyone can appreciate the entertainment of a great live performance. Our friend Vance joined us in Reflections here in Lynbrook for an afternoon of fun! He played some of our favorite songs – and we were all smiles. Of course, we all sang along. We’re looking forward to the next time that Vance joins us for some musical entertainment!

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 Game Show in Lynbrook

The green team and the yellow team faced off at The Bristal Game Show here in Lynbrook. Harmony Entertainment brought in the equipment so we could all partake in this real live game show. The game was a series of questions, and each team captain buzzed in to answer. We all took turns being team captains, and we all got prizes for correct answers. It was so much fun and we’re all looking forward to playing The Bristal Game Show again soon!


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.




Our Irish Eyes Were Smiling in Lynbrook

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing our favorite green outfits and enjoying live entertainment! Our Irish eyes were smiling as we danced away the afternoon. Afterwards, we had a Shamrock Social. And of course, we enjoyed a feast of corned beef and cabbage. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

‘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

Lynbrook’s Country Day

Just for fun, we celebrated all things country western here in Lynbrook! We set aside a day to enjoy the wild west. We danced away the afternoon – while wearing our cowboy hats, of course. Everyone had lots of fun on Country Day!

2nd Annual Reflections Beauty Pageant in Lynbrook

Lynbrook held their second annual Reflections Beauty Pageant. Family and friends all joined us for the fun. Each contestant wore a sash with the name of the state or city they were from. A panel of judges helped to crown this year’s winner. We all had such a great time that we’re already looking forward to next year’s beauty pageant!

Here at The Bristal, we’re not the only ones to celebrate the grace and elegance of seniors through a beauty pageant. Each year, not-for-profit organizations like Senior America and Ms Senior Sweetheart Pageants of America host beauty pageants open to anyone over the age of 58.

According to the Senior America website, their philosophy is: “The Ms. Senior America Pageant is an exciting combination of talent and inner beauty along with individual fulfillment and elegance. More than a “beauty pageant” it is what America is about…a re-affirmation of life and self worth, of laughter and tears, of inner beauty and outward charm.”

Lynbrook’s Annual Senior Prom

Everyone had a great time at Lynbrook’s Annual Senior Prom. We had live entertainment by Phil, along with a cake and coffee. Joe and Anne Franco, husband and wife, were named the 2014 Senior prom King and Queen. We all enjoyed dancing away the afternoon.