#childsafety | The Bristal Recognized for Excellence by Fitwel®


This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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The Bristal at Garden City and The Bristal at Sayville are the first communities to prototype and receive Fitwel certification in the senior living industry. The Fitwel® healthy building certification system, operated by The Center for Active Design (CfAD), highlights how a building’s design and operations can positively impact its occupiers.

The program was created as a joint initiative with leadership, research and evaluation being done through partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Fitwel® recently established a scorecard for assisted living, independent living and memory care communities which underscores the pivotal role that housing plays in influencing health outcomes and provides practical approaches to positively influencing living conditions. It also provides design and operational strategies by addressing the most common challenges of living in a high-need communal setting.

“Both of The Bristal communities received two star status based on a three star rating system.

Only 22% of properties that apply, achieve two star status and The Bristal is currently the only senior living property in the world to receive such certification,” said Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations at Ultimate Care Management. “Garden City and Sayville are the first communities of The Bristal to be enrolled in the certification process as a part of their prototype program to standardize their process and rating criteria for senior living residences. Within the coming year, we are hoping to receive certification for an additional ten of our communities, and hopefully other Engel Burman projects as well.”

The Bristal communities scored high for:

  • Architecture
  • Occupant satisfaction survey
  • Emergency preparedness plan
  • Health programs
  • Exercise facilities
  • Proximity to transit
  • Parking
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Safe entry and exit
  • Stair safety
  • Views of nature from apartments

Prior to The Bristal being involved in these efforts, a scorecard for senior housing did not exist. It was through the success of the prototype conducted at The Bristal at Garden City and The Bristal at Sayville that shaped the broader pilot effort and led to the creation of the final scorecard. Next, a select group of communities, including The Bristal at York Avenue, are privy to participate in the newly rolled out scorecard. This enhanced version expands existing strategies beyond residents to include approaches that positively impact

both the staff and resident families’ health and wellness.

Hundreds of the scholarly studies in Fitwel’s research database and feedback from pilot users were reviewed and translated to develop the scorecard. The Senior Housing scorecard is anticipated for release to the broader public in early 2021.

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