Brooklyn Pointe brings a wildly successful approach to aging to the forefront

Brooklyn Pointe Ext
Brooklyn Pointe Assisted Living and Memory Care is a Meridian Senior Living Community centrally located at 4800 Idlewood Drive, in Brooklyn.

By Patricia Nugent

Chef-prepared meals, elegant well-appointed suites, a gamut of recreational pursuits…you’ll find all the amenities of resort living with exceptional, individualized care at Brooklyn Pointe. This novel approach to assisted living and memory care—with a focus on wellness activities and engagement—provides a place where people can live their most vibrant lives.

On any given day, you’ll find someone putting the finishing touches on a watercolor painting in the art studio, whipping up a soufflé during cooking club, tending to a bountiful garden in the inviting courtyard or sweating up a storm in a cardio fitness class.

“When someone moves in, we find out their life story and see if there are still life experiences they’d like to discover,” says Kevin Carlin, who is chief of sales for Meridian Senior Living Communities, which manages the facility.

“Then we customize the level of care to their wants, needs and preferences. Our residents are plugged in physically, spiritually and intellectually. With so many special interest clubs, group activities and community field trips to partake in, no two residents will have the same day.”

Brooklyn Pointe has 87 spacious and beautifully appointed suites, ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom.

He says Brooklyn Pointe residents are encouraged to learn new things, discover new skills and continually expand their horizons.

Five Directional Paths to Enhance Memory Care
For those with memory challenges, Kevin reports that the Meridian Montessori Moments in Time Program was developed through extensive research and firsthand experience with residents throughout the years.

“We strive every day to integrate purpose and meaningful moments into the lives of our memory care residents,” says Kevin. “Best-quality interactions come from connecting with people on their level, at their perspective and their own pace. By tapping into a person’s past routines and preferences, we can draw them out and uncover their stories. We see beyond our memory care resident’s disease and train ourselves to look for and recognize their stories, instead.”

He says they even go pre-infancy, and find out about a person’s parents and family.

“We see it every day,” he continues. “Everyone has memories. And we try to trigger the brain’s neural pathways where they might be able to access them again.”

When drawing out residents, the program follows five directional paths:

  1. Family Connections—Focuses on the well-being of families through social gatherings and support.
  2. Health and Wellness—Person-centered care that supports the whole person with satisfying experiences that encourage independence and positive behavior.
  3. Dining Experience—Meals and snacks six times a day to reminisce, create new memories and promote socializing.
  4. Life Engagement—Planning programs that engage the whole person and allow those who are cognitively impaired to function at their highest potential, giving them a sense of purpose and overall well-being.
  5. Team Purpose—Making sure care partners are educated via ongoing training.

To see the results of positively interacting with residents with memory issues is an uplifting experience.

During a recent visit to the memory care unit, Kevin engaged in a dialogue with a resident about how no corn in the country tastes quite as delicious as Ohio corn, and that when he returns to his home base on the West Coast, if it’s summertime, he actually brings an extra suitcase and fills it with corn. The resident went from acting sullen and listless to becoming animated and talking about how his family grew corn on their farm when he was growing up.

Luxurious Amenities Abound
Just as the level of care is thoughtful and inspired, so, too, are the 87 spacious and beautifully appointed suites, ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom. For safety, each room is equipped with an emergency call system.

Open and airy gathering spaces are dotted throughout the Brooklyn Pointe community. Garden views of the charming courtyard give glimpse to cozy seating and lush, member-cultivated gardens that produce the bountiful yield used in the fabulous chef-prepared fare.

Open and airy gathering spaces are dotted throughout the community. Garden views of the charming courtyard give glimpse to cozy seating, gazebos and lush member-cultivated gardens.

The host of amenities includes:

  • Beauty salon, barber shop and spa
  • Happy hours
  • Art studio, theater and wellness center
  • On-site rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Weekly pet therapy visits
  • Medication assistance, if needed
  • Transportation to social activities, errands and doctor appointments
  • Housekeeping and linen services, including daily bed-making and trash removal
  • Special interest clubs, group classes and educational programs to keep seniors active and involved
A host of amenities includes a beauty salon, barber shop and spa, an art studio, theater (pictured above) and wellness center, to name a few.

Restaurant-Style Dining That Packs a Nutritional Punch
“Proper nutrition is a key consideration to how well seniors thrive,” says Kevin. “Our executive chef prepares nearly everything from scratch, including sauces and soups, and the nutrient-dense gourmet meals are amazing. He favors fresh, local ingredients for the seasonally inspired dishes.”

As important as the meals themselves is how and how often people dine.

Kevin reports they use color-contrasting tableware in red, which research has shown increases appetite, and yellow to allow residents to get a better view of their food, and fruit is added to the water so it can be seen even when depth perception might be impaired.

“Dining is a rewarding and interactive sensory process we want our residents to enjoy to its fullest,” says Kevin. “To best facilitate dining, utensils are weighted and our chef prepares lots of finger food meals, such as wraps, pitas, roll-ups and sandwiches.”

And with the snacks that pack program, there are always ready-prepared, brain-healthy snacks so residents can have them at hand anytime.

You would think that this elite, highly personalized level of care would come at a high cost, but it doesn’t. Brooklyn Pointe is competitively priced for mid-income folks and they offer different options to fit different budgets.

An Umbrella of Care that Extends to Families and Community
“We take an empathetic view of our umbrella of care, and we serve families and caregivers as much as we do our residents,” says Sue Johnston, who is vice president of program development.

“We consider ourselves a resource for families, sponsoring family nights and Caregiver Café sessions that meet here for people to interact with each other, share stories and offer support.”

The staff at Brooklyn Pointe also acts as a rich resource for the local community.

They have recently launched an initiative for local businesses to become certified as dementia-friendly.

Brooklyn Pointe’s enclosed courtyards offer peace of mind as residents relax and socialize.

“This 30-minute in-service program gives businesses the tips and tools for comfortably navigating customers who might suffer from cognitive impairment,” says Sue.

RevInMo Training
In addition to daily exercise classes—aerobics, stretches, cardio fitness, total body fitness, walking and rolling—Brooklyn Pointe has recently introduced the RevInMo training program, short for Revolution In Motion.

“I developed the brain-based functional movement program after years of working with high-performance athletes,” says creator Dr. Edythe Heus, who began her career as a chiropractor specializing in kinesiology. “RevInMo is based on the ability to upgrade brain function by executing movements on unstable surfaces.”

RevInMo creator Dr. Edythe Heus

By chance, while Dr. Heus was working to train actors to do stunt work in the Broadway show Spiderman, one of the performers said his friend with Parkinson’s disease might benefit from the functional movement training.

“We met him and worked with him and after several sessions he was profoundly improved,” she recalls.

“We then applied the principles of the program to the senior population and realized amazing results. Some people reported the ability to perform moves they had never been able to do in their lives. I believe the most important explanation for why it works so well is because the brain thrives on novelty. The nervous system responds to being challenged.”

After the first few weeks of sessions, she says people are surprised, impressed and delighted with how the movements impact their brain-body connection.

Key benefits from RevInMo include increased agility and cognitive function, and decreased risk for falls.

“People gain more energy and improved moods, too,” she reports, noting that they have also seen mobility improvement in people confined to wheelchairs.

Here at Brooklyn Pointe, both assisted living and memory care residents take part in RevInMo, which keeps them physically active while enhancing their neurological health.

Run by Memory Care Program Director Kohren Hayden, who underwent RevInMo training and certification, the thrice-weekly movement sessions take people through a neurologically activating series of exercises while they are barefoot on unstable surfaces. The goal is to advance to a state of “automation” or the place top athletes refer to as “the zone.”

“The emphasis is on foot strength and harmonizing communication between the brain and muscles,” she says. “Our participants have reported feeling stronger, with better memory and recall, and even better quality of sleep.”

According to Dr. Heus, “Sensorimotor training accelerates the plasticity of the nervous system, corrects the fascial and musculoskeletal systems and provides functional training and recovery. The goal is to attain the best version of yourself: neurologically, physically, functionally and aesthetically.”

She notes the program creates more efficient and fluid movement while reducing wear and tear on the joints. It also enhances posture and core muscles as well as trains the nervous system to respond properly to changes, such as surfaces you’re walking on or the car that stops suddenly in front of you.

“Once people carry themselves more upright, their overall well-being starts to improve,” says Dr. Heus.

Brooklyn Pointe Assisted Living and Memory Care is a Meridian Senior Living Community centrally located at 4800 Idlewood Drive, in Brooklyn. Small pets are allowed. Ask about move-in specials. Call 216-230-7218 or visit for more information.