New luxury tower in NYC will use AI to keep an eye on seniors

It’s a new approach to an old problem.

The Bristal at York, a newly-built apartment tower focused on senior living on the southeast corner of East 86th Street, has it all: 132 studio apartments with private bathrooms and kitchenettes, luxury amenties — and artificial intelligence.

Special “Reflections” memory care floors will be secured with electronic locks, door alarms and a unique AI monitoring system to monitor and keep residents safety.

Dubbed the “Foresite,” the system is pre-wired and installed in all the Bristal’s rooms and can be activated for an upcharge should a resident’s needs change over time. Rooms themselves range in price from $12,800 to $20,150 per month.

“The pandemic has shown the seniors that if you are living alone you are going to be isolated,” said Faraz Kayani, Regional Director of Operations for The Bristal.

The Bristal commands the southeast corner of East 86th Street.
The Bristal commands the southeast corner of East 86th Street.
Courtesy of The Bristal
The new construction tower rises 14 stories.
The new construction tower rises 14 stories.
Courtesy of The Bristal
The building houses 132 studio apartments.
The building houses 132 studio apartments.
Courtesy of The Bristal

He says two couples have already moved in, and each are renting two studios that are being combined into one-bedroom apartments with a slightly discounted rent of $19,800 per month. Another resident brought their extensive art collection that was hung by the maintenance staff to create a gallery in their room.

Although the pricing is not for the faint of heart – even though you might need a bit of assisted living for that reason – living in the building includes three “gourmet” meals a day, housekeeping, utilities and social activities.

A fitness center, rooftop park, elegant salon, billiards and a bistro are also among the amenities as are visits from Broadway performers and unique outings and classes.

“We supply it or you can bring your own furniture and we also supply clean linen and pillows and laundry, and can provide a weekly laundry for personal clothes,” he said. There’s also a washer and dryer so people can do their own with “no quarters.”

A Mercedes-Benz and driver can be reserved through the concierge for doctor appointments or family visits while group trips to museums or Broadway are accomplished with the Mercedes-Sprinter van or even a Coach bus.

Four floors of the 14-story building are dedicated to its 44 “Reflections” memory care units with associated day services and dining.

“Once you enter, you feel like you have entered a home,” said Kayani.

Unlike other senior living developments the Bristal boasts swish design.
Unlike other senior living developments the Bristal boasts swish design.
Courtesy of The Bristal
Studio units can be combined to make one bedroom.
Studio units can be combined to make one bedroom.
Courtesy of The Bristal

The open layout allows these apartments to be seen from the common areas.

“To me, as someone who operates senior living, this is a game changer,” Kayani added, as residents can’t get lost down long hallways.

Unlike similar projects, the Bristal is also the only one in New York State that is using the latest in technology and artificial intelligence to monitor its residents for safety.

The Foresite Predictive Health and Fall Management system includes chair, bed and watch sensors along with depth, motion and 3D monitors that for privacy, merely “see” a “blob” and cannot differentiate between sexes or recognize if a person is wearing clothes or not .

But if that blob falls, it sends an immediate alert to staffers’ phones.

Families can meet in colorful lounges.
Families can meet in colorful lounges.
Courtesy of The Bristal
Residents get three gourmet meals a day.
Residents get three gourmet meals a day.
Courtesy of The Bristal
Amenities include a hair salon.
Amenities include a hair salon.
Courtesy of The Bristal
There are also gaming areas.
There are also gaming areas.
Courtesy of The Bristal

Even with its “enhanced” assisted living license that allows the Bristal to provide help with items like catheters or puree diets, those nursing home bed and wheelchair alarms that loudly beep when residents get up, are not permitted by the state.

This means even with regular rounds to peek into rooms, without that Foresite system, it could take an hour or more at other facilities to figure out a resident has fallen and can’t get up.

The cutting-edge Foresite platform also uses its wireless sensors, artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, visual monitoring systems and predictive analytics to track residents’ health.

After creating a baseline when the resident first arrives, the Foresite system will add to its knowledge and later, through alerts and discussions with staff, can determine not only if the resident starts having an elevated risk of falling but can advise if there is a decrease in stride, an increase in respiratory activity or increased bathroom activity at night — which Kayani says enables them to get ahead of a urinary tract infection and “trigger an intervention.”

Licensed professionals oversee all programming, plus art and music therapy. Graduate students from NYU and Pratt Institute also conduct field work here and provide the seniors with intergenerational socialization and support.

“If a person is not willing to change or shower, we will use music or art therapy to convince them,” Kayani explained. “It’s incredible what music and art can do for you at any age.”

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