Benchmark Senior Living Associates Present at University of Vermont Gerontology Symposium

Two women speaking at panel

Benchmark Senior Living (, a leading provider of senior living services in the Northeast, is pleased to announce that two of its associates, Michelle Tristani, MS, CCC-SLP, Regional Director of Resident Services, and Jessie Cornell, MSW, CDP, Director of Resident and Family Services for The Arbors at Shelburne in Shelburne, Vt., were selected to present at the University of Vermont’s 2018 Gerontology Symposium. The duo recently presented Cultivating Connection, Fostering Engagement: Developing a Social Environment in a Residential Setting at the Symposium, which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington, Vt.

For family and professional caregivers managing a dementia diagnosis, Tristani and Cornell shared valuable insight into Benchmark and The Arbors at Shelburne’s Mind and Memory Approach for developing meaningful connections with those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some of the knowledge shared included creating a positive social environment, genuine connections and meaningful relationships as well as cognitive strategies and adaptations for all stages of the disease, positive communication techniques for behavioral expressions, how to honor the past and support the present, communication techniques and fostering family engagement.

“Quality dementia care isn’t just about meeting basic needs,” says Allison Melahouris, Senior Vice President of Quality Resident Services for Benchmark. “Creating deep, lasting connections among our associates, residents and their families facilitates an environment where everyone thrives and is able to live their life to its fullest.”

For 30 years, The Arbors at Shelburne has been specializing in the care of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and was the area’s first community dedicated exclusively to the unique needs of those with memory disorders.

About Benchmark Senior Living 
Based in Waltham, Mass., Benchmark Senior Living is a leading provider of senior living services in the Northeast. Founded in 1997 by Tom Grape, Benchmark operates 58 senior living communities offering independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care and continuing care in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Benchmark has been recognized as a top workplace by The Boston Globe for 10 consecutive years as well as by the Boston Business Journal, Connecticut Post, Hartford Courant and Hartford Business Journal. It’s been named one of the healthiest employers by the Boston Business Journal and Providence Business News. For more information, visit Press Contact: Carol Arnold, Arnold Communications,, (603) 502-0469.

The Arbors at Shelburne