All posts tagged seniors

Mention in Florham Park Eagle for Helping Senior Couple Write Book

Published March 22, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9246Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta with Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi

Last year I helped Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi write and publish their book “200 Letters, 62 Years and a War” which was their love story. Soon after they started dating, Domenic went to serve in the Korean War. During that time, he wrote Antoinette 200 love letters. The couple recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary.

I sat with them as they told me their story and I ferreted through 200 love letters Domenic wrote Antoinette, as well as his diaries. The book was published by Next Century Publishing last year, followed by their book release party, which I blogged about:

On March 17, 2016, the Florham Park Eagle published their story in print and online. I’m honored and humbled that Domenic and Antoinette gave me such a generous mention:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta has been helping clients write (and publish) their books since 2008. In addition to Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi, her clients include Clerks actor, Scott Schiaffo and soap opera writer, Scarlet Cassadine, to name a few. She can be reached at:

Book Party for Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi

Published November 23, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9248Congratulations to the new authors!

Yesterday was a big celebration at Hanover Manor in East Hanover, New Jersey.

My clients Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi had their book published “200 Letters, 62 Years and a War.”

From back book cover:

Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi began dating when they were teenagers. And soon afterward Domenic was called to fight in the Korean War.

During his time in combat, he wrote his love, Antoinette, over 200 letters. She saved every one of them. She also put together an all embracing photo albums that contained newspaper clippings of the war, photographs, holiday cards and other memorabilia; as well as more recent newspaper clippings of celebrations such as their anniversaries and birthdays.

Domenic also had his own collection of memories, several typed as well as handwritten notebook diaries, filled with the truth he experienced fighting for The United States.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta spent many days at the home of The Lombardis in Florham Park, New Jersey ferreting through the photo albums, love letters and notebook diaries in order to put together this wondrous memoir.

The happy couple recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.

SAM_9246Domenic Lombardi, Maryanne Mistretta and Antoinette Lombardi

To purchase “200 Letters, 62 Years and a War” contact Next Century Publishing at 786-999-8550 or contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available to help seniors write their books. Contact her directly at:

“Here’s To Your Health” at Mt. Arlington Senior Living

Published May 8, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7193Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

It was a gorgeous day in New Jersey to take a ride up to Mt. Arlington Senior Living.

This was the fourth time I was hired to present there as a public speaker. It’s a lovely facility and the first place I ever gave a lecture at, back in September, 2013!

Mt. Arlington Senior Living is very health conscious, so for the third time I presented “Here’s to Your Health and the Benefits of Walking.”

As always, the seniors had a great time. This group was very inspiring. Every single person exercised regularly. No one smoked (it’s not allowed in the facility anyway). And some even impressed me with their knowledge of apple cider vinegar and eating backwards (breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper) — something I’ve been doing on and off for ages!

It was so adorable that my lecture was after their Cracker Barrel ( luncheon.

And I got a kick out of their Mt. Arlington Daily News which read:

2:00 Here’s to You Health w/Maryanne

I love how it’s simply “Maryanne” (like “OPRAH” or “CHER”!) Ah … the little things in life, right? You gotta laugh.

Anyway, here is the synopsis for my program:

Here’s To Your Health and the Benefits of Walking Synopsis

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author and public speaker with a great passion for health and nutrition. She’s the former editor of NJ Health & Fitness magazine and had a health column called “Here’s to Your Health” that was published online. Her work was also published in Skinny News magazine.

Maryanne has interviewed many celebrities about health and fitness including supermodels Oleda Baker and Carol Alt, and health advocates/authors Patricia Bragg, Paul Nison and David Wolfe.

She also had the opportunity to interview Jack LaLanne but he passed away two weeks prior to the interview. Nevertheless, she received a lovely email from his family, praising her efforts.

In her presentation, “Here’s to Your Health and the Benefits of Walking” she offers simple health tips she learned from experts in the health field – and it won’t cost a dime!

Maryanne creates a friendly atmosphere where the audience can participate.

If anyone would like this program for their senior group, senior center, etc. please contact me at: for pricing and availability. Will travel for the right price.


Seniors Gone Wild!

Published March 14, 2014 by Maryanne

crazy coots

Being self-employed, public speaking is one of my newer specialties. Since last September I’ve been giving lectures on a variety of topics in assisted living facilities and libraries.

My lecture “Luck of the Irish” was a hit this month due to St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve already had quite a few bookings with more to go.

Today’s “Luck of the Irish” lecture was the most fun I ever had at an assisted living facility. So much so that afterwards tears were rolling down my face from laughing so hard.

I walked into a place I’ve never lectured at before and was thrilled to see more than 50 people in a banquet styled room. The more the merrier, I always say. Plus, I write my lectures with audience participation in mind, which is a very cool thing for seniors because they get to participate and feel as if they are a part of something.

Well, my presentation was off to rocky start as it was a pretty rough crowd. Some people were complaining the microphone was too loud, others complained it wasn’t loud enough. Then by some miracle I found a happy medium.

I got going and then when it came time to speak of Irish Wakes, an old biddy yelled at me: “THAT’S ALL THE IRISH ARE KNOWN FOR, DRINKING. I DON’T DRINK, I DON’T WANNA HEAR THIS!”

Wow. Okay. So I said, “No problem, we’ll skip that portion of the lecture.”

Moving along …

Next a brawl broke out between an old man and an old lady and they knocked a table over. It took three nurses to break it up! The old man was told he was going to be sent to his room, but he was screaming, “I WANNA STAY!” So they let him stay.

Then finally things calmed down, I won the crowd over and did a nice lecture.

The old lady who yelled at me apologized for being rude. Another lady apologized on her behalf and says, “She doesn’t like anything, she’s always like that. Pay her no mind.”

I asked for a show of hands one how many people liked the lecture and EVERYONE raised their hands, including the one who yelled at me.

I stayed about a half hour afterwards, speaking with all the residents who attended the lecture. Two ladies I was having a great conversation with, then a 97-year-old man walked all across the large banquet room to join in the conversation.

I was impressed by his speed.

The director complimented me on not skipping a beat when I was interrupted and wondered if I’d even come back after the brawl. I said, “Eh, it’s all in a day’s work!”

She said, “Already they’re telling me you were EXCELLENT and they want you back!”

Two hours later, I’m still laughing.

Lectures for Seniors

Published December 11, 2013 by Maryanne

Brandywine in WatchungBrandywine Senior Living in Watchung, New Jersey

For the past three months I’ve been giving lectures to seniors at senior homes and assisted living facilities.

Why I haven’t started doing this years ago is beyond me because this work is extremely rewarding!

As an award-winning writer who has been published world-wide since 1995 and a dabbler in spoken word and performance art, getting up and speaking in front of people lecturing on topics I’ve well researched is a piece of cake.

Some of the topics include: “Here’s to Your Health: Health Tips at No Cost!”; “Benefits of Walking,” “History of the Newspaper Industry,” “History of Santa Claus” and upcoming, “History of Valentine’s Day.”

What makes my lectures extra special is that I get the residents to participate. By the end of my lectures they feel they know me and don’t want me to leave. Every place I’ve lectured at so far went over very well, but I must say I’ve had three most memorable experiences over the past three months that I’d love to share:

1. At Mount Arlington Senior Living, in Mount Arlington, NJ, one of the female residents said to me, “You’re really making us like you!” I was blessed to be invited back a second time to lecture.

2. At Phoebe Terrace in Allentown, PA, when I lectured on “The History of Santa Claus” (my personal favorite lecture), afterwards one of the residents invited me up to her apartment to see her collection of Santa Claus statues!

3. Yesterday, I lectured on “History of the Newspaper Industry.” After the lecture a 102-year-old man approached me and shared that he was an entertainer back in the day and entertained troops in WWII, adding, “Nice to meet you, sweetheart!” It was absolutely adorable!

Sometimes the seniors don’t want me to leave and I do stay as long as I could, sometimes having tea with them. It’s such a blessing to be able to do this for a living, along with my many other creative endeavors.

If you’re an activities director at an assisted living facility and would like to book one of my lectures, please contact me at:

In addition to the above mentioned lectures, I can research and write any topic you feel your residents would be interested in — at no additional cost.

Lecturing on Health, Fitness and Nutrition

Published September 14, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2377Me and activities director, Aubrey Evans at Mt. Arlington Senior Living, New Jersey

For the past few years, lecturing on health and nutrition has been a dream of mine, as my passion is health and nutrition and throughout the year 2012 I had three clients who were nutritionists and chiropractors that I’ve helped get gigs lecturing. I thought to myself, if I could do this for others — why not do it for myself? I’ve been a health food advocate since 2003 and writing about health since then. In 2008 I was the editor for NJ Health & Fitness magazine. I had my own health column in the NJ Patch online called “Here’s to Your Health.” And currently I am writing for Skinny News magazine.

Over the years I’ve interviewed many celebrities about health and fitness including supermodels Oleda Baker and Carol Alt and health advocates Patricia Bragg, Paul Nison and David Wolfe. I also had the opportunity to interview Jack LaLanne but he passed away two weeks prior to the interview.

So, needless to say, when Aubrey Evans invited me to speak at Mt. Arlington Senior Living, I was thrilled! In honor of my former health column, I called my lecture “Here’s to Your Health.”

For 45 minutes I spoke to seniors about a few easy things you could do for your health that don’t cost a dime!

I spoke of the benefits of eating slow, not smoking, keeping active and getting a good night’s rest.

But not only did I speak, I allowed the seniors to share their experiences in health and fitness. It was truly inspiring that so many of them were not smokers, kept active (including the ones that were chair bound) and got a good night’s sleep.

They were all wonderful! I enjoyed giving the lecture and they enjoyed me so much I was invited back, late October!

One lady said to me, “You’re really making us like you!” It was so cute. I love the seniors!

My 90-Year-Old Father-in-Law is an American Idol!

Published May 7, 2013 by Maryanne

Maryanne and PopMe and Pop

Over the weekend my father-in-law took a trip up to Massachusetts to see his great-grandson’s First Holy Communion. His granddaughter got a limo for the family to arrive to the church on Saturday. Coincidentally, this was the same time — same area — that American Idol Top 3 songstress Angie Miller had her homecoming event.

As my father-in-law road in the limo through the town, a crowd of over 6000 screaming fans were cheering and waving — mistakenly thinking it was Angie Miller’s limo.

When he told me this story I said, “They weren’t screaming for Angie. They were screaming for you because you turned 90 last September!”

“Those Senior Skaters Keep Rolling Along”

Published January 6, 2013 by Maryanne

Carrie Calendriello (age 92) and Chester Fried (age 66) are inspirations on roller skates!

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, 2011)

I came across an article I had published in the Verona/Cedar Grove Patch online, January 14, 2011, about seniors who roller skate. It was just too inspiring not to share with all of you!

Those Senior Skaters Keep Rolling Along

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, originally published January 14, 2011, Verona/Cedar Grove Patch online

Roller skating is an exciting aerobic sport that can burn up to 560 calories per hour that’s fun for all ages – and I do mean all ages! I recently had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Calendriello, a 92-year-old who skates three times a week – and drives herself to the rinks!

“It gets me out of the house,” said Calendriello, who started roller skating in Central Park when she was a teenager in the 1930s, and met her husband Al there, who passed away in 2001.

Calendriello said her health is good and she doesn’t take many pills. Even though she can’t tango and waltz on skates like she used to, she still gets around pretty well!

Seniors, in their 60s through 80s come to the skate at the South Amboy Arena, in South Amboy on Wednesdays, where they also socialize with cake and coffee. The rink is run by John Durnye and his daughter, Jean.

“I love it! It keeps me alive,” said Betty Sammarco of Brooklyn, who wouldn’t give her exact age but said she is “over 65.”

Most of the senior ladies wore short skating skirts and I was very impressed by how slim and toned their legs were. The men were also slim and everyone looked extremely happy, healthy and vibrant.

Chester Fried, 66, of South River, is another roller skating fanatic who started skating in Queens when he was just 7-years-old. He was hooked immediately and continues to skate five days per week, and even teaches skating at the Woodbridge Community Center.

Fried’s greatest skating accomplishment happened in 1997 when he was inducted into the USA Roller Sports National Roller Skating Distinguished Service Hall of Fame. Peers recognized him for being one of the founding fathers of the National Roller Skating Museum. His busy schedule is filled with conventions, competitions, promotions and even writing about roller skating. His articles have been published in “Rinksider Magazine,” “Skate Magazine” and “Roller Skating Business,” to name a few.

Between the music, lights and social aspect, Fried said roller skating is “mentally uplifting.” It’s also great exercise.

“I’m still wearing the same clothes I did in 1971,” he said. “You don’t gain. I never got fat. My friends got fat. They all have beer bellies.”

Fried believes skating keeps him in very good health. He’s not on any medications but supplements his diet with Vitamin E, vision formula and zinc. “That’s it,” he said.

He’s also careful what he eats. “No fried foods whatsoever,” Fried said. “Ice cream in the summer – that’s a rough one to turn down.”

For more information on the South Amboy Arena and other area skating arenas, go to: