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Home Care in Glastonbury, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Glastonbury, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Glastonbury, CT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Glastonbury, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Glastonbury, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Glastonbury, CT

Types of In-home Care in Glastonbury, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Glastonbury, CT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Glastonbury, CT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Glastonbury, CT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Glastonbury, CT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Glastonbury, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Glastonbury, CT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Glastonbury, CT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Glastonbury, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Glastonbury, CT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Glastonbury, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Glastonbury, CT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Glastonbury,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Glastonbury, CT

Baribault Jewelers Offers Diamond Education Event for April Birthstone

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Learn How Getting a "D" is the Highest Grade on the Diamond Color Scale from April 21-23In school, getting a "D" is not something that a student strives for; however, in the diamond hierarchy, a D-grade is the highest honor bestowed on the popular gemstone and very much desired by individuals. Baribault Jewelers, a third-generation, family-owned, fine jewelry company in Glastonbury, is offering a free educational...

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

Learn How Getting a "D" is the Highest Grade on the Diamond Color Scale from April 21-23

In school, getting a "D" is not something that a student strives for; however, in the diamond hierarchy, a D-grade is the highest honor bestowed on the popular gemstone and very much desired by individuals. Baribault Jewelers, a third-generation, family-owned, fine jewelry company in Glastonbury, is offering a free educational seminar on the different diamond grades on April 21, 22 and 23, 2022 in honor of the sparkly birthstone of the month.

"All diamonds are not equal! When you look at a D-grade diamond you can see the difference in radiance right away," said Baribault Jewelers Owner Lewis Baribault, Jr.. "Since they are completely clear and colorless, they reflect the most light and create the most sparkle making them the most in demand stones."

Although many people assume that diamonds are transparent and colorless, Baribault emphasizes that most have a hint of color. Their pigmentation may range from a slight tint invisible to the naked eye to darker colors that are more obvious. D-color diamonds are often referred to as white diamonds because they truly are completely colorless both to the naked eye and under magnification, hence earning them the highest rating on the color scale.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the diamond color grading scale in the 1950s. The Institute understood that having an objective color spectrum would build trust when trading diamonds. The scale ranges from D to Z, starting with the stones that appear colorless even when viewed under a microscope. Since D-color diamonds are the highest on the color scale, they are extremely rare and only a tiny percentage are available to the public.

In business for nearly 75 years, Baribault Jewelers has established solid relationships in the diamond industry and has a proven reputation of sourcing the most special stones. "Like any individual, each diamonds' personality is different so the need for an expert's eye when matching them is imperative," adds Baribault.

For instance, creating a multi-stone tennis bracelet with all GIA-certified, D-color diamonds is extremely difficult since all of the diamonds must match exactly in color to produce the most radiant piece. Similarly, in the case of diamond stud earrings, each pair must be matched perfectly by GIA certification and GIA gemologists' eyes to ensure that the brilliance is compatible.

Baribault Jewelers has curated one of the largest collections of D-grade diamonds in the U.S., offering the precious gemstones in engagement rings, earrings, pendants, wedding bands and bracelets with a price point starting at $1,000.

"You probably will never be able to go into any jewelry store in the world and see this many white diamonds and that's what really sets us apart," said Baribault. "We've dedicated an entire showcase to them and excited to make them accessible to the entire Connecticut community."

The D-Grade Diamond Education Event will take place on April 21, 22 and 23 and feature a special collection of the colorless stones, as well as a variety of hand-crafted diamonds by Tacori, an internationally renowned diamond design company, that specializes in "blooming" diamonds, a process in which a standalone diamond is encircled with smaller stones that increases the original size of the stone by up to thirty percent.

"Diamonds are without a doubt the most popular in the gem family and the options are endless in how we can create and customize diamond pieces that will make the most meaningful memories," said Baribault. "After all, that's what it's all about!"

About Baribault Jewelers

Since 1948, Baribault Jewelers has been guided by its core values of authenticity, integrity, service, gratitude, courage, trust and respect in providing sterling service to its local, statewide and national clientele. While styles come and go, the mission of the family business has always been to help its valued customers create beautiful memories with the people they love. Visit www.baribaultjewelers.com.

The views expressed in this post are the author's own. Want to post on Patch?

Castle Connolly's Rising Stars: 33 Connecticut Physicians

While too early in their careers to earn a 2022 Top Doctors designation, these 33 nominated physicians were selected for recognition as "Rising Stars" by Castle Connolly "based on peer nominations and acknowledgement of outstanding accomplishments and dedication to the field of medicine. These early career doctors are emerging leaders in the medical community, having contributed to the advancement of healthcar...

While too early in their careers to earn a 2022 Top Doctors designation, these 33 nominated physicians were selected for recognition as "Rising Stars" by Castle Connolly "based on peer nominations and acknowledgement of outstanding accomplishments and dedication to the field of medicine. These early career doctors are emerging leaders in the medical community, having contributed to the advancement of healthcare through clinical care, research, community service, education and/or leadership."

Sara I. Dever, MDAllergy & Asthma Care of Fairfield County, 55 Walls Drive, Fairfield, 203-259-7070

Craig B. Moskowitz, MDHartford Hospital, Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute, 65 Memorial Road, Suite 405, West Hartford, 860-972-1506Special expertise: Arrhythmias, Atrial FibrillationHospital affiliations: Hartford Hospital

Charles J. Rouse, MDCardiology Associates of Fairfield County, 1177 Summer Street, Floor 5, Stamford, 203-353-1133Special expertise: Pacemakers/Defibrillators, Arrhythmias, Atrial FibrillationHospital affiliations: Stamford Hospital, St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital

Eric L. Alter, MDCardiology Associates of Fairfield County, 425 Post Road, Fairfield, 203-254-2452Special expertise: Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery DiseaseHospital affiliations: St. Vincent’s Medical Center - Bridgeport

David Altszuler, MDConsulting Cardiologists, 305 Western Boulevard, Glastonbury, 860-522-0604Hospital affiliations: Hartford Hospital

Steven N. Bleich, MDConsulting Cardiologists, 305 Western Boulevard, Glastonbury, 860-522-0604Hospital affiliations: Hartford Hospital

Benjamin Gold, MDYale New Haven Health, Northeast Medical Group Cardiology, 112 Quarry Road, Trumbull, 203-333-8800Hospital affiliations: Bridgeport Hospital

David L. Narotsky, MDCardiac Specialists, 20 Commerce Park, Milford, 203-292-2000Special expertise: Non-Invasive Cardiology, Cardiac Imaging, Cardiac Stress TestingHospital affiliations: Bridgeport Hospital Milford Campus

Allison Padegimas, MDConsulting Cardiologists, 305 Western Boulevard, Glastonbury, 860-522-0604Special expertise: Cardio-OncologyHospital affiliations: Hartford Hospital

Norman Roth, MDConsulting Cardiologists, 305 Western Boulevard, Glastonbury, 860-522-0604Hospital affiliations: Hartford Hospital

Jonathan W. Winkler, MDStarling Physicians, 1 Lake Street, Building A, New Britain, 860-223-0220Special expertise: Echocardiography, Coronary Artery Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, ArrhythmiasHospital affiliations: Hospital of Central CT at New Britain

Kathleen M. Cardinale, MDYale New Haven Children’s Hospital, 1 Park Street, 2nd Floor, New Haven, 877-925-3637Hospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital

Nina Antonov, MDModern Dermatology, 1032 Post Road East, Westport, 203-635-0770

Ellen Harris de Moll, MDDermatology Physicians of Connecticut, 425 Post Road, Floor 2, Fairfield, 203-292-9490Special expertise: Medical Dermatology, Cutaneous Lymphoma, Skin Cancer, Dermatopathology

Hao Feng, MDUConn Health, Department of Dermatology, 21 South Road, Floor 2, Farmington, 860-679-7546Special expertise: Cosmetic Dermatology, Mohs Surgery, Laser SurgeryHospital affiliations: University of Connecticut Health Center - John Dempsey Hospital

Lauren Levy, MDWestport Dermatology & Laser Center, 325 Riverside Avenue, Westport, 203-226-3600Special expertise: Acne & Rosacea, Skin Cancer, PsoriasisHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Hospital

Erin Lowe, DOAdvanced DermCare, 25 Tamarack Avenue, Danbury, 203-797-8990Special expertise: Skin Cancer, Genital DermatologyHospital affiliations: Danbury Hospital

Sara Perkins, MDYale Dermatology Associates, 2 Church Street South, New Haven, 203-785-4445Special expertise: Skin Cancer Screening, Melanoma, Pigmented LesionsHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Hospital

Lidya A. Bal, MDStamford Health Medical Group, 32 Strawberry Hill Court, Suite 6, Stamford, 203-977-2566Hospital affiliations: Stamford Hospital

Ashley Rountree, MDStamford Health Medical Group, 32 Strawberry Hill Court, Suite 6, Stamford, 203-977-2566Special expertise: Preventive Medicine, Adolescent MedicineHospital affiliations: Hospital affiliations: Stamford Hospital

Jill Deutsch, MDYale New Haven Hospital, Yale Gastroenterology, 4A Devine Street, North Haven, 203-785-4138Special expertise: Pain-Abdominal/Functional, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Irritable Bowel SyndromeHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Hospital

Michelle L. Hughes, MDYale New Haven Hospital, Yale Gastroenterology, 40 Temple Street, New Haven, 203-785-5279Special expertise: Inflammatory Bowel Disease, EsophagogastroduodenoscopyHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Hospital

David H. Wei, MDOrthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists (ONS), 6 Greenwich Office Park, Greenwich, 203-869-1145Special expertise: Tennis Elbow, Hand & Wrist Surgery, Hand & Elbow Surgery, Nerve & Tendon Reconstruction

Jessica I. Abrantes-Figueiredo, MDTrinity Health of New England Medical Group, 1000 Asylum Avenue, Suite 4304, Hartford, 860-714-5895Hospital affiliations: Saint Francis Hospital

Stephen Strong, MDInternal Medicine Associates of Westport, 333 Post Road West, Floor 2, Westport, 203-226-0731Hospital affiliations: Norwalk Hospital

Edward T. Carreras, MDCardiology Associates of Fairfield County, 3272 Main Street, Stratford, 203-380-3910Hospital affiliations: St. Vincent’s Medical Center - Bridgeport, Saint Francis Hospital

Craig Sauer, MDCounty OB/GYN, 103 North Main Street, Branford, 203-488-8306

Matthew Cantlon, MDOrthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists (ONS), 6 Greenwich Office Park, Greenwich, 203-869-1145Special expertise: Arthritis, Microsurgery, Tendon Injuries, Carpal Tunnel SyndromeHospital affiliations: Greenwich Hospital

Aaron Insel, MDOrthoConnecticut , 2 Riverview Drive, Danbury, 203-797-1500Special expertise: Hand Surgery, Wrist Surgery, Elbow SurgeryHospital affiliations: Danbury Hospital

Glenn S. Russo, MDConnecticut Orthopaedics, 2408 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, 203-407-3508Special expertise: Spinal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery, Scoliosis, Spinal DeformityHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Hospital, Midstate Medical Center

Gary K. Soffer, MDYale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Norwalk Pediatric Specialty Center, 747 Belden Avenue, Norwalk, 877-925-3637Special expertise: Allergy, Environmental Health, Food AllergyHospital affiliations: Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Yale New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital

Ming-Ming Lee, MDNuvance Health, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 34 Maple Street, Norwalk, 203-852-2392Special expertise: Critical Care, Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD), Asthma, BronchiectasisHospital affiliations: Norwalk Hospital

Nirav K. Desai, MDNew York Bariatric Group, 140 Sherman Street, Floor 2, Fairfield, 800-633-8446Special expertise: Bariatric/Obesity Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Gastrointestinal SurgeryHospital affiliations: Stamford Hospital, Hartford Hospital

No. 1 debate: Southington softball has not been No. 1 since 2016

As the schedule passes the midpoint of the 2022 softball season, the debate over the No. 1 team in the state has become increasingly split.While it may seem odd to consider a defending CIAC Class LL champion and current No. 2 team underrate...

As the schedule passes the midpoint of the 2022 softball season, the debate over the No. 1 team in the state has become increasingly split.

While it may seem odd to consider a defending CIAC Class LL champion and current No. 2 team underrated, former and current members of the Southington softball program can’t help but feel slighted in recent years.

The Southington program has won 19 state titles in its history, including five of the last eight Class LL championships and the most recent two. While Southington has been a mainstay in the GameTimeCT softball poll, the program has not been ranked No. 1 since 2016.

Southington ended the 2021 season with a walk-off 4-3 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe in the Class LL championship game, and finished the year ranked No. 2 behind an undefeated Class L champion Masuk (which won its third state title in a row).

When the preseason poll was released prior to the 2022 campaign, Masuk opened as the favorite with Southington ranked third and Fairfield Ludlowe ranked fifth.

After opening day there was a shift however, as Ludlowe defeated Masuk and was propelled into the No. 1 spot that has alluded Southington since 2016.

“The team we beat in the state championship, they are ahead of us,” Southington coach Davina Hernandez said. “It always just kind of seems to be the norm. It is definitely something that our players have brought to my attention every year.”

Southington fell to No. 4 in the second poll of the year after not playing a game during the first week of the season. A week later after a 4-0 start, Southington moved up to No. 2 where it remains (still behind Ludlowe).

In the most recent poll, some voters have begun shifting their votes for top team in the state toward Southington after it has had little trouble against a handful of college-bound pitchers with an 11-2 win over Glastonbury, 18-4 victory over Hall, a 15-6 defeat of Avon and a 14-1 pummeling of Cheshire.

“That lineup, and I have a Division I pitcher, is unlike any batting lineup I have seen in high school softball,” Glastonbury coach Karen Costes said. “I have coached all three divisions in college, and that team hits like a college team. They are monster hitters.”

This week Southington earned six first-place votes in the poll, doubling its total from the prior week, while No. 1 Ludlowe dropped from 10 first-place votes to seven. Of the 3,570 total points attributed in the poll, Southington currently trails Ludlowe by just six. The poll, run by GameTimeCT, includes 14 voters (10 media, 4 coaches).

This Saturday, Southington will travel to No. 3 Masuk. As part of a new deal between Hernandez and Masuk coach Leigh Barone, this will be the first of a yearly non-conference matchup between the two teams. It also provides Southington a common opponent to Ludlowe.

Masuk competes in Class L. Southington and Ludlowe are both again in Class LL.

“I know Ludlowe has put together a good couple of years, but they have not been a historical perennial powerhouse like Southington,” Costes said. “Southington beat them in the state championship and Ludlowe is number one.”

While some of the preseason justification to drop Southington below Ludlowe was due to its smaller returning class, this year’s team may be even better than its state champion predecessors.

“Coming into this season they did lose a lot of seniors from last year which could be why they were rated a little bit lower,” Hall coach Rebecca Lewis said. “But what they have proven so far this season is that they very much have the depth throughout their roster to be the very best in the state.”

Theories on why Southington has not been able to crack the No. 1 spot in six seasons differ.

“I do feel as though the CCC has been slighted,” Costes said. “I have been at Glastonbury for the last seven years, and I would say for the last three that the conference has become a lot stronger. I feel as though we have the best pitchers in the state.”

While conferences such as the SCC and FCIAC regularly account for the majority of teams in the poll, those involved with the CCC have seen a dramatic increase in skill and competition over the years.

The CCC is broken down into four divisions: North, East, South and West. Southington is a member of the CCC West, which is then broken down further into the Patriot and Colonial divisions.

“A few years back the CCC came together and said you have to play your division games twice,” Hernandez said. “Then you get crossover CCC games, and ever since 2016 all they had teams split into top, mid-level and lower tiers so that it was more balanced.”

The new structure has allowed for the large conference to promote more parity within between competing teams, but while the schedules have gotten more difficult Southington has not slowed down.

“My goal every year is to make sure that we have as strong of a schedule as we possibly can,” Hernandez said. “If you look at our schedule from my first couple years you will see a lot of mercy rules, we were breaking records and we were nationally ranked.

“Our strength of schedule has improved every year,” Hernandez said. “And without a doubt the strongest schedule we have ever had is this year. And I think we have come out very strong.”

This season Hernandez picked up Masuk, Cheshire, Waterford, and RHAM as the four out of conference games Southington is allowed to play.

“Over the years not only have we been winning more,” Hernandez said. “But we have actually had much stronger schedules as well.”

Hernandez is not the only one who has noticed the uptick in the CCC’s competition, and perhaps voters have overlooked the CCC in comparison to others.

“One of my assistant coaches (Kelly Larson) came from the FCIAC and won a state championship with Trumbull (2017),” Costes said. “It is interesting to hear her perspective, and she has really seen how strong the CCC has gotten in the last four and five years.”

The debates over which conferences truly are the most competitive remain open for interpretation.

“I would say the SCC prior to the last three years was probably the strongest conference,” Costes said. “But I do think that there has been a shift and I think Southington deserves the number one spot.”

“I do think the strongest conferences in the state are the FCIAC and the CCC,” Lewis said. “And I think when you look at state tournament records, overall records, and strength of schedule you see teams from those conferences popping up multiple times.”

While the CCC has become more competitive in the eyes of many, that increase in skill has been observed throughout the state, opening the door for more teams to enter the Top 10 conversation. This week Hall was ranked No. 9 and Glastonbury, RHAM and Enfield are among the 15 teams also receiving votes.

“Throughout Connecticut we have seen an extraordinary growth in the sport of softball and the skill we are seeing in a variety of programs,” Lewis said. “If you go back a decade you see there were a few dominant programs and then a major drop off with every other program. Now you see a lot more competitive teams that send players to the next level which can play into these ratings as well.”

For Hernandez and Southington, there is some frustration.

“I know that some conferences are stronger than others, but I know that teams out this way always end up being on the rankings,” Hernandez said. “So, sometimes you wonder what else you need to prove.

“One year we were ranked eighth or ninth in the nation on MaxPreps and we weren’t even ranked No. 1 in Connecticut.” Hernandez said. “We were in the Top 25 a few times during those years.”

The predicament has created a new coaching challenge for Hernandez, turning frustration into motivation.

“I don’t think it has been intentional,” Hernandez said. “I just think that we are a team that takes pride in getting better every single day, and it is something we focus on a lot in our program. I do think we have surprised people some years with how we finished. I just think not everyone is there to see that growth and how much better we get throughout the season every year. Sometimes those rankings motivate us and fuel us to show people that we do deserve the recognition of being No. 1. But if we don’t get it, we don’t let it hold us back or upset us. We just let it motivate us to earn that recognition.”

[email protected]; @AldamWill

Harry's Pizza in Glastonbury to close Sunday 'barring a miracle'

GLASTONBURY, Conn. — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does its impact on small businesses.Harry's Pizza in Glastonbury announced on Facebook that it will be closing up shop permanently this coming Sunday "barring a miracle."The recent closing is not the first battle the pizzeria had during the pandemic.In March 2020, the previous...

GLASTONBURY, Conn. — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does its impact on small businesses.

Harry's Pizza in Glastonbury announced on Facebook that it will be closing up shop permanently this coming Sunday "barring a miracle."

The recent closing is not the first battle the pizzeria had during the pandemic.

In March 2020, the previous owners of the shop closed due to personal reasons, the Facebook page said.

With an official announcement that the pizzeria would reopen in Sept. 2020, the new owners said they were keeping the same recipes and menu, along with a few new additions.

But, pandemic challenges would roll around once more for the pizzeria.

On Wednesday, Harry's announced they will be closing their doors permanently "barring a miracle" by Sunday.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we are reaching out to you today. As you may know, Eric and Crystal took over ownership of Harry's Pizza in Glastonbury AFTER Covid had already begun. This pandemic greatly affected the previous owners and Harry's was to be no more. We heard your cries and took on the reopening of our favorite pizza place. That being said, Covid has still affected us. Unfortunately, we plan to close Harry’s Pizza permanently Sunday February 13th. If you or anyone you know has any outstanding gifts cards, please use them now. Barring a miracle, we will not be able to stay open past Sunday. Thank you for all your love and support over the last year and a half. With love, Harry's.

— feeling heartbroken.

Glastonbury residents commented on the closing announcement, expressing their sorrow that the pizzeria was another loss in the face of the pandemic.

Harry's Pizza is not the only Connecticut restaurant or small business to suffer in the last two years.

The Public Market, a Middletown staple, closed its doors permanently in February 2021, citing stresses from the pandemic. The Italian deli and grocery had no choice but to close its doors after being in operation since 1915.

Banh Meee in Hartford had to close its Capitol Avenue location in November 2020 as the restaurant had to change ownership, also due to pandemic struggles.

Blind Pig Pizza Co. in Hartford, part of the Bear's Restaurant Group, announced its closure in September 2021.

Carbone's Ristorante in Hartford is counting on a spring reopening after they were forced to shutter their business in March 2020.

Restaurants, breweries, and Connecticut lawmakers are calling on the U.S. Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

“There are probably another 2,000 restaurants, breweries and others who need this money and I'm going to make it a bipartisan priority,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said at a recent news conference.

Blumenthal said it would take an appropriations bill to get that funding through.

Sadly, the funds may be too late for restaurants like Harry's.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Family business puts a spin on the standard ice cream sandwich

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Five years ago, Christina and Matt Zajac made the leap to start their own business and desert their old jobs in favor of creating “just desserts”. Today, Blue Chip Creamery, which put a spin on the standard ice cream sandwich by going more decadent and more indulgent, makes what they call “Chillwiches."“we have fresh baked chocolate chunk cookies and we pack two cookies with a premium 14 percent bu...

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Five years ago, Christina and Matt Zajac made the leap to start their own business and desert their old jobs in favor of creating “just desserts”. Today, Blue Chip Creamery, which put a spin on the standard ice cream sandwich by going more decadent and more indulgent, makes what they call “Chillwiches."

“we have fresh baked chocolate chunk cookies and we pack two cookies with a premium 14 percent butterfat ice cream with all different flavors and toppings,” Matt said.

The Zajacs began Blue Chip with a beat-up 1976 ice cream truck they bought on Craigslist then fully refurbished it to help sell their Chillwiches – they are now putting the final touches on their fourth ice cream truck.

In addition, the entire family works to make the Blue Chip ice cream sandwiches by hand at their new production headquarters in Wethersfield (They were formally working out of Glastonbury).

“we’re doing about ten thousand (Chillwiches) a month… and come June or July it’s going to be at least double,” Christina said.

From weddings to block parties to food truck festivals, now Blue Chip even is finding it's way into the wholesale space inside supermarket freezers. Christina said, “we’re all over the state and Western Mass.”

Matt noted that Blue Chip is in the business of making people happy, “people gravitate towards it, it’s a fun product, it’s tasty and everyone loves ice cream."

Typically a Chillwich costs around $7… To learn more about Blue Chip Creamery click

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