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Home Care in Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, CT

Types of In-home Care in Middle Haddam, CT

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

 Elderly Care Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam, 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 Middle Haddam,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 Middle Haddam, CT

State elementary school principal of the year from East Hartford

EAST HARTFORD — Cynthia Callahan, principal of John A. Langford Elementary School, has been named the Connecticut Association of Schools’ 2022 Elementary School Principal of the Year.The organization began the award program in 1984, and names an annual Principal of the Year for elementary, middle, and high schools across the state.Callahan said the award is less recognition of her, and more recognition of her staff.WHAT: The Connecticut Association of Schools names Principals of the Ye...

EAST HARTFORD — Cynthia Callahan, principal of John A. Langford Elementary School, has been named the Connecticut Association of Schools’ 2022 Elementary School Principal of the Year.

The organization began the award program in 1984, and names an annual Principal of the Year for elementary, middle, and high schools across the state.

Callahan said the award is less recognition of her, and more recognition of her staff.

“A school’s a family and we are all in it together, and I couldn’t be prouder of our Langford community,” Callahan said.

School Superintendent Nathan Quesnel said he would expect Callahan to say something like that, calling her the kind of principal any parent would want to have.

“She’s very modest, very humble, she’ll tell you it’s all about her team … this lady is remarkable,” Quesnel said.

Quesnel said Callahan started at John A. Langford six years ago, and that her work has been “transformative” for the school.

“It was a school that we wanted to make real improvements to and wanted to grow, like we do with all schools,” Quesnel said.

Karen Packtor, deputy executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools, said the transformation of John A. Langford was partly why Callahan rose above other nominees for the award.

“The achievement gains her students have made, and the staff morale and climate of collegiality and mutual respect she has fostered there, is really so impressive,” Packtor said.

A press release from the Connecticut Association of Schools states that when Callahan joined John A. Langford in 2016, the school was struggling with “declining student achievement, increasing levels of student discipline and low staff morale.” After Callahan’s work began, John A. Langford was named a School of Distinction by the state’s Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year.

Callahan said one major practice she implemented in the school is Grade Level Achievement Meetings, or GLAMs, a data-driven process where staff members celebrate what their classrooms are doing right and analyze where they can improve the experience for students and teachers.

“We start with celebrations, and look at the next steps,” Callahan said.

Callahan said another key part of her work at John A. Langford has been building relationships of trust with the community, including teachers, students, and parents.

“When you build strong relationships with each other, stay focused on high expectations and making sure every day of learning is important, students will respond,” Callahan said.

Callahan said she extends her thanks for the award to the school district, which consistently provided the resources to help John A. Langford succeed.

“All of our work is aligned with the East Hartford vision, and I want to say how thankful we are for our district’s work,” Callahan said.

Packtor said the nomination process starts with a person submitting two letters of recommendation on behalf of the nominee. A committee of active and retired school administrators selects three finalists, who submit a final application highlighting their school and their work and allow the committee to tour and observe their school.

“The applicant pool was just extraordinary, there are so many excellent principals leading our elementary schools,” Packtor said.

Developer Meets Unanimous Opposition at Contentious Middle Haddam Historic District Meeting

EAST HAMPTON — Despite warnings from the attorney for the developer, the Middle Haddam Historic District Commission will oppose a proposed zone change for a property located in the historic district at the April Planning and Zoning meeting.Developer William Wayne Rand, under the name Long Hill Estates, LLC, has proposed a zone change from R-2 to commercial for a new 1.5-acre lot that is currently part of 53 Long Hill Road, a 17.6-acre parcel that he purchased on Nov. 20, 2020. The proposed new lot is next to Sports on 66 at 265 ...

EAST HAMPTON — Despite warnings from the attorney for the developer, the Middle Haddam Historic District Commission will oppose a proposed zone change for a property located in the historic district at the April Planning and Zoning meeting.

Developer William Wayne Rand, under the name Long Hill Estates, LLC, has proposed a zone change from R-2 to commercial for a new 1.5-acre lot that is currently part of 53 Long Hill Road, a 17.6-acre parcel that he purchased on Nov. 20, 2020. The proposed new lot is next to Sports on 66 at 265 West High St and is expected to be used for parking.

At Thursday’s commission meeting via zoom, Chair Charles Roberts said the commission held a responsibility to the property owners in the historic district, which was formed in 1977 by a 79 percent approval of 151 landowners. He said property owners in the district are required to apply for a certificate of appropriateness when making exterior changes that can be “viewed from a public way, whether that be road or river.”

“The current property owners expect the Middle Haddam Historic District in the Town of East Hampton to protect these homes and the entire district because they’ve given up some of their rights,” he said.

But Timothy Furey, an attorney with Furey, Donovan, Tracy and Daly, P.C. in Bristol, who represented Rand, said the commission had no jurisdiction or appropriate role in subdivision nor the proposed zone change that the Planning and Zoning Commission will consider on April 7.

“If you do [proceed], and you do act in an ultra vires manner, beyond your role as a commission, and if it damages us, we will explore what our rights are,” said Furey.

Furey said that according to the statute, the commission can comment on an application for a variance or a special exception but not on a subdivision of land or a zoning change of land. The commission can comment on the preservation or changing of structures, he said, but there are no structures proposed as part of the subdivision or zone change.

Furey also disputed the boundary of the historic district and said the property was not included in the original map. He warned the commission members to stop the proceedings.

“You can go forward but you go forward at your own risk and depending on what is said here, we will protect our rights,” he said. “I’ve read the statute and I understand it, and I think you’re way outside of your lane.”

Roberts responded that the commission represents the owners and residents of Middle Haddam and opened the discussion to the commission members and the public.

Ann McKinney of Long Hill Road said she gave up some rights to her home and property when the historic district was drawn.

“Have I always been happy with the Middle Haddam Historic District? No, because there are restraints, but the restraints have proved important to keep this historic district, a historic district,” she said. “Mr. Rand should have been quite aware of the fact that he was purchasing — and I’m sure he is — in the historic district.”

Resident Margaret McCutcheon Faber said the map of the historic district was filed in 1977 and the boundary has not changed. She also said that the State Historic Preservation Office determined that the historic district commission has a statutory right as a fellow land use board to weigh in on the issue in an advisory capacity.

Faber said she had been present when Rand submitted proposals in the past.

“I’ve been on the Middle Haddam Historic District commission before and Mr. Rand has a history of sending his attorney to these meetings and threatening to file suit if things don’t go his way and I think that tactic is underhanded, and I don’t think that the commission should tolerate it,” she said.

Resident Peter Parker commented that Furey “seemed rather angry.”

“I don’t understand why — it’s a perfectly normal thing in this country and in this town for us to discuss any changes that are coming up and sometimes that can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved and I certainly hope that they would take that attitude going forward,” Parker said.

Furey responded that he was sorry if he sounded aggressive or mean-spirited.

“It is my nature, fortunately or unfortunately, but the charge of protecting my clients rights is something that people sometimes take as a threat. I’m sorry,” he said.

Furey said he believed everyone has a right to be heard and urged residents and commission members to speak as individual citizens at the Planning and Zoning meeting.

“I apologize because I think people have a right to speak their thoughts about their property … but I think it’s also important that various commissions do stay in their lane, stay within their statutory authority,” he said.

The commission members voted unanimously to allow Roberts to represent them and to oppose Rand’s proposal at the April 7 Planning and Zoning meeting.

To attend the April 7 meeting, use this recurring link.

Middle Haddam Couple Tailors One-of-a-Kind Safaris in Africa

MIDDLE HADDAM — “It’s almost like you’re on a different planet. The fact that the animals are in charge, you’re a guest there and you realize that pretty quickly. This is their habitat. This is their world, and you’re visiting,” said Pierre Faber, co-owner of Classic Africa, a safari company that custom designs trips to southern and eastern Africa.“That’s a very different feeling from what you’re accu...

MIDDLE HADDAM — “It’s almost like you’re on a different planet. The fact that the animals are in charge, you’re a guest there and you realize that pretty quickly. This is their habitat. This is their world, and you’re visiting,” said Pierre Faber, co-owner of Classic Africa, a safari company that custom designs trips to southern and eastern Africa.

“That’s a very different feeling from what you’re accustomed to if you’ve grown up in the developed world so it’s a very powerful experience,” he said. “People fall in love with it. A lot of our clients are very well traveled and almost all of them will tell you that it’s the most amazing trip they’ve ever taken so far.”

Some clients have come back 10 times or more and the company continues to find new places for them to explore, said co-owner Margaret McCutcheon Faber.

Their clients have no shortage of destinations — the company offers safaris in nine countries: Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, and the Seychelles.

Most want to see the wildlife, Pierre said, and the predominantly savannah habitat in southern and eastern parts of Africa supports the highest level of mammalian diversity on earth.

Pierre said he and Margaret work to tailor the experience to the client’s desires, which can also include an urban experience, perhaps in Cape Town, or a beach experience in Seychelles or Mozambique.

“But broadly the majority of people that we work with are going first and foremost for safari and it’s those countries of southern Africa and East Africa where we focus on where they go to see the wildlife,” he said.

“From an early age I developed a love for the African version of wildlife,” said Pierre, who grew up in South Africa and whose family vacationed by traveling into the bush.

He became a wildlife veterinarian and planned to specialize in wildlife fishery medicine, but his path diverged when he won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend University of Oxford, where he earned his doctorate in business administration.

“At that point, this is in the early 90s, South Africa was just emerging from apartheid and there was a whole emerging concept of ecotourism globally … It was just a very, undiscovered part of the world,” he said. “There were phenomenal natural resources there and ecotourism was this emerging industry and so I thought I have this scientific background and I’ll get a business degree and then come back and work in this emerging ecotourism industry in southern Africa.”

Margaret grew up in Middle Haddam about a mile from where the couple lives with their two sons. She attended Connecticut College and transferred to New York University where she studied cultural anthropology and art history. A few years later, while managing a field station in Yungaburra, Australia, she received news that she had been accepted to Oxford where she earned a Master of Studies in ethnology and museum ethnology and a PhD in cultural anthropology.

Margaret was a rower but the athletics team at Oxford needed discus throwers for an upcoming varsity match versus University of Cambridge.

“They needed throwers, and I was strong at the time so they recruited me and Pierre was my coach, so he had to teach me how to throw the discus in two weeks,” she laughed. “I decided he was kind of nice so I gave up rowing and transferred over to throwing events in athletics. We became weightlifting partners and the rest of that was history.”

For her field work, Margaret traveled to Madagascar a number of times and Pierre visited her from South Africa.

“I was planning to become a professor of anthropology incorporating history into it and archaeology, so I had a different path in mind. But we started and I knew he was interested in ecotourism and I was certainly interested in the cultural aspects of Africa and so we thought it might be a good match,” she said.

Pierre said it was obvious to both of them that they had a strong connection to Africa.

“We both had an interest in different elements of Africa and we wanted to do something together. We wanted to follow our passions but also do something where we could work together and create something together. And that’s where Classic Africa was born,” he said.

The biggest challenge of a safari is traveling to Africa, which can entail 16 or 17 hours of flying time on a direct flight, Pierre said.

“Once on the ground, there are very few challenges particularly because of the types of places that they stay. When you arrive at the airport, someone meets you and from that point you’re hosted every step of the way,” said Pierre. “It’s expensive. You’re paying a lot of money, but you’re very well cared for, you’re very hosted.”

The level of dining is a highlight for many clients, said Pierre.

“The chefs put a real effort into the food and the presentation, the wines. Farm to table is popular right now and especially with safari camps in more remote areas. It’s a much more sophisticated experience that people are expecting. A lot of people have in mind sort of eating over fire, but most of the camps have their own gardens and they have highly trained chefs often with international experience,” he said.

Safaris are expensive, Pierre said, but some of the funds go toward conservation.

“For the governments of Africa, the natural resources are a very valuable asset from which they generate revenue. For the local people, it’s important that the wildlife is a benefit to them because when you’re living alongside things like elephants and lions, it is very hazardous and it’s very difficult to be a farmer adjacent to a wildlife area,” he said. “So it’s important that the animals being there is worth more to the farmer than the animals not being there.”

He said there are a number of stakeholders in support of conservation in African countries and it was important that the local people benefit as well as the government of the country.

“That’s something that we have to help people understand in terms of why safari is so expensive, that there are a lot of constituencies that depend on safari and conservation, and the contribution that your trip is making towards conservation,” he said.

Pierre said he travels twice a year to check on the safari sites.

“For example, in a few weeks, in April, I’ll be heading over to South Africa and Botswana on a reconnaissance trip. It’s important that we have experienced all of the innovations and all the properties because whatever we recommend to our clients, it’s important that we’ve personally experienced it and seen what it’s like so that we can match people to places,” he said.

Before the pandemic, the company worked with about 400 clients a year and business is slowly starting to return.

“Basically, pretty much around this time last April, all the countries of Africa shut down or went into lockdown. They started emerging in July or September. So, from the second half of last year, the countries were open for people who wanted to travel,” he said. “We’ve had a handful of people who have traveled since then.”

The abrupt shutdown last year was difficult and most clients wanted to postpone. This year a handful of new bookings have appeared and the company is now working about two months in advance.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, we have more clients that may want to travel. We’re starting to see that, barring unforeseen circumstances, we’re turning a corner,” he said.

As more people are vaccinated, countries may drop testing requirements, which will make travel between countries in Africa easier.

“Hopefully by the peak of summer season we won’t be dealing with these challenges so much, but right now every time you move from one country to another, you’ve got to get a test,” he said. “It’s definitely an additional complication that we’ve never had to deal with before.”

“Our philosophy with conservation is basically summed up with ‘conservation for education’ so most of the projects that we support are focused on resource research or educating the local people,” said Pierre. “The strategic thinking there is that the more people that recognize the value of wildlife, the more likely they are to protect it.”

The company donates a portion of annual profits to conservation and community projects in Africa, focusing currently on elephant migration in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Classic Africa also offers a scholarship program to help high school students in Zimbabwe pay for their education since high school there is not free. In addition, the company funds four annual postgraduate scholarships for African students at Oxford’s Linacre College.

Over the next five or 10 years Pierre said the company will continue to offer the same high quality trips it has been known for since 1999, with some potential for expansion.

“More and more people have heard about the forest becoming a more established type of vacation so I think there is definitely growth potential,” he said.

Margaret said she has worked to create a handmade experience for guests and plans to maintain an individual level of attention to detail.

“We create their travel documents with leather bound books and I’m tying everything up with raffia and using a fountain pen, so everything is curated and has that handmade kind of approach,” she said.

She said she is hoping to stay small and hands-on enough that the client is always dealing with the owner.

“We spend a lot of time with it because attention to detail is extremely important, so everything has to be perfect,” she said.

For more information, call 888-227-831, email [email protected] or visit www.classicafrica.com.

All photos are courtesy of Classic Africa

Anti-mask demonstrators disrupt Haddam-Killingworth school board meeting

HADDAM — A group of anti-mask demonstrators disrupted a Regional School District 17 Board of Education meeting Tuesday night with bullhorns and signs.Chairwoman Suzanne Sack began the meeting by calling for a moment of silence for 14-year-old Gianna Vincelett, a student who was killed in a hit-and-run last week....

HADDAM — A group of anti-mask demonstrators disrupted a Regional School District 17 Board of Education meeting Tuesday night with bullhorns and signs.

Chairwoman Suzanne Sack began the meeting by calling for a moment of silence for 14-year-old Gianna Vincelett, a student who was killed in a hit-and-run last week.

“Gianna Vincelett was a wonderful student, lives in Higganum, very well-liked by her friends, very avid athlete, and will be missed by family, friends and the entire school district,” Sack said.

According to the video recording of the meeting, Sack was interrupted by someone speaking on a bullhorn outside the meeting room.

Sack excused herself from the meeting and disappeared from the camera’s view. When she returned, she apologized for the interruption.

“Clearly, my indication to the folks outside that we are pausing for a moment of silence is not having an impact, but, nonetheless, I don’t want that to take away from the fact that this tragic accident has left us with one less precious student and the tragic loss of someone at this age is overwhelming,” Sack said.

Once Sack began speaking again about counselors available for students, the bullhorn noise resumed. The noise from outside the room became so loud that the meeting was halted for five minutes after one board member said she could not hear Sack speaking.

In the background, signs reading “lock up Lamont” and “unmask our kids,” as well as American and “don’t tread on me” flags were visible.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Sack got up again, but she did not stop the meeting. Board Secretary Jennifer Favalora tried to read the letters sent from residents to the board, speaking louder as the noise from outside the room persisted, according to the video.

Protesters also moved their signs into the frame of the livestream camera, and at times, activated sirens from their bullhorns.

A representative for Unmask Our Kids CT told Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday they had “no idea” if the demonstrators were part of their group.

Sack and Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

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Cromwell invests $100K to study future of middle school building

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateCROMWELL — The town recently formed a building committee to study the feasibility of renovating the nearly 70-year-old middle school — or construct an entirely new facility.Cromwell Town Council members agreed this month to earmark $100,000 for an architect to draw up plans to determine the best and most ...

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CROMWELL — The town recently formed a building committee to study the feasibility of renovating the nearly 70-year-old middle school — or construct an entirely new facility.

Cromwell Town Council members agreed this month to earmark $100,000 for an architect to draw up plans to determine the best and most financially prudent option for its redesign.

The building is past its expectancy, Superintendent of Schools Enza Macri said.

Education has transformed significantly in the past seven decades, and students deserve a state-of-the-art school to prepare them with the technological skills needed for high school and beyond, she said.

“Our students deserve the best,” she said.

Macri presented a PowerPoint presentation to town councilors Dec. 8.

The building’s plumbing, electrical panel, heating system, roof, skylights, telecommunications and technology hub need replacement, Macri said. Needs include storage, staff bathrooms, central air conditioning, energy efficiency, asbestos removal, building security and more space.

The heating system is low-efficiency, antiquated, and the district has had difficulty getting parts at times, the superintendent said.

“We’re concerned about the environment itself. It’s not very inviting,” Macri said Thursday. “The lighting is substandard and class size is very small for today’s inquiry-based model.”

And classrooms aren’t even large enough to accommodate science labs or maker spaces for student collaboration, the superintendent said. “A big component is access for all students … and to capitalize on social-emotional learning and the well-being of our students.”

The middle school is actually the old high school, the superintendent said.

“All the same problems are there,” she said.

The plan is to have the middle school move to a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics-focused approach to learning, she said. “It’s definitely not set up for that,” Macri said.

The arts are big in Cromwell, she added. “I’d hate to see the auditorium go. It would be wonderful if we find a way to keep it all to continue to grow arts programming.”

Research shows that children who have a new building feel more valued by the community and their test scores increase significantly, she added.

The cost will be a big factor in the choice of plan, Macri said. If the district were to renovate it would cost $38 million and to build a new one would be about $49 million. A portion of that could be reimbursed by the state.

The rate has increased recently, she said. Nearly 50 percent of the cost for renovations could be reimbursed, which would leave the town with the remaining $18 million or $19 million. The town could get up to 30 to 40 percent of the bill paid for by the state, which would leave Cromwell responsible for about $29 million.

“It’s cheaper to renovate an existing building,” Macri said. “We have to look at what we will lose or gain.”

She hopes to have the grant application submitted to the state by the end of June.

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