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

How does In-home Senior Care in Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, CT

Types of In-home Care in Middlefield, CT

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

 Elderly Care Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield,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 Middlefield, CT

Town Of Middlefield: Notice Of Statewide Drought Conditions

See the latest announcement from the Town of Middlefield.August 9, 2022DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE DETERORATED A LITTLE MORE IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT DURING THE PAST 7 DAYS…NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND FALLING TEMPERATURES EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 7 DAYS…The U.S. Drought Monitor has now designated a larger area of Eastern CT in the D2 (Severe Drought) category. Rainfall during the past 7 days has been hit or miss from thunderstorms and generally ranged from 0.25” to 0.50” across mo...

See the latest announcement from the Town of Middlefield.

August 9, 2022

DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE DETERORATED A LITTLE MORE IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT DURING THE PAST 7 DAYS…NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND FALLING TEMPERATURES EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 7 DAYS…

The U.S. Drought Monitor has now designated a larger area of Eastern CT in the D2 (Severe Drought) category. Rainfall during the past 7 days has been hit or miss from thunderstorms and generally ranged from 0.25” to 0.50” across most of the state. Slightly higher amounts of rain have fallen near Windsor Locks and in the Windham area. The route 2 corridor has been very dry with just a trace of rain. A map of 30-day actual rainfall and departure from normal has been added (see far right). This map is updated as of Sunday morning and does not include yesterday’s thunderstorms. Most rivers continue running well below normal. Fire danger is currently fluctuating between and high and very high depending on the weather forecast on each day. The 90-day rainfall deficit is currently around -5.5”.

The GFS and other models are forecasting a few opportunities for showers or thunderstorms during the next few days. Most of these showers and thunderstorms are forecast to occur this afternoon and again Tuesday afternoon. A round of rainfall is possible Wednesday night. Total rainfall this week is forecast to average around 1” for Connecticut. Temperatures are forecast to start above normal today and Tuesday and then a significant cooling trend is expected for the rest of this week. Highs today and Tuesday are forecast to be in the low to mid 90’s Highs are forecast to drop to around 80 F by the end of the week.

A disturbance in the eastern Atlantic may develop into a tropical storm over the next few days. However, this disturbance is not a threat to the U.S. East Coast at this time. The next update will be sent out by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on Monday, on August 15th. For more information on the current drought declaration and drought related information, please go to the Water Planning Council website at Drought Home (ct.gov).

This press release was produced by the Town of Middlefield. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Latest Lyman Orchards corn maze honors Ben Franklin kite experiment

MIDDLEFIELD — Those who visited Lyman Orchards this weekend navigated through a piece of Americana, trying to escape a Benjamin Franklin-themed corn maze honoring the founding father’s kite-flying experiment.But unlike Franklin, who famously flew a makeshift kite during a thunderstorm in search of electricity, maze contestants searched for an exit.The 2022 maze transports participants back to the 18th century to “the electrifying moment B...

MIDDLEFIELD — Those who visited Lyman Orchards this weekend navigated through a piece of Americana, trying to escape a Benjamin Franklin-themed corn maze honoring the founding father’s kite-flying experiment.

But unlike Franklin, who famously flew a makeshift kite during a thunderstorm in search of electricity, maze contestants searched for an exit.

The 2022 maze transports participants back to the 18th century to “the electrifying moment Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm, making the connection between lightning and electricity,” the orchard’s website states.

This year marks the 270th anniversary of Franklin’s experiment in June 1752. To honor his achievement, Lyman Orchards designed its maze to feature images from that iconic day. An aerial view of the maze — spread across four acres — reveals Franklin’s face etched into the field, surrounded by a kite, a bolt of electricity, and a key.

This is the orchard’s 23rd season assembling its corn maze. The Franklin design is the fourth in a series of maze themes spotlighting American history, Marketing Director Jennifer Altschuler said.

One dollar of each corn maze admission is donated to support the American Cancer Society. Since 2000, the Lyman Orchards corn maze has raised nearly $700,000 for the organization, according to the release.

“We’re excited about our 23rd season—and about our continuing partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Connecticut Cancer Foundation,” Lyman Orchards Executive Vice President John Lyman said in a statement. “We think our guests will enjoy getting to know Ben Franklin, gaining an appreciation for his inventions and wisdom, and learning the critical role he played in the creation of our country.”

The orchard will also donate 50 cents per admission to the Connecticut Cancer Society, which has received nearly $37,000 from the corn maze since 2020, the release said.

“These critical funds help the American Cancer Society attack all cancers in countless ways,” Alexis Maliga, the director of development at the American Cancer Society in Connecticut, said in a statement. “Lyman Orchards is an amazing community partner, and we are grateful for their dedication in the fight against cancer.”

Lyman Orchards has showcased a variety of themes since the maze’s inception in 2000. Its first ever maze was appropriately modeled after a cornucopia, Altschuler said. Subsequent themes included Yankees and Red Sox, the Statue of Liberty, Dancing with the Stars, rock ‘n’ roll, and Spiderman.

“We kind of span the gamut,” Altschuler said.

Altschuler joined Lyman Orchards in April and quickly began researching themes for this year’s maze. In her search for a subject that was historically relevant, she discovered the anniversary of Franklin’s kite-flying experiment.

Choosing the Franklin theme also allowed the orchard to promote its rich history. Founded in 1741, Lyman Orchards was established 11 years before Franklin’s experiment, and 35 years before the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.

“This farm has been in existence since before the United States was officially the United States,” Altschuler said. “Lyman Orchards was here during the time that Benjamin Franklin was flying his kite, and I think that’s pretty amazing.”

After settling on the concept, the orchard hired a Utah corn maze designer to start setting the framework and laying out pathways.

The orchard began planting the corn a few months ago, a process whose timing needs to be done “just perfectly, so the corn is ready to cut,” Altschuler said. Planting the corn too early may result in it whithering away.

About 80,000 corn kernels were spread over the maze’s four acres, according to Altschuler. Once the corn stalks had risen, the pathways were formed and flattened. Netting was then placed along the maze’s walls to keep the corn stalks from falling in.

The first 50 people who escaped the maze on Saturday were awarded kites in Franklin’s memory. On Monday, the orchard will commence its “Corn Balls” promotion where yellow golf balls imprinted with the logo of Lyman Orchard’s food market will be hidden daily within the maze.

Those who find a corn ball can redeem it for a prize, including $100 bills — with Franklin aptly featured — and gift cards to the Apple Barrel Farm Market, Altschuler said.

Trivia questions are also posted throughout the maze, testing contestants’ knowledge of Lyman Orchards and other subjects, such as pop culture. The wide-ranging trivia content makes the course appealing to everyone, Altschuler said.

While she stopped short of revealing the theme for next year’s corn maze, Altschuler did say the design is hidden within the tall stalks of this year’s maze.

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Top 25 apple picking spots in the U.S.

Apple picking is a time-honored fall tradition. As hot summer days begin to cool off, apple picking becomes one of the most wholesome and family-friendly ways to celebrate the turning of the season.Apple picking farms often offer more than just Granny Smith and Honeycrisp – many have additional activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, live music, wine tasting for the grown-ups, or entire fall festivals. Many of these farms also have amazing shops or farmers market booths that sell jams, candies, cider donuts, and a...

Apple picking is a time-honored fall tradition. As hot summer days begin to cool off, apple picking becomes one of the most wholesome and family-friendly ways to celebrate the turning of the season.

Apple picking farms often offer more than just Granny Smith and Honeycrisp – many have additional activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, live music, wine tasting for the grown-ups, or entire fall festivals. Many of these farms also have amazing shops or farmers market booths that sell jams, candies, cider donuts, and all kinds of signature fall treats.

So, if you like them apples (had to do it!), read on for Yelp’s list of top apple picking spots in the U.S. If you’re planning to visit one of these spots this autumn, don’t delay! Most orchards only offer apple picking until the first frost, so peak picking season is usually between late August and mid-November, depending on your location.

Pro tip: You’re going to want to make a note of these spots, so we made it easy for you. For great businesses at your fingertips, get the Top 25 to-go. Follow this collection on Yelp.

What they’re known for: established in 2010 and situated in the foothills of east Oak Glen, this family-owned microfarm offers an heirloom apple orchard, flower fields, and cultivated gardens. The farm is dog-friendly and hosts seasonal ticketed dinners.

What Yelpers say: “Never have I ever thought we had apple picking in Southern California! Admission is $5 and apples are priced by the pound…There is also food on site in case you didn’t eat before the long drive to Oak Glen. Staff was super friendly and helpful in instructing us. There were tons of children and dogs around so if you got those be sure to bring them along as well!” – Yelp Elite Scott S

What they’re known for: established in 1908, the farm and Country Store have been owned and operated by the Applegate Family for four generations. Yelpers highly recommend their apple cider donuts.

What Yelpers say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away! …These orchards were beautiful and well worth the drive from New York City. I was in awe and never knew there were so many varieties of apple. It was overwhelming yet exhilarating to be a kid again. We were just two City moms enjoying a beautiful autumn day, sharing a childhood tradition with our children. It was a memorable and photogenic experience. We laughed and snapped away while trying to be strategic with the apples picked.” – Yelp Elite Kristia B

What they’re known for: a sustainable and ecologically minded sixth-generation family-owned farm with you-pick, CSA subscriptions, a bakery, farmers market booths, and events. Bring your apple picking tote bag back next year for a discount.

What Yelpers say: “One of the best pick your own apple farms I’ve been to. Everything was so organized and it wasn’t too crowded. …. They gave us a map and was told there were tractor stops throughout. If our bags got too heavy we can leave it there and they will transport it back for us. This was the first time I saw something like this done for apple picking. We started all the way in the back and they had a ton of apples. The hike up was very steep though but the views were amazing.” -Yelp Elite Kimberly H

4. Jaswell’s Farm – Smithfield, RI

What they’re known for: a fourth-generation family-owned farm offering fresh-picked seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as an assortment of fresh baked goods in their bakery. Make a reservation in advance to reserve your apple picking time slot and avoid a line.

What Yelpers say: “Apple picking and pumpkin picking is just the scratch of the surface for this local farm. The little store is filled with more of their fresh produce and home made goodies. The apple cider doughnuts are the best I have ever had. The apple fritters are to die for. Then they have these extravagant caramel/chocolate/Oreo covered apples. Apple cider, sauces, pies, apple butter, preserves, syrup, salsa and more. ALL homemade.” – Yelp Elite Ashley R

5. Larriland Farm – Woodbine, MD

What they’re known for: a pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm that also offer a farmers market in their big red barn. Don’t leave without an apple fritter.

What Yelpers say: “My first time apple and tomato picking and it was quite a treat. I had no idea what to expect but knew I wanted to do some Fall inspired activities to kick off the season…. I highly recommend a trip to the farm, even if you opt not to pick anything everyone should experience how and where their food is grown for a better appreciation of what makes it to the plate. Also on-site is a huge barn which sells farm goodies (if you don’t want to do your own picking/cooking).” – Yelp Elite Michele C

6. Marker-Miller Orchards – Winchester, VA

7. Mercier Orchards – Blue Ridge, GA

8. Russell Orchards – Ipswich, MA

10. Windy Brow Farms – Fredon Township, NJ

11. Patterson Fruit Farm – Chesterland, OH

12. Red Apple Farm – Phillipston, MA

13. Edwards Apple Orchard – Poplar Grove, IL

14. Libby & Son U-Pick – Limerick, ME

15. Rocky Brook Orchard – Middletown, RI

16. Apple Barn Orchard & Winery – Elkhorn, WI

17. Triple B Farms – Monongahela, PA

18. Ricker Hill Orchards – Turner, ME

19. Wasem Fruit Farm – Milan, MI

20. Butler’s Orchard – Germantown, MD

22. Shelburne Orchards – Shelburne, VT

23. Grandad’s Apples – Hendersonville, NC

24. Whistling Well Farm – Hastings, MN

25. Rowley’s Red Barn – Santaquin, UT

Did your favorite place make it into the top 25? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram. Remember, we only know how good a spot is if you take the time to review it. So share your thoughts on Yelp, and maybe your favorites will be on next year’s list!

Methodology: This is an all-time list of the Top Apple Picking in each State according to Yelp. We identified businesses with a large concentration of reviews mentioning “apple picking,” then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews mentioning “apple picking.” We excluded those businesses that were on last year’s list. This list looked at businesses in the United States. All businesses were marked open on Yelp as of August 19th, 2022, or soon to be open for the fall season. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of August 19th, 2022.

From the Fairways: Westfield’s Taylor Schmidt joins Division I college coaching ranks at Holy Cross

One Western Massachusetts golf professional has received the call to the Division I college coaching ranks.Westfield native Taylor Schmidt, 26, in her third season as lead assistant golf professional at Springfield Country Club, was named the head coach of the College of the Holy Cross women’s golf program earlier this month.Schmidt joins the Crusaders athletic staff with a wealth of experience to draw from as she ventures into the landscape of Division I college golf.She previously spent three seasons as an associ...

One Western Massachusetts golf professional has received the call to the Division I college coaching ranks.

Westfield native Taylor Schmidt, 26, in her third season as lead assistant golf professional at Springfield Country Club, was named the head coach of the College of the Holy Cross women’s golf program earlier this month.

Schmidt joins the Crusaders athletic staff with a wealth of experience to draw from as she ventures into the landscape of Division I college golf.

She previously spent three seasons as an associate head coach at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, with the team winning the Northeast-10 Conference championship in 2019 and 2021 while also reaching the super regionals.

“I am really excited about the job,” Schmidt said. “I started off coaching at Franklin Pierce and didn’t know that I was going to get in the golf business. I realized how much I love teaching and coaching and got into the PGA (program).”

She calls the Holy Cross position “a rare opportunity at an amazing school, allowing me to be a golf professional at Springfield, and I can also see what I can accomplish with the Holy Cross program...There are not a lot of Division I jobs that would offer this chance.”

Schmidt joined the Franklin Pierce coaching staff after playing four varsity seasons for the Ravens, including two as a team captain. During her time as a student-athlete, Schmidt made a trip to the 2018 NCAA Division II Tournament East Super Regional and earned a spot on the Northeast-10 Conference second team.

At Springfield, she serves in a full-time teaching role, including group and individual instruction. She coaches the Springfield Country Club PGA Junior League team, with a 62-player roster this season, while also developing and teaching an all-female junior development program in 2021.

Drive, Chip and Putt: A few Western Massachusetts junior players advanced to the next round of the Drive, Chip and Putt competition at the sub-regional held at Lyman Orchards Golf Center in Middlefield, Connecticut, on Aug. 11.

Westfield resident Lauren Connor, entering her freshman year at Westfield High, won the Girls 14-15 division, advancing to the regional qualifier at TPC Boston in Norton on Sept. 17. Winners from TPC Boston qualify for the national competition to be held at Augusta National on April 2.

“I knew some of the girls from other tournaments, so it was good to see familiar faces, but it was also really nerve wracking,” Connor said. “I was nervous in the driving competition, but after my first drive did not go out, I was really happy. Putting well was key for me advancing. I have played at Lyman Orchards before, and I love the greens there.”

Other area players who moved on to the next round include: Jack Arnold (Longmeadow, 1st, Boys 10-11); Ryan MacGregor (South Hadley, 2nd, Boys 14-15); Addison Regan (Granby, 1st, Girls 7-9); and Addie Lord, (Suffield, 2nd, Girls 10-11).

Mid-Amateur Championship Qualifiers: At Springfield Country Club on Aug. 17, some familiar names qualified for the Mass Mid-Am Championship taking place Sept. 19 through 21 at Marlborough Country Club. Players include: Bobby Loguidice, Springfield Country Club, 72; Jim Morin, Ledges Golf Club, 73; Jim Patterson, Orchards Golf Club, 73; Dan Fanion, Springfield Country Club, 74; David Bond, Taconic Golf Club, 74; Dave Smith, Springfield Country Club, 74; Adam Brickle, Country Club of Pittsfield, 74; Drew George, Springfield Country Club, 76; and Bryce Piemonte, Tekoa Country Club, 76. Among the alternates were: Michael Diclemente, Springfield Country Club, 77; Sean Kavanagh, Springfield Country Club, 77; Ethan Casey, Wyantenuck Country Club, 77; and Kevin Atkin, Dave Dirico’s Golf Shop, 77.

Hole-in-Ones:

Mitch Young, Oak Ridge Golf Club, Aug. 16, 8th hole, 154 yards, 7-iron, witnessed by Mike Young;

Anne Rajotte, Chicopee Country Club, Aug.12, 11th hole, 132 yards, witnessed by A.J. Skowron, Monica Zanin and Dana Olivia;

Scott Saville, Wyckoff Country Club, Aug. 17, 9th hole, 119 yards, gap wedge, witnessed by Pete Shea, Bob Poulin, Mark Beauregard and Dwayne Cushing; and

Ed Polchlopek, Veterans Golf Course, Aug. 17, 15th hole, 166 yards, 7-iron, witnessed by Jack St. Clair, Jerry Roy and Frank Boron.

Chris Miracle’s weekly golf column, From the Fairways, appears Thursdays. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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$7.5 Million Borrowing up for Vote After Durham-Middlefield Opts ‘No’ on Closure

MIDDLEFIELD/DURHAM — After rejecting the closure of John Lyman Elementary school in November, residents of Middlefield and Durham will be asked to return to the polls in February to vote on $7.5 million in bonding for renovations to the school.After the Nov. 2, 2021 referendum to close the school failed despite gaining majority support in Durham, the district contracted the fir...

MIDDLEFIELD/DURHAM — After rejecting the closure of John Lyman Elementary school in November, residents of Middlefield and Durham will be asked to return to the polls in February to vote on $7.5 million in bonding for renovations to the school.

After the Nov. 2, 2021 referendum to close the school failed despite gaining majority support in Durham, the district contracted the firm Silver Petrucelli to produce an up-to-date report on what upgrades and repairs needed to be made in order to keep the school functioning.

The report broke down the upgrades into four priority levels. The most urgent changes, levels one and two, include replacing the fire alarm system and exterior doors, making the restrooms accessible, making repairs to the parking lot and replacing boilers, unit ventilators and exhaust fans that are at the end of their useful life. These repairs would cost $4.8 million.

Less urgent priorities include installing new playground equipment and replacing pavement in the play area, getting rid of asbestos under the floor, replacing ceiling tiles, installing a generator and relocating IT equipment — repairs that would cost $1.8 million.

The firm calculated that it would cost a total of $6.6 million to make all the upgrades to the school, but Silver Petrucelli advised the district to budget $9 million to account for possible price increases and added costs.

Superintendent Doug Schuch said the $7.5 million bond seemed like a “reasonable compromise” that would cover the immediate cost of the most pressing repairs while also building in a cushion for inflation.

The regional board of education also considered the option to renovate the building to “as new” condition, which would have allowed the district to make changes to the layout of the school and potentially receive additional reimbursement from the state.But a number of board members said they felt the cost was too high and might not pass in a referendum, according to minutes from the December 8 and December 15 board of education meetings.

Silver Petruceli estimated that the cost to renovate the building “as new,” which would involve bringing the building up to code, removing hazardous materials and guaranteeing that all the equipment would have a life of at least 20 years, would be $13.5 million.

Board chair Lucy Petrella told CT Examiner in an email that the $7.5 million would be “more than sufficient” for the repairs, and said that they were expecting some funding from the state as well.

Petrella said in an email that the renovate-as-new option would also cause more disruption to the students. She also said that they were not sure how much the district would have received from the state.

Robert Moore, a board member and former chair of the board, said that other than the mechanical parts that needed upgrading, the school building was in good shape, and he added that other school buildings in the district also had needs that were being bonded for.

Schuch said that the goal of the $7.5 million would be to do all the high priority items and then supplement with as many of the lower priority items as possible. Taking care of all the necessary facility upgrades at once, he said, would mean the least possible disruption.

“If you’re going to disrupt the school … you don’t want to come back in a year later,” said Schuch.

Kim Neubig, the district’s finance director, said that the additional bonding would raise the budget by .75 percent, or $276,000, in the 2022-23 school year, a number that would fluctuate based on interest rates.

She said that they didn’t yet know what the district could expect in reimbursement from the state.

Schuch said that it was important to get the repairs done soon. He said that while the district maintenance staff had done a good job making the current systems last as long as possible, the amount the district would have to pay to quickly fix something like a broken boiler would be prohibitive.

“We don’t want to be in that scenario,” said Schuch.

Schuch said that if the referendum passes, the district would immediately begin work for the repairs, which he estimated would take two years to complete. He said that most of the repairs would not disrupt day-to-day learning, and that some could be done over the summer.

Schuch said the new equipment the district invests in is intended to last 20 years.

“This is not some type of patchwork thing to just keep the school open for a couple of years,” said Schuch. “If we make these investments our intent is to be in the building long term.”

The referendum will take place on February 8 from 6 am to 8 pm in both Durham and Middlefield.

Emilia Otte covers health and education for the Connecticut Examiner. In 2022 Otte was awarded "Rookie of the Year," by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.

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