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 Unionville, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.
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 Unionville, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.
Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliché, 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.
To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 Unionville, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Unionville, 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.
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.
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 Unionville,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.
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:
An assessment of your senior loved one
An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home
Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs
Unlike its high school rankings, the ranking for the elementary schools was only conducted on a state level, not a national one. Additionally, scoring was mostly based on mathematics and reading comprehension.In order to rank the schools, U.S. News & World Report used standardized test report data from the U.S. Department of Education for each school. Reading comprehension and mathematics were given equal weigh in the assessment. After factoring the two subject areas, U.S. News & World Report gave ratings to each school out of...
Unlike its high school rankings, the ranking for the elementary schools was only conducted on a state level, not a national one. Additionally, scoring was mostly based on mathematics and reading comprehension.
In order to rank the schools, U.S. News & World Report used standardized test report data from the U.S. Department of Education for each school. Reading comprehension and mathematics were given equal weigh in the assessment. After factoring the two subject areas, U.S. News & World Report gave ratings to each school out of 100 and ranked them based on that score for each state.
Scroll below to see which schools made the list for the best elementary schools in Connecticut.
Type: publicGrades: K-4Enrollment: 323Student/teacher ratio: 12:1Math proficiency: 87%Reading proficiency: 87%Overall score: 98.39/100
Type: publicGrades: K-5Enrollment: 513Student/teacher ratio: 15:1Math proficiency: 85%Reading proficiency: 89%Overall score: 98.57/100
Type: publicGrades: K-5Enrollment: 370Student/teacher ratio: 11:1Math proficiency: 88%Reading proficiency: 89%Overall score: 98.75/100
Type: publicGrades: PK-5Enrollment: 351Student/teacher ratio: 16:1Math proficiency: 87%Reading proficiency: 92%Overall score: 98.93/100
Type: publicGrades: PK-5Enrollment: 362Student/teacher ratio: 12:1Math proficiency: 87%Reading proficiency: 92%Overall score: 99.11/100
Type: publicGrades: K-5Enrollment: 423Student/teacher ratio: 13:1Math proficiency: 90%Reading proficiency: 90%Overall score: 99.28/100
Type: publicGrades: K-5Enrollment: 457Student/teacher ratio: 14:1Math proficiency: 88%Reading proficiency: 92%Overall score: 99.46/100
Type: charterGrades: PK-5Enrollment: 395Student/teacher ratio: 14:1Math proficiency: 98%Reading proficiency: 87%Overall score: 99.64/100
Type: publicGrades: K-4Enrollment: 538Student/teacher ratio: 13:1Math proficiency: 92%Reading proficiency: 93%Overall score: 99.82/100
Type: publicGrades: K-5Enrollment: 71Student/teacher ratio: 6:1Math proficiency: 95%Reading proficiency: 95%Overall score: 100/100
On the last day of January, Joe Sweeney announced on Facebook that he would temporarily close his Unionville restaurant, Pomona Pete’s, joining dozens of Connecticut restaurants closing for the winter. Loyal customers lined up to post sad emojis, hug emojis and sorrowful comments.But Pomona Pete’s is not closing forever, as ...
On the last day of January, Joe Sweeney announced on Facebook that he would temporarily close his Unionville restaurant, Pomona Pete’s, joining dozens of Connecticut restaurants closing for the winter. Loyal customers lined up to post sad emojis, hug emojis and sorrowful comments.
But Pomona Pete’s is not closing forever, as 600 Connecticut restaurants have done since the COVID-19 pandemic put the whole state on lockdown. The restaurant is going into hibernation.
“With the cold weather, we no longer have access to the patio. The colder it got, the head count started diminishing. Put that on top of restrictions to be in compliance with the law, and that it still takes the same amount of labor — we can’t do the sales we need,” Sweeney said.
I hear it every day. ‘I’m bleeding every day. I need to slow down the bleeding to make sure I can still be here for my employees and my customers’.”
Pomona Pete’s is one of about 100 restaurants statewide that have gone into hibernation, according to Scott Dolch of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. Like bears, these restaurants are shutting it all down until the return of warm weather.
Outdoor dining has been determined to be safer to combat the transmission of the coronavirus, and even with social distancing, many customers feel safer eating outdoors than inside.
The day after Sweeney made his announcement, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that restaurant curfews would be moved from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. While many restaurants statewide cheered that decision. Sweeney said that wouldn’t have helped Pomona Pete’s.
“Look at it realistically. What does 10 to 11 bring? This is a family restaurant. Families are not coming out at 10 or 11 at night,” he said.
Focusing on delivery wasn’t helpful either. “Like most restaurants, we were using DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub, but that takes all the profit away. All it does for us is it allows us to keep our name and menu out there. But they’re taking 30%,” he said, referring to the apps’ commission rates.
When a restaurant goes into hibernation, the costs of running the place don’t disappear. Since the business needs to hold onto the location, rent still must be paid, as well as insurance and utilities. But without the food and alcohol bills, without paychecks to issue or the other fixed costs of running a restaurant, hibernation can keep a restaurateur from “bleeding out,” Dolch said.
“I hear it every day. ‘I’m bleeding every day. I need to slow down the bleeding to make sure I can still be here for my employees and my customers’” he said.
Closing temporarily lets a restaurateur shore up enough money so that when time comes to reopen, the restaurant will be on less shaky financial ground in an industry where profits already are slim.
Dolch said the national average for full-service restaurants is a 4% to 6% profit margin. “It’s not for the faint of heart to get into this industry,” he said.
“A revenue loss of 50, 60, 70, 75%, even with PPP [Paycheck Protection Program], you’re losing money left and right,” Dolch said.
It was sickening to me. But if I didn’t lay them off, they would have no job to come back to.”
“We knew the patios only had a few more days before the really cold weather came in. It was the numbers. You can’t lie to what’s on paper. I was worried we would not survive the winter,” Emmons said. “On Halloween weekend, we had a weird snowstorm. We lost a lot of money that weekend. I knew that if that continued, we’d be done for. There would be no more money. I knew we had to stop.”
She hopes to reopen no later than Cinco de Mayo, a traditionally busy day at Mexican restaurants that kicks off the summer season.
Emmons has kept the food coming, though, opening a takeout-only operation behind the Main Street storefront. She also is moving forward with plans to open a takeout-only satellite location in Vernon.
“I hated having to do that. It was sickening to me. But if I didn’t lay them off, they would have no job to come back to,” she said. “If I continued to stay open, I would have continued to hemorrhage money. I can either do that or put it in the bank so we could relaunch.”
Max Restaurant Group has seven restaurants in Connecticut, including two in downtown Hartford, Trumbull Kitchen and Max Downtown. Trumbull Kitchen went into hibernation in November. All the others are still open.
“In downtown Hartford, with everybody working from home, the traffic is very light. The city itself has gone into hibernation,” said Scott Smith, vice president and chief operating officer at MRG. “We had two restaurants within a block of each other. It’s difficult enough to sustain one, let alone two.
“Trumbull Kitchen has a great outdoor patio. When we lost the patio and the weather turned cold, it did not make sense to continue to run the business,” Smith said. There is no reopening date in sight, he added. “We’re going to be very dependent on the PPP for that,” he said.
The other MRG restaurants are in the suburbs. “We are doing a tremendous takeout business in the suburbs. We had outdoor dining in all those places. When the weather got colder, business slowed down, but it’s still sustainable,” Smith said.
When we lost the patio and the weather turned cold, it did not make sense to continue to run the business.”
Lucas Kyriakos closed his Wethersfield restaurant Lucky Lou’s on Thanksgiving week, when the weather turned against patio dining. He plans to reopen it next week, to take advantage of Valentine’s Day. He knows with the weather still cold, it will be rough going for a few weeks, but he is determined to do it.
“My employees are dedicated. They have been out of work for quite a long time. We know we’re not going to have gangbusters business at first, but I feel like hopefully we can open up to enough business to keep the doors open until it’s warm enough to use the patio. I’m trying to do that,” Kyriakos said.
He has spent the winter focusing on his other restaurant, Urban Greek in Shelton. “That’s a quick-service restaurant, where you build a pita or bowl. It’s 90% takeout,” he said. “A very small amount of people sit down to eat.”
Christiane Gehami, owner of Arugula in West Hartford, said she knew in the early days of the pandemic she would need to hibernate by January. “But then November and December came and we thought it would be a lot busier, but it wasn’t,” she said. “I said, let’s close.”
She closed on Jan. 1. It turned out to be a timely decision. “The floors in the kitchen and bathroom are sagging. We needed to get them done,” she said. She hopes to reopen by late February.
“In April hopefully we will have a decent early spring and we’ll start to see a path toward recovery,” he said. “This is just a dark time, but I have to be optimistic.”
Sweeney wants to be optimistic, too, although he said, “I feel defeated, beat up and just totally demoralized.
“I know [hibernating] is putting a band-aid on where a tourniquet needs to be. But it will get us into the springtime where there are more options for increasing sales. We may have lost the battle, but hopefully we will win the war, if we hang in there from now until then.”
FARMINGTON — For the last century, a small, unassuming stucco and red tile roofed building on School Street has preserved the Unionville section of Farmington's tie to one of the most important industrialists in American history.The Unionville Museum has begun a months-long celebration of that connection, marking 100 years since the construction of Unionville's West End Library, made possible by a grant from famed Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie.The museum, which currently occupies the historic building, l...
FARMINGTON — For the last century, a small, unassuming stucco and red tile roofed building on School Street has preserved the Unionville section of Farmington's tie to one of the most important industrialists in American history.
The Unionville Museum has begun a months-long celebration of that connection, marking 100 years since the construction of Unionville's West End Library, made possible by a grant from famed Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
The museum, which currently occupies the historic building, launched a new exhibit last weekend, open through November, designed to showcase what life was like in 1917 – the year the library was constructed.
"I want it to be a big celebration because I don't think a lot of people ... really know that it was an Andrew Carnegie library," said museum president Patricia LeBouthillier.
The building has not been used as a library since the late 1960s, but the space played host to various town groups before it became home to the Unionville Museum in 1984. The West End Library was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
While Carnegie may be best known for the expansion of the steel industry in the late 19th and early 20th century, he spent his later years devoted to philanthropy.
Carnegie granted millions of dollars for the creation of over 1,500 libraries nationwide. However, only 11 – including the one in Unionville – were built from eight grants awarded to Connecticut communities.
Museum vice president Clifford Alderman said while Farmington Village was home to a number of libraries over the years, they tended to be subscription libraries, which required a fee to borrow books. Additionally, books were expensive and hard to come by, Alderman said.
"They didn't really have to coax people into using the library," Alderman said. "It was one of those things [where] if you build it, they will come. They used it profusely."
It took about 10 years for the West End Library in Unionville to become a reality. After several failed attempts over the years by various townspeople, businessman and philanthropist Nathan Bill of Springfield, Mass. successfully petitioned Carnegie for the funds in 1912. Bill owned a Unionville-based paper mill and personally vouched for the village in his letter.
Unionville ultimately received a $8,500 grant – approximately $250,000 today – to construct a library.
"Something clicked there – whether it was [Bill's] prominence or maybe the Carnegie folks were just getting worn down –but the conversation over the next couple of years was what was required to get a library," Alderman said.
The Unionville library's ties to Springfield only strengthened from that point. Both Carnegie libraries in Unionville and Springfield were designed by Edward L. Tilton, in an Italian Renaissance Revival style, essentially rendering the Unionville library a diminutive of the Springfield library, Alderman said.
Because of the modest budget, the 968-square foot West End Library was constructed from brick covered by stucco, rather than stone, with a red Terra-cotta tile roof. Inside, the single room was covered in shelves bearing books of every subject matter. A small children's section was nestled in a corner by the windows and was later frequented by many students from nearby Union School, Alderman said.
The building originally had cork floors, to foster a quiet environment, but have since been replaced. The original fireplace, located on the rear wall directly opposite the main entrance, still has its original features, and is flanked by a lithograph portrait of Carnegie himself – a customary donation to Carnegie libraries upon their completion.
The exhibit features artifacts that have been curated primarily from Unionville families. Items include authentic Edwardian-era women's clothing, several children's toys, automobile supplies and ice harvesting tools, to illustrate how food was kept cool at the time.
"For so long the interest in [Farmington] history was focused on the colonial period," Alderman said. "Victorian factory mill work type things didn't have the interest that they do now."
"We're giving people the chance to explore their heritage," he said. "People who grew up here, they remember things or see things that look familiar [in the exhibit]."
Memorial Day in Connecticut will bring far more parades and traditional in-person ceremonies than last year did, but many communities have still called off their processions because of the pandemic.And with guidance from health agencies changing fast this month, communities are taking a variety of approaches: Some plan parades but so far make no mention of COVID-19 restrictions, others are holding processions or large gatherings with requests that everyone wear masks and stay distant.At least three communities — Canton, W...
Memorial Day in Connecticut will bring far more parades and traditional in-person ceremonies than last year did, but many communities have still called off their processions because of the pandemic.
And with guidance from health agencies changing fast this month, communities are taking a variety of approaches: Some plan parades but so far make no mention of COVID-19 restrictions, others are holding processions or large gatherings with requests that everyone wear masks and stay distant.
At least three communities — Canton, West Hartford and Vernon — are either videoing or livestreaming small, invitation-only ceremonies that residents may view from their homes. Farmington is merging its Unionville and Farmington processions into one for this year, and Simsbury plans a concert of patriotic music, a ceremony and a celebration — but requires pre-registration for all of it to ensure social distancing.
“Traditionally in case of rain, one single ceremony is held at 10 a.m. in the Town Hall council chambers,” Windsor advises on its website. “Stay tuned for details as we gather more information from the governor’s office in the coming days regarding large indoor gatherings.”
Windsor plans a parade and a flag ceremony, but notes “Those attending these outdoor events are encouraged to keep social distance and wear masks when warranted.”
“We ask that the children please wear masks and stay socially distant, as they do presently in school, as well as at sporting games and events, and that all participants follow the state safety protocols in place at the time of the parade,” parks and recreation Director Jenifer Miller said.
Hamden advises that for its ceremony, “Social distancing and event capacity protocols will be in place and attendees are required to wear face masks and coverings, and maintain respective distances of 6 feet between other persons.”
In Simsbury, where the annual parade is canceled, residents are invited to the Performing Arts Center for a ceremony followed by a celebration. But even with a capacity of 2,000 people, the town wants everyone to pre-register.
“The Simsbury Performing Arts Center will be set up to facilitate COVID restrictions and allows an audience of up to 2,000 attendees,” the town’s website says. “There will be 8-feet diameter circles laid out in the lawn for families and their lawn chairs. The circles are 6 feet apart to provide the required social distancing. Masks are required at all times at the event except when you are actively eating or drinking.”
In some communities, announcements that the parades were canceled set off a series of angry social media postings — largely aimed at town officials. But often, the decisions about whether to go ahead were made by veterans’ councils, American Legion or VFW posts, or other private groups that organize the processions.
When Farmington’s New Horizons Village opened in the 1980s, Connecticut’s housing infrastructure for physically disabled adults was so bereft of options, many lived in hospital wards in New Haven or Hartford.In that context, New Horizons Inc. was a god-send when it opened its 26-acre campus in the Unionville section of Farmington that included 68 housing units built to be accessible for 101 disabled tenants, about two-thirds of whom shared a dwelling.“To just share an apartment with one other individual was vi...
When Farmington’s New Horizons Village opened in the 1980s, Connecticut’s housing infrastructure for physically disabled adults was so bereft of options, many lived in hospital wards in New Haven or Hartford.
In that context, New Horizons Inc. was a god-send when it opened its 26-acre campus in the Unionville section of Farmington that included 68 housing units built to be accessible for 101 disabled tenants, about two-thirds of whom shared a dwelling.
“To just share an apartment with one other individual was visionary,” New Horizons Inc. CEO Carol Fitzgerald said. “When you fast-forward 30-plus years, … it’s very difficult to match adults who want to live independently to live with someone they do not know.”
Fitzgerald said she wants to invert the current single-to-double ratio so two-thirds of New Horizon clients have private units. That’s why the approximately $20-million-a-year nonprofit with 225 employees — including about 50 at the New Horizons Village complex on Bliss Memorial Road — plans to build a new 22-unit residential complex on its campus, she said.
However, before that happens New Horizons faces the challenge of fundraising for the estimated $5-million project during a pandemic and severe economic downturn.
Farmington’s planning and zoning board this month will vote on whether to extend the approval it gave the project when it was first proposed two years ago. New Horizons had planned to start construction earlier, but unsuccessful efforts to obtain state funding delayed its progress.
The pandemic could cause further delay, since so many state dollars are unexpectedly going toward necessary COVID-related expenses, Fitzgerald said.
“[COVID-19] has had to be dealt with, and has taken up resources that could normally be used on this kind of project,” Fitzgerald said. “The whole thing has affected all of our lives.”
New Horizons Village operates much like any apartment building, as opposed to a nursing home, Fitzgerald said. Units have features like wheelchair-accessible sinks, showers and light switches. Amenities like transportation are offered, but tenants pay their own bills, do their own shopping and live independent lives. But almost everyone who moves in has to start off in a shared unit because the wait list for a single apartment is between 15 and 20 years.
That delay is unacceptable today, said Fitzgerald, who also stressed that the pandemic has demonstrated the need for most New Horizons residents to have their own apartment, where they’re better able to control the risk of coming in contact with coronavirus.
“I think now more than ever, with what we have all experienced with COVID-19, we realize how difficult it is to have strangers live together,” Fitzgerald said. “I think it just speaks to the fact that we really need these single units.”
But while it’s unclear when New Horizons will have the funds necessary to build the project, Fitzgerald said she’s confident state and local officials will assist the nonprofit as much as possible.
“It’s a pleasure to be in Farmington,” Fitzgerald said. “They just embrace the diversity that we have to offer.”