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

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

Types of In-home Care in Westbrook, CT

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

 Elderly Care Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 Westbrook,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 Westbrook, CT

Top 5 Seafood Restaurants in Connecticut

Connecticut - If you're on a Connecticut vacation, there are several fantastic seafood restaurants. Here are the top 5 seafood restaurants in the state, with descriptions of dishes and where to find them. The restaurants are spread throughout Connecticut, and you can choose to dine indoors or outdoors. Many also have seasonal hours. For the best selection of seafood in Connecticut, choose the restaurant with the best seasonal openings and most favorable prices. Shell & ...

Connecticut - If you're on a Connecticut vacation, there are several fantastic seafood restaurants. Here are the top 5 seafood restaurants in the state, with descriptions of dishes and where to find them. The restaurants are spread throughout Connecticut, and you can choose to dine indoors or outdoors. Many also have seasonal hours. For the best selection of seafood in Connecticut, choose the restaurant with the best seasonal openings and most favorable prices.

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar & Grill in New Haven

Shell 'n' Bones is a seafood bar and grill in New Haven, Connecticut. This seafood eatery has the perfect setting for a romantic dinner date with a view of the harbor and an outdoor deck for the warmer months. It's also an excellent place to meet up with friends and family. The friendly service and tasty seafood will make you want to return. The restaurant is located at the historic City Point in New Haven, Connecticut, and offers spectacular harbor views. The menu includes local, sustainable ingredients and creative twists on classic dishes. The restaurant also features an extensive wine list and a creative cocktail menu. There's something for everyone on the menu, whether you're a seafood lover or a meat eater. A visit to Shell & Bones will leave you feeling full and satisfied. 100 S Water St, New Haven, CT 06519

The Whelk in Westport

Bill Taibe is the force behind two restaurants in the Saugatuck River Valley, The Whelk in Westport and Kawa Ni in Saugatuck. He has received numerous accolades for his restaurants, including "Best New Restaurant" in Connecticut Magazine and the "Best Seafood" award in the NY Times. "Family-style" meals are a staple of Taibe's style at The Whelk, and he believes in sharing. The Chef has also partnered with a local oyster farm and has created a kitchen share program, which means increasing wages for those who work in the kitchen. 575 Riverside Ave, Westport, CT 06880

Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale in Westbrook

Shoreline Seafood Mainstay, Lenny & Joe's, offers a wide selection of delicious seafood, including fried fish and lobster rolls. Located on the water, this outdoor dining venue offers a scenic view of the water and a wide deck. It's a popular choice among locals who enjoy the day's freshest catch. The restaurant is also known for its quality ingredients, sourcing only the freshest seafood. In addition to its delicious food, the restaurant also offers an extensive selection of brews on tap. 86 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT 06498

S&P Oyster in Mystic

The S&P Oyster restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut, serves a wide variety of seafood dishes. This seafood restaurant is for you if you want a unique dining experience. You can dine on the deck or outside on the dock while admiring the spectacular views of the Mystic River. The restaurant features a variety of appetizers, including Mediterranean calamari, seafood stuffed potato skins, grilled Angus beef tenderloin, and jumbo shrimp. You can even choose from a vegan or gluten-free menu. This Connecticut seafood restaurant is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.

Lucas Local Oyster Bar in Southbury

You can't go wrong at the Lucas Local Oyster Bar in Southbury if you love oysters. This seafood restaurant features a full bar, fresh seafood, and wood-fired cooking. Owner Vincent Cappelletti has 35 years of experience as a chef, and his love of the ocean has come to life in this seafood restaurant. His passion for the food and the tenacity to serve it has helped him create a popular restaurant with local Connecticut seafood. The restaurant has recently been recognized for its fresh seafood and unique seafood dishes. 775 Main St S, Southbury, CT 06488

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Lennox International to Present at Vertical Research Partners 13th Annual Global Industrials Conference in Westbrook, Connecticut

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How will the UConn women’s basketball team react to the loss of Paige Bueckers? ‘We got it’

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateSTORRS — Paige Bueckers spread the news to her UConn women’s basketball teammates through a group text.Outside Geno Auriemma’s program, the injury was earth-shaking: UConn would lose the best player in the country and expectations w...

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STORRS — Paige Bueckers spread the news to her UConn women’s basketball teammates through a group text.

Outside Geno Auriemma’s program, the injury was earth-shaking: UConn would lose the best player in the country and expectations would recalibrate.

Inside, the players experienced the five stages of grief in real time. Teammates comforted Bueckers, Bueckers comforted teammates; there was advice from those who experienced the same injury and the focus soon shifted.

The players said Thursday that Bueckers’ maturity and attitude have allowed them to move beyond the injury. UConn was saddled with injuries last season — including the loss of Bueckers for 19 games due to a knee injury — and managed to bob and weave to the national title game.

Why should this year be different?

Ask Paige.

“Last year we were underdogs and we made it to the national championship game, so I think we play better and we do better with a chip on our shoulder and when we have a lot to prove,” Bueckers said. “And I know a lot of people are already counting us out. So I’m excited. I know this team knows our potential, I know our potential, Coach knows our potential.

“We have really big things ahead of us ... we have great talent. You know, the best talent in the world, the best coaching staff in the world. So I’m excited for them to show the world what they can be.”

Bueckers projected her usual calmness and confidence as she spoke to the media Thursday. She insisted she will return to UConn for the 2023-24 season even though she is eligible for next year’s WNBA draft. She talked about serving as a de facto assistant coach — Muhl used the phrase “hype man on the bench” to describe her friend’s role — and she said there is no temptation to accelerate her return.

Her service to her team is just being herself. She’ll be supportive and vocal in practice and on the bench during games; she’ll continue to be a leader for a roster with four first-year players and students arriving from six countries.

Dorka Juhasz, who was home in Hungary when she woke up to Bueckers’ text last month, suffered a horrific wrist injury during UConn’s NCAA Tournament double-overtime win over NC State in the Elite Eight in March. Bueckers scored 15 of her 27 points in the overtime periods to will UConn to the Final Four.

After the game, amid the celebration in Bridgeport, Bueckers huddled the team around Juhasz and kissed her friend’s forehead.

“She’s the best,” Juhasz said. “I mean, it’s hard to put it into words because, like, obviously, what you guys see from the outside is who she is. And she’s even more behind the scenes, just making sure we all have everything. She’s always there for us and even at those moments, she came to me, she gave me a kiss on the forehead and said that she’s doing this for me, to go out there and score so many points and won that game.

“So she’s just an awesome teammate, and also just person. She just does so much more than you can even imagine. I mean, that’s just who you are and who she is. Obviously with her whole recovery, I have no doubt that she’s going to come back stronger because she kind of like loves basketball so much that it’s never going to be an issue for her to wake up early, do her rehab and all of the little things. But I know that she’s going to be the best teammate on the bench while she can’t play.”

Bueckers was with Aubrey Griffin, Caroline Ducharme, Amari DeBerry and freshman Ice Brady when she suffered the injury. Brady said Bueckers was driving for a layup when her knee buckled under her.

Her teammates were unsure what happened, but Bueckers knew it was serious.

“Obviously when we got the results back, it was very devastating,” Brady said. “But she’s strong. She’s been doing her thing. I’m excited for her. I think it’s a very motivating story.”

DeBerry and Ducharme drove Bueckers to her MRI appointment. Those first few days were spent joking, making TikToks together, just being college kids.

“We have a similar humor so once we get going, it kinda just keeps rolling,” DeBerry said. “It’s kinda hard to explain. She’s definitely a great friend to have around and I’m glad that I can do whatever I can to help her feel better in whatever way.”

DeBerry, whom teammates call the funniest person in the group, said she and Bueckers bring out each other’s goofy side.

But that was only part of the process as Bueckers processed her injury.

“We were talking about journaling more, like in the Bible, and just our thoughts and that’s also helpful, too,” DeBerry said.

With teammates scattered across the world, Bueckers’ mother asked for videos.

“A little pep talk for her, so I was just telling her once I come back I’ll give you a huge hug, a squeeze, be there for you,” Juhasz said.

Juhasz talked about her own experience with an ACL tear in 2017. Azzi Fudd, Griffin and Ducharme also had the injury in high school, so Bueckers can rely on teammates for advice.

“I know there are bad days, as well, not just good days,” Juhasz said. “So on those days, she has to lean on us. We’re going to continue being there for her throughout her recovery and I know that she’s going to be, literally, the best teammate on the bench while she can’t play. … Obviously, she cares a lot for us. I think we all respect her so much and her input and view of basketball so we’re all going to listen to her. I think she’s going to be a great addition as an assistant coach and cheerleader and whatever we need. I know we can count on her.”

Fudd was home when Bueckers called her with the news about the injury.

“My stomach just dropped, I got this really sick feeling,” she said. “I kind of think Paige is invincible sometimes. I just never thought that would happen to her. And I kind of got mad at her. I was like, ‘I tore my ACL, you’re not supposed to tear yours as well.’ ... But it was kind of just a sad moment.”

Bueckers was loud and animated on the bench last year, but it was different. She held out hope of returning for the NCAA Tournament and she did, so there was a tangible end point to her rehabilitation.

This time, Bueckers knows she will not play this season. Still, her experience sitting and watching last year is providing a source of strength as she approaches this season.

Muhl said her takeaway from the past month is how Bueckers — who turns 21 in October — has used her injuries as a vehicle for personal growth.

“She told me that she really stepped out of her comfort zone that first time then; now she’s ready for anything,” Muhl said. “I was so mind-blown because obviously, this injury is worse than the first one. She’s out for the whole season so I was just like, ‘Wow, you’re maturing.’ She’s growing up. It’s so amazing to see my friend, my sister, deal with something that’s so hard to deal with for any person in the world. … I was very pleasantly surprised and I’m very proud of her for that.”

Bueckers’ injury was part of a theme last season. Only Evina Westbrook and Aaliyah Edwards appeared in every game, as UConn absorbed injuries and illnesses that forced players to fill multiple roles.

The absence of Bueckers this season will impact the team on and off the court. Without the starting point guard, Muhl will step into a bigger role, and others — such as Ducharme and Fudd — will likely handle the ball more.

Fudd, the top Class of 2021 recruit, figures to become the focal point of the offense. A gifted scorer capable of making shots in the paint or from behind the arc, Fudd will draw added attention from opponents.

But Fudd said that will be a mistake.

“I think last year with all of our injuries, I think that everyone kind of got that chance to play and to grow their confidence,” Fudd said. “So I feel like everyone on our team — I mean, except for the freshmen who are new — but I feel like everyone else has some experience from last year and some confidence going into the year. So I feel like everyone is a weapon ...

“I think it gives us confidence just knowing what we’re capable of, that we made it through last year. We fell short of what our ultimate goal was; still, we made it so far and we overcame so much stuff, so many injuries, so many things that could have gone wrong did go wrong. So kind of knowing that Paige being out right now is not the end of the world, she’ll be back ... and knowing that we’ve got each other now.”

There was a team meeting Wednesday. Auriemma’s message was that the team will simply have to work harder.

Muhl returned to campus from Croatia this week. She was pleased to see teammates in the gym, working out, training, with a positive vibe running through the practice facility.

“Beast mode,” she said about the team’s state.

“I feel like if last year we didn’t go what we went through, we wouldn’t be mentally so tough right now,” Muhl said. “Everybody knows here how tough it was, so when we heard the news, it was obviously shocking and hard, but if we didn’t go through what we went through last year, and we heard the news, it will be ten times harder. So last year definitely helped.

“I feel like we got it. We got it. I’m confident in us, for sure.”

Maggie Vanoni, Christine Butterfield and Mike Anthony contributed

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Post Road Sidewalks Grant to Link Old Saybrook and Westbrook

OLD SAYBROOK – A years-long effort to expand sidewalks to connect both ends of town received a major boost on Friday when the State Bond Commission approved $769,500 in funding towards a sidewalk project that will stretch along Boston Post Road to the Westbrook town line.Work on the project, which will include new stretches of sidewalk and replace deteriorating old sections, is expected in 2023. When it’s completed, connected sidewalks along the Post Road will stretch from Westbrook on the west end of Old Saybrook to the t...

OLD SAYBROOK – A years-long effort to expand sidewalks to connect both ends of town received a major boost on Friday when the State Bond Commission approved $769,500 in funding towards a sidewalk project that will stretch along Boston Post Road to the Westbrook town line.

Work on the project, which will include new stretches of sidewalk and replace deteriorating old sections, is expected in 2023. When it’s completed, connected sidewalks along the Post Road will stretch from Westbrook on the west end of Old Saybrook to the train station on the east end, and down Main Street to Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna said.

“We’ll have perfect sidewalks from the Westbrook town line, all the way to the heart of downtown,” Fortuna said. “Kids will be able to walk safely to any school they want on our busiest streets. If you’re in a wheelchair, no problem. You’ll be able to go to the Big Y, get your food, and go home safely. So it’s a big deal.”

The newly-funded stretch of sidewalk is estimated to cost about $1.4 million in total – from the Dairy Queen near School House Road to the Westbrook town line. Fortuna said the town plans to apply for another state grant soon, and that the town will also pay for about 20-25 percent of the project cost. The sidewalk will not be built on both sides of the road, and will cross the road, Fortuna said.

Fortuna said the grant is the culmination of years of work to improve sidewalk access along Boston Post Road and Main Street – securing state grants to fund new stretches and using town surplus money to repair old sidewalks.

“It provides people in all those neighborhoods with new opportunities to walk, not just in their neighborhood for exercise, but to restaurants and shopping as that side of town really gets developed,” Fortuna said.

The newest stretch will be a boost to the Spencer Plain Road area, where there has been a wave of proposed developments in the past year – including a grocery store, a gas station and convenience store and drive-thru restaurants.

Fortuna said the sidewalk project and the car-dependent uses like drive-thru restaurants are compatible, because there are other businesses in the area that aren’t car-dependent – including possibly two supermarkets interested in opening near the existing Big Y.

And even the drive-thru restaurants will offer jobs that people without cars could use the new sidewalks to walk to – along with the other job opportunities around Spencer Plain Road. Fortuna said the project will also help connect residents of the eastern side of Westbrook who frequent the stores on Spencer Plain Road.

“Once everything is built, you will be able to essentially walk just about anywhere from the train station – to the water or to Westbrook,” Fortuna said.

Brendan Crowley covers energy and the environment for CT Examiner. T: 860 598-0050

50th Birthday Party for McKinney Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook on July 23

WESTBROOK – A celebration on Saturday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge — land that contains more than 1,000 acres of protected crucial habitats within a 70-mile stretch of Connecticut’s coastline.The refuge was founded in 1972 when Esther Lape, an English professor and journalist, and Elizabeth Read, a lawyer and financial advisor, donated 150 acres of land in Wes...

WESTBROOK – A celebration on Saturday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge — land that contains more than 1,000 acres of protected crucial habitats within a 70-mile stretch of Connecticut’s coastline.

The refuge was founded in 1972 when Esther Lape, an English professor and journalist, and Elizabeth Read, a lawyer and financial advisor, donated 150 acres of land in Westbrook to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Salt Meadow Wildlife Refuge – renamed in 1987 in honor of Congressman Stewart B. McKinney.

The 50th “birthday celebration” of Lape and Read’s founding of the preserve will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 733 Old Clinton Road in Westbrook.

The program will highlight Eleanor Roosevelt — who was a frequent guest of Read and Lape at Salt Meadow in the 1920s — with a talk by National Park Ranger Kevin Oldenberg about Roosevelt’s interest in conservation and her visits to Salt Meadow.

The celebration will include a birds of prey show by A Place Called Hope, a facility that rehabilitates birds of prey, plus arts and crafts, an air archery demonstration, face painting, a chance to meet Teddy Roosevelt Bear, a children’s storywalk, and birthday cake and ice cream.

Mark Seth Lender, a nature writer and photographer, will also read aloud his children’s book “Smeagull the Seagull,” based on a real-life seagull who lives at the refuge and has trained Lender to feed him.

The refuge is made up of 10 units of land within a 70-mile stretch across the Connecticut coastline from Westbrook to Greenwich — with sites in Stratford, Milford, Branford, Norwalk, and Falkner Island — and includes marshes, woods and islands that serve as a crucial habitat for nesting and migrating birds and other animals, including the threatened piping plover and endangered roseate tern.

Lender, a Friends of McKinney board member, said that while national wildlife refuges don’t have the prestige or funding of national parks, the work done at McKinney is just as significant in the protection of wildlife habitat, including birds, butterflies and mammals like seals.

“It’s not very high profile, and it’s not all that well known in the state, but it’s vitally important and I wish it was better known,” Lender said.

The refuge recently completed a major restoration of the Great Meadows in Stratford — an area that hosts more than 270 species of birds — that will protect the habitat of birds that were being washed out as the waters rise, he said.

People do “heroic” work at the refuge with small budgets and high workloads, Lender said, and often without recognition for the good they’re doing for everyone else.

“If you’re an angler, you owe the presence of striped bass to conservation efforts,” he said. “If you eat an oyster that comes from local waters, you owe that oyster to the efforts made to eliminate pollution in those waters.”

Lender said the refuge should be remarkable to Connecticut residents because of how much they can see and experience in such an accessible place.

He pointed out that it takes less than a tank of gas to traverse from one end of the refuge to the other, and in that space people can see and learn about hundreds of different animals that they are so close to, but typically disconnected from.

“We fit into something very vast, and gaining that perspective that we’re part of the web of life and not its master, I think that’s worth knowing,” Lender said. “And the refuge will show you that web, and it preserves that so you can see it right in front of you.”

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