Special Section: Senior Status
It is estimated that over the next 20 years, the number of adults in Connecticut 65 years of age or older will increase 68 percent. The number of adults 85 years of age or older, the group most likely to need long-term-care services, is expected to increase more than 70 percent in that time. The surge arrives largely due to the aging baby-boomer generation, and health-care professionals have expressed concern that while the population of older adults rapidly accelerates, the long-term-care workforce is shrinking.
The cost of long-term care has also increased in the last five years, up five percent on average for a private, one-bedroom residence in Connecticut and lower New York State. One year in an assisted-living facility will cost, on average, nearly $40,000 in Connecticut and Westchester, and upwards of $50,000 in more upscale communities, according to a 2009 Cost of Care Survey done by financial security company Genworth. It’s a far cry, still, from a private room in a nursing home, which runs nearly $130,000 annually on average in the same area. And once you start adding creature comforts, such as individualized amenities, prices begin rising quickly.
It's a major investment. Fortunately, there are many good options. In response to rising costs, older adults are often considering alternatives to nursing homes. The number of assisted-living facilities nationwide increased by 60 percent between 1990 and 2007. The increase in facilities nearly doubled the number of beds available. n For older adults exploring their long-term-care options, Connecticut and southern New York State offer a number of facilities to consider, each with a unique combination of services.
home, sweet homes
It seems as if there is no escaping the insuperable crunch of the economic crisis these days. Almost every industry has taken a blow, suffering leeching cutbacks and escalating costs. But lucky for seniors, the assisted-living business is alive and well. While growth in this once-booming industry has slowed significantly over the past few years in reaction to the pinch of these tough financial times, the Assisted Living Federation of America says the numbers remain strong. An increasingly preferred alternative to nursing-home care, assisted living has emerged over the past 25 years as one of the fastest-growing, long-term living options for seniors. And with over 36,000 assisted- living communities nationwide serving 650,000 seniors, there is no doubt that choosing the right home can be an overwhelming endeavor for seniors and their families. But not to worry. Morris Media Group has scoured the area and compiled a comprehensive directory of assisted-living organizations in Fairfield, Litchfield, and Westchester counties.
The Greens at
Cannondale in Wilton
The Greens at Cannondale is true to its name. The community is tucked into a valley of lush surroundings, complete with rich landscaping and walking paths. The Greens offers residents a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment, complete with a kitchenette and walk-in-shower. Residents have access to a 24-hour emergency-response system, as well as the added comfort of having the Wilton Meadows Health Care Center in the vicinity. The home also offers residents an alternative, more intimate assisted living building called The Residence, which opened this past June.
The Residence is reminiscent of a quaint New England bed and breakfast and is designed to allow married couples to remain together as they age. Residents of both The Greens and The Residence can take advantage of reading rooms, a country store, fitness center, beauty salon, and barbershop.
When it comes to healthy appetites, residents will not be disappointed. The restaurant dining options are bountiful, touting as many as four appetizers and 13 entrees to choose from at once. Pottery programs, tai-chi classes, bingo, and outings to nearby Ridgefield are some of the many activities The Greens has to offer.
The Greens at Greenwich
The Greens at Greenwich is also true to its name. It is a luxurious assisted-living residence for seniors with some form of memory impairment. Less than ten years old, The Greens offers an innovative memory-support program for residents, and is set on a tranquil 20-acre campus. The facility features 28 apartments, with elegant common areas and beautifully landscaped grounds. Amenities and services enhance the quality of life and foster a sense of belonging for residents. The programs at The Greens are tailored to meet the individual needs of each resident. The calendar includes a variety of intellectual and social activities focused on memory and recognition and other topics. These include music, jewelry making, and flower arranging, as well as trips outside the community. The Greens at Greenwich offers a full-time health-care team including 24-hour resident assistants and a support staff trained to meet the needs of residents.
The Greens offers a continuum of health care that includes the Greenwich Woods Health Care Center located on the same campus. Priority access is available for those senior residents who may need rehabilitation or skilled nursing care.
Brookdale Place of Wilton
Brookdale Place of Wilton highlights communication as one of the most important elements of daily life. The community sustains consistent communication with both residents and their families through resident council forums, family meetings, and satisfaction surveys. Brookdale offers both private and companion living accommodations, complete with full baths. Residents have access to a 24-hour emergency-response system. After enjoying one of the three-course meals of the day, residents can relax on the beautiful wrap-around porch and terrace or in the sunroom. For the more active seniors, a variety of social, educational, and recreational programs are available, including gardening, painting, bird watching, trips to the movies, and more. Residents have the option of joining one of the many on-site clubs, such as bridge, decorating, and travel. For those individuals experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Brookdale offers its unique Clare Bridge Program, a resident-centered caregiving service in which highly trained staff members work to meet the specific needs of each patient.
Maplewood at Newtown
At Maplewood, a balance of privacy, care, and support is the crux of each resident’s experience. In addition to the basic-care services, Maplewood also specializes in more personally catered assistance programs that can include medication management, diet aid, assistance with bathing and grooming, and night-time and safety checks. The Generations memory-care program is also available for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. At Maplewood, residents can maintain their personal apartment, which may be furnished and decorated as desired. And for the animal lovers who cannot possibly part with their four-legged friends? Maplewood welcomes them as well.
There is an abundance of services, including three daily meals, housekeeping, 24-hour emergency-call service, and scheduled transportation. Residents are always entertained with many activities, such as exercise classes, movies, bingo, shopping, and church services.
Evergreen Woods, North Branford
Evergreen Woods, serving Branford, Madison, Guilford, Hamden, and surrounding areas, offers independent-living and health-care options. The facility sits on 88 acres surrounded by woods, and not far to Long Island Sound.
Meadow Ridge in Redding
“The country club of assisted living,” wrote Ridgefield Magazine about Meadow Ridge in a review in 2006. And that certainly hasn’t changed. Located on a 136-acre site of rolling hills and woodlands are the 20 elegant Meadow Ridge studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each apartment includes a kitchenette, patio or deck, washer-and-dryer system, and a walk-in closet. For those residents with frequent visitors, Meadow Ridge provides guestrooms.
At the heart of Meadow Ridge is the three-story glass-roofed atrium overlooking landscaped grounds and woodland pond complete with a gazebo. The facility also boasts an auditorium, pool, sauna, billiards, library, artist studios, fitness center, and even a putting green for the avid golfer intent on maintaining technique. There are regular excursions to galleries, nearby towns, and antiques shops, as well as visits to the theater. Residents even enjoyed an Antarctic sailing trip.
In terms of health care, Meadow Ridge offers 24-hour emergency respoonse, wellness clinics, exercise classes, a medical staff, and bedside nursing.
Masonicare at Ashlar Village, Wallingford
Masonicare independent-living communities are for seniors who are active, independent, and basically in good health. Masonicare offer a continuum of care for all life stages. It has numerous facilities across the state, and the two main independent-living communities include Masonicare at Ashlar Village and the A. Norman Johnson Apartments. Both are for adults 55 or older who want companionship, security, and no worries about mowing the lawn or cleaning the house. Masonicare likes to refer to their service as “senior housing that permits adults to ‘age in place,’” with features such as homes without stairs to climb, easy-access showers, 24-hour security, and nearby medical care.
They add a level of luxury: Masonicare independent-living communities feature resort-like surroundings, carefree lifestyles, and many conveniences to choose from. Masonicare at Ashlar Village is certified by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC).
With decades of experience providing quality health-care and retirement communities for seniors, Masonicare has the experience and stability seniors and their families are looking for today.
Edgehill Lifecare of Stamford
Spanning a beautifully wooded 22-acre estate, Edgehill Lifecare places special emphasis on fitness and educational programs within its tight-knit community. Edgehill offers residents 207 independent-living apartments, 20 assisted-living units, and 60 skilled-nursing beds. The community serves three meals daily.
With an emphasis on cultural activities, residents are able to take part in group trips to the movies, museums, and theater. Resident-sponsored clubs are another highlight, including bridge, decorating, and travel.
Other activities span the artistic realm, from painting and music through live entertainment, including sing-a-longs.
At the Crossings, residents can furnish their space—studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment—to their own tastes. Regular offerings include three daily restaurant-style meals and access to housekeeping, concierge, transportation, and a 24-hour emergency-response system. For the active senior, the Crossings provides a fitness center and gardens. And for those who enjoy the occasional, warm, daytime snooze in a comfortable chair, the library and sun porch are at their disposal. Ridgefield Crossings has also introduced a program for those facing the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The Lighthouse Program helps these individuals cope by encouraging them to sustain both active minds and bodies.
The Villiage at the Waveny Care Center of New Canaan
Waveny understands how important it is to find the right balance between familiarity, structure, and autonomy when selecting an appropriate assisted living residence for a loved one with memory loss. Residents at The Village benefit immediately from its unique, secure, and comfortable setting.
Featuring its award-winning “ Main Street” replica of a quaint New England town, The Village at Waveny Care Center is specifically designed for people with memory loss and serves as a benchmark of excellence around the world. Its professional and caring staff
provides advanced therapeutic care available for memory enhancement and is dedicated to making every day a special one for each resident. A licensed nurse and certified nursing assistants are on site around the clock.
Short-term respite guests are welcome for a long weekend or a visit lasting for a month or longer. Like all residents, respite guests enjoy all amenities, including a private apartment, personal care, meals and therapeutic, social, recreational and spiritual activities. Achieving the highest rating, The Village is among an elite group of assisted living facilities to have earned the Joint Commission’ s Gold Seal of Approval.
Residents of The Village also benefit from having priority access to Waveny Care Network’ s comprehensive continuum of healthcare services, programs and professional resources. This includes on-site physical, occupational and speech rehabilitative therapies, a geriatric evaluation clinic, a wonderful skilled nursing facility and more.
Residents will find the cedar-shingled building and veranda of Atria Darien a quaint and convenient respite. Atria Darien is located only a half-mile from the train into Manhattan or a short walk to local shops, entertainment, and dining opportunities. Residents have a choice of a variety of apartment styles available with kitchenettes and have the security of a 24-hour emergency system. Dining opportunities include three restaurant-style meals daily. During free time residents can enjoy the media room, the state-of-the-art fitness center, or partake in a number of volunteering activities. Residents can also sign up for the pen-pal program, which pairs a senior with a local second-grade student. In addition to writing a succession of letters, students visit and chat with participating seniors.
Brandywine Assisted Living at Litchfield
With a location across from the Litchfield High School, residents of Brandywine Assisted Living will always feel young at heart. The community offers residents a choice of both private and companion suites complete with full baths and private kitchens. Dining opportunities are almost too numerous to mention. Options include three daily meals in the elegant community dining room or private dining rooms for guests and families, a 24-hour café, and a clubroom with snacks. The Reflections memory-impairment program is designed to aid and stimulate individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s. The social, cultural, and physical programs include daily afternoon socials, book clubs, educational forums, bowling, billiards, horticulture class, theater programs, and religious and volunteer programs to name just a few. For those seniors requiring stays in the event of an illness or hospital visit, Brandywine provides short-term respites.
Emeritus at Litchfield Hills
“We have promised ourselves that we shall always treat our residents as we would our own loved ones. Nothing less than our best will do,” proclaims the staff at Emeritus at Litchfield Hills. Emeritus residents will enjoy a beautiful view of the wooded bird sanctuary alongside Crystal Lake. Close to downtown Torrington, with its host of shops, restaurants, and theaters, the 68 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments at Emeritus are prime real estate.
For those seniors apprehensive about living alone or even the costs of assisted living, the community also offers Friendship Suites, where residents are paired with another in a shared apartment. In this increasingly digital age, the staff at Emeritus is up to speed with its specially designed, computerized “Vigil Resident Evaluation Program” that helps evaluate and monitor the personal care of all residents.
Emeritus is also renowned for its innovative memory-care program, “Join Their Journey,” which offers support and solutions for each individual suffering from memory loss. During their free time, residents can enjoy exercise programs, culture activities, and even concerts in the local park.
Atria at Stamford
At Atria at Stamford, individuals become an integral part of a family of fellow residents and staff. Atria offers residents their choice of either asisted- or independent-living residences, complete with emergency-call systems, 24-hour personal-wellness assistance, and three daily restaurant-style meals. For those in need of assisted living on a temporary basis, Atria also provides for short-term stays. Looking to maintain that youthful glow? Visit the on-site barbershop, hair salon, and fitness rooms. Residents can also enjoy planting a garden, taking a variety of classes, or participating in the Atria volunteer programs. When they aren’t taking advantage of the scheduled transportation available, residents of Atria can still have their finger on the pulse of the outside world with the use of the on-site computers and media room, complete with a large-screen television.
Sunrise Senior Living of Stamford
Sunrise Senior Living of Stamford takes pride in its homey feel, friendliness, and warmth. Located in a landscaped suburban area in the vicinity of the Merritt Parkway, Sunrise offers private or companion suites that include a full bath, emergency-call system, and personalized assistance services. Sunrise of Stamford conducts an in-depth assessment prior to a resident’s move-in to determine the level of assistance and support required by each individual. Residents can enjoy three balanced meals daily, which range from delectable prime rib to herb-roasted chicken to macaroni and cheese. When relaxing on the quaint wrap-around porch and terrace, residents will enjoy the company of the friendly in-residence Sunrise cat and dog. Not one to sit still? Sunrise boasts a variety of resident clubs, spiritual-faith activities, trips and outings, and even daily afternoon socials.
Brighton Gardens of Stamford
Brighton Gardens of Stamford is committed to maintaining comfort and care, as well as catering to both the needs and desires of every resident. Located on a ten-acre property with easy access to both the Merritt Parkway and Connecticut Turnpike, Brighton Gardens is surrounded by greenery and courtyards. Both studio and one-bedroom apartments are available, complete with full baths and emergency-call systems. Specially designed personalized services are offered for residents if desired, including hygiene, grooming care, and medication administration, to name a few. Resident activities cover a variety of areas including clubs, spiritual activities, trips, musical activities, seasonal activities, and physical-fitness activities. A selection of activities in the assisted-living community might include a news watch, exercise club, and crossword puzzle in the morning, followed by a social and game-show gathering in the afternoon.
Maplewood at Danbury
Maplewood at Danbury emphasizes healthy living and an eco-conscious lifestyle as the crux of its program. Dining options provide for three daily meals of locally grown fresh produce and fresh herbs from the on-site organic garden. Maplewood uses environmentally friendly products throughout the community, including Eco-labs green cleaning products to emphasize energy conservation. In addition to promoting green living, Maplewood offers a choice of a studio or one-bedroom apartment complete with an emergency-call system, housekeeping, and personal-care services. Residents can take advantage of the sunroom, library, beauty salon and barbershop, wellness and fitness center, and garden and patio areas.
The Maplewood S.T.A.R. (Sharp Thinking Active Residents) program is a series of interactive activities that residents can look forward to each week. Activities include a ladies night out, Danbury arts, various speaker series, and more. In conjunction with S.T.A.R., the Vigorous Mind Program provides mental gymnastics to maintain cognitive and behavioral functions of the residents. Maplewood also offers two separate memory-care programs, Horizons and Generations, to promote maximum support and independence of those with memory impairment.
The Gardens at Danbury
Described as small yet homey, the privately owned Gardens prides itself on treating its residents like family. The assisted-living residence offers 50 studio and one-bedroom apartments, complete with a kitchenette and walk-in bathroom. Each resident is provided with 24-hour personal-care services to cater to every need.
Life at the Gardens is full for residents. Gardens’ representative Rosemarie Unangst boasts of the state awards the home has received for its creative, interactive, recreational, and social events. Activities have included coffee socials, exercise classes, bingo and card games, even a Hawaiian luau. But the highlight is always the simulated vacation program. “The recreation staff sets aside a week out of the year where they have the residents take a trip,” said Unangst. “One year residents went down the Nile. They were issued realistic passports, stamped with the countries that they were to visit. Everyone enjoyed food and entertainment pertaining to that country and studied the country’s culture.”
Spring Meadows of Trumbull
At Spring Meadows of Trumbull, seniors are encouraged to live boldly. Through the “Successful Aging” program they pursue individual choices in exercise, diet, and lifelong learning. Spring Meadows rests on the edge of the scenic recreation area of Tashua Knolls, a 200-acre property of walking trails, golfing, tennis courts, swimming pools, and picnic areas. The Meadows offers 148 apartments, 106 of which offer independent living and 42 of which offer assisted-living apartments. A choice of a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment is available. Residents are invited to enjoy three restaurant-style meals a day and a full schedule of social, cultural, and educational activities. “The level of the programs and activities here are of a very high caliber and designed to be enjoyable for all,” says Spring Meadows’ director of sales and marketing, Myrna Retsky.
The Workman, Torrington
The Workman provides congregate living as opposed to assisted living, making it a good option for senior citizens who can no longer maintain or take care of their own home but are still in good health. Affordable and spacious, The Workman is composed of 37 studio apartments, each with its own full bath. Three meals a day are served in the dining room, and housekeeping is provided once a week. The staff takes care of snow removal and landscape maintenance, and a staff member is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. The Workman is located minutes from Main Street, Route 8, and Elise Besse Park for easy shopping, transportation, and recreation.
Middlebrook Farms, Trumbull
Middlebrook Farms in Trumbull works to make day-to-day living easier for residents and their families by providing individualized care. Middlebrook Farms offers long-term care, but their Harbor Program also offers Alzheimer’s care for the memory-impaired, with specially trained staff, while the Easy Stay Program offers short-term care. Apartments fulfill a variety of needs, with a kitchenette, easily accessible washers and dryers, and personal emergency-response-call systems. Services include a beauty/barber shop, a library, housekeeping, a wellness program, and a full-time social director. Middlebrook Farms is pet-friendly for the animal lover, with a gazebo, garden, and walking paths for nature buffs. Meals are served restaurant-style, with special dietary menus such as sugar-free and heart-healthy available. Residents will enjoy the quiet neighborhood, located near many local shops and just a short distance from the theater.
Laurel Ridge, Ridgefield
Elegant is a word often used to describe Laurel Ridge. The wooded grounds, common areas, and private rooms exemplify it. Laurel Ridge is a modern facility of both sophistication and comfortable hospitality. And the dining rooms recall the tasteful ambiance of a fine restaurant.
Accommodations are either private or semi-private, and many are intended for a short-term stay, for patients who are there to recover. Some residents may choose to accent their room with their favorite belongings. There are about 120 residents at Laurel Ridge at any time.
The focus is on restoring optimal functioning, to help regain and maximize independence in a relatively short length of stay. Many residents return home or to other living options.
Kent Specialty Care Center
The Kent Specialty Care Center, a 90-bed facility in scenic Kent, offers a superb setting for three distinct types of seniors who require short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care, or treatment for Alzheimer’s.These separate units offer a progressive model that allows a warm and homelike environment in which residents are able to receive focused and compassionate care.
Skilled, caring staff includes nurses, certified nursing assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietary managers, and a social worker. There is a Secure Memory Impairment unit for Alzheimer’s patients, where trained specialists offer a structured environment that is safe and supportive, allowing maximum freedom while also attending to life-enriching activities. Specialty services include wound care, hospice care, and family support groups.
Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center
Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center is a 74-bed rehabilitation and skilled-nursing facility located in beautiful Lenox, MA. Kimball Farms offers private and semi-private accommodations, each with its own bath, telephone service, and cable TV. Amenities include a beauty/barber shop, a library, a large activities room, and lounges on each unit. Outside, meticulously maintained grounds, ornamental water fountain, front patio, and fenced-in back patio and awning offer lovely, private spaces to take a stroll or sit and talk while enjoying fresh air and nature.
The seven-day-a-week activities calendar—evenings included—encompass a variety of recreational activities such as gentle exercise classes, games, music, crafts, discussion groups, religious services, and pet therapy. There are local outings to shopping, restaurants, ball games, apple-picking, the Theater Barn, and even picnicking at Pontoosuc and Onota lakes.
Pomperaug Woods Lifecare Retirement Community
Nestled on 22 acres in historic Southbury, The Watermark at 3030 Park, in Bridgeport, is a continuing-care facility located on 14.7 acres overlooking Long Island Sound. The complex combines elegant high-rise living for 130 residents, 14 private cottages of 2,000 square feet, and specialized living quarters for those who need 24-hour attendance. Billed as an “un-retirement” community, The Watermark has been refurbished during the last decade to high praise from its residents. Amenities include a health club, a heated indoor pool that offers views of the surrounding area, an Aveda salon and day spa, and a café with a fireplace. The club, pool, salon/spa, and café are open to the public. In addition, the health center houses residents who require assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory-care (dementia) services. There are also art studios, woodworking shops, game room, billiards, gardening areas, library, art gallery, computer centers, The Mark restaurant overlooking the Sound, an interfaith chapel, and valet service.
Watermark University, a unique feature, is a continuing-education program designed for seniors that offers interesting topics and courses to keep minds and bodies fit. From language and poetry, to Pilates and cooking, to senior-specific strength training and splash fitness courses in the heated indoor pool, these courses invite participation from both residents and people of all ages in the surrounding community.
The Watermark at East Hill
The Watermark at East Hill, located in lovely Southbury, is a life-care facility offering a full spectrum of residences for assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care. With a similar philosophy to its sister Watermarks throughout the country, the East Hill complex is billed as an “un-retirement” community, meaning activities for its senior population are as rich as ever.
Amenities include a fitness center, lounge with fireplace, library, game room, creative arts studio, theater, billiards, beauty salon and barber shop, convenience store, interdenominational worship room, scenic nature trails, gazebo overlook, and outdoor sports center featuring a putting green, bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and croquet. Watermark University is a continuing-education program designed for