AA Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Staff is great there a great place to work and call your workplace”

Babispyce S.

“I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years, and I am currently a nursing professor. When my mom was recently in the hospital, I knew it would not be possible for her to be completely on her own right away. She loves where she resides and enjoys all of the activities that are offered. My goal was to get her back into her apartment as soon as possible with the support she needed to increase her strength and return to her prior level of wellness she had before she went into the hospital. She was used to walking a couple miles a day. When I reached out to ABC I made it clear that my mom would need somebody who would be willing to walk with her in the morning, and in the evening enabling her to get back to her baseline. I would like to complement all of the staff at ABC who provided my mom such wonderful support after two weeks she returned to her baseline and remained in her apartment. She really enjoyed all of the staff that were with her , they were professional they encouraged her to walk, drink fluids, eat and were instrumental in assisting her to reach her prior level of independence. I would strongly recommend ABC to anybody who is in need of support for their loved one.”

Robin Y.

“Mom’s care needs have been progressing over the past month - increased difficulty standing. walking, decreased appetite, increased incontinence. (Part of the expected declining process per her Dr.) Tara has been wonderful in adapting to Mom’s changing needs as they develop and a very helpful partner in troubleshooting. brainstorming how to adapt to best support Mom. It’s also been helpful in my regular communication with Mom’s Dr, to let her know in detail what has come up and how we have approached. Thank you (again) for your talented staff!”

Jeremy H.

“Outstanding personal service from this company. All of the caregivers were personable and provided outstanding care to our aunt. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has an elder family member in need. Also, the staff that helped to set up their services was outstanding as well. They made the decisions easy to understand with no hidden agenda. Thank you again to "ABC!"”


“You can't go wrong with this crew. Extremely patient and caring.”

Daniel S.

“Caring for family can be difficult and challenging at times. It's so nice to know that Always Best Care Senior Services is there to help!”

Cathy K.

“Taylor, John, and Kristine and their crew are the best. They are patient, understanding, and a joy to work with.”

Daniel S.

“Sabina always has a pleasant, caring, and respectful attitude. I feel she treats me as she would as her own mother. She treats me the way she would like to be treated. We are a good “team” together.”

Tracy H.

“Diana has a total commitment of compassion, empathy, and respect for myself and my family. My daughters feel she is truly a tremendous caregiver. They know I am in good hands. She acknowledges with commitment of my physical, emotional, and practical needs, my quality of life has excelled due to Diana’s help. I look forward to her presence everyday her attitude is exceptional, Diana comes to work daily with a smile on her face. She enters the front door, singing softly ready to work. She has never taken a day off, I have had many caregivers, but Diana is truly the best!”

Anne H.

“Tina has been with us since the start, caring for my mom. Tina has nothing but my mom’s best interest at heart. She continues to go above and beyond to care for my mom, and ensure anyone else who may be there also understands my mom’s needs. Tina has even gone so far to rearrange her schedule or give up her free time to stay with my mom to avoid her having someone that doesn’t know her. I can see that she genuinely cares for my mom, and treats her as if she was her own family member. That also goes both ways, my mom lights up when she sees Tina. We consider Tina part of our family.”

David L.

“Always Best Care helped our family get through a very difficult time with my mother's care. Kristine and Taylor are a pleasure to work with. They are very knowledgable and had the answers to all our questions. They were able to help with all aspects of the care we needed. I highly recommend them.”

John S.

“Kristine and John are extremely caring and compassionate about helping their client's and family and making sure they receive the best care available. Highly recommended!”

Greg G.

“We needed some home care services for Dad who has dementia, and we made the right decision to trust ABC Senior Services for this support. Dad was lined up with a caregiver who was attentive and helpful, and she and Dad really hit it off. The management and administrative staff from ABC were also very effective and professional. You'll make a good decision to go with ABC Senior Services...”

Liam M.

“I approached Kristine regarding care for my elderly father. Even though he was outside her service area, she helped to find resources for us. Her commitment to providing outstanding care is only surpassed by her desire to help others. Thank you Kristine!”

Matt B.

“I have known Kristine Lajeunesse for many years now through business networking and she and her Team at Always Best Care are very caring and professional and exactly who you would want on your side if you have a loved one who needs help!”

Ann B.

“The client care at Always Best Care Senior Service is outstanding”

Kimberly O.

“Rosemary has many great qualities. She is a hardworker, sensitive, has a giving nature and has an immense desire to help my father. Reliability is vital trait in Rosemary. When my father was in the hospital and came home she immediately wanted to be by his side. My father has come to rely and depend on Rosemary. She is always on time whether it is giving medication or administering food and often encourages my father and helps my father maintain his dignity”

Denise D.

“Always Best Care provides caregivers to our building on a regular basis when we are short staffed. Due to our licensing, we can only have CNAs on the floor and Always Best Care has provided excellent CNAs every time we need some extra help. All of their CNAs have been helpful, willing to go above and beyond for our residents and we always have great responses from our own CNAs and supervisory staff. I am so thankful to Michelle and Wilda who will always staff a shift that I need, even if I call 30 minutes before the shift starts. You’ve been such a huge help!”

Kaytee S.

“I have known John and Kristine Lajeunesse for almost 20 years and when my dad needed care following a diagnosis of dementia, I knew there wouldn’t be anyone better to call than them. The caregivers that have worked with my dad have been wonderful. They are true saints to my family, allowing us the knowledge that Dad is okay to stay at home. They have navigated all of the changes in his cognitive state with grace and kept my father’s dignity in place. He was always a very active man and the caregivers have managed to keep him active, even as his health declines.”

Belinda F.

“Always Best Care helped me to get care lined up for my uncle, after I received their information from a close friend of mine that also used their agency. My uncle was a very proud man and did not want help from anyone, including family. Taylor met with me and spent time getting to know the ins and outs of my uncle’s care as well as his personality. She asked about his background so that they could look for a caregiver with similar interests. Although he took a turn for the worse rather quickly, the short time care was provided was wonderful. Thank you for your help and compassion.”

Karel O.

“My dad’s caregiver is great. He is a man of few words, but she is able to get him talking about all aspects and experiences of his life. They go out regularly and she encourages my dad to participate in the activities put on by the community he lives in. They run errands, go out for meals, or go for a drive just to get a change of scenery. I was nervous at first about how my dad would take having a caregiver come in to help him, but he seems so happy and has great things to talk about after his time spent with his caregiver.”

Martin F.

“Thank you, Kristine - I am very appreciative of the professional manner with which you and your organization operates. From the initial phone and in-person conversations with Taylor, to the ongoing support of my mother's care - it's been thorough, timely and well managed. I am also struck by how the home-health employees conduct themselves. They are reliable/responsive *and* responsible, and making every effort to work through the challenges day to day with my mother. Thanks for the great job you and your organization are doing. It means a lot to me, especially during this trying time! Best Regards”

Anna T.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for all of your hard work and dedication to their clients. When my parents finally realized they needed help in their home, I chose ABC as the company I felt would be the best fit. Yes, we have had some ups and down, but when you paired Leah with my parents, it was truly a blessing. My parents love her. She genuinely cares for them and they speak highly of her work ethic. As my mom says, “she is too good to be true”. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your working with me to find the right fit. Well on our end, Leah fits like a glove and I hope she feels the same. She is a special person so I wanted to acknowledge her hard work and dedication to my parents. It makes me feel more at ease knowing there is someone coming to the home to properly care for them. Again I want to thank you all and encourage you to keep up the good work.”

Craig F.

“My family provides the care to my mother 24/7, we called Always Best Care to provide respite care to my mom while we took some time to ourselves for a weekend. Mom’s caregiver, Gloria, was great and she had the perfect disposition to work with my mom. She was attentive and kept mom well fed and engaged during the time we were away. We would definitely call Always Best Care again when we need some time away.”


“The caregiver that helped my husband and I were so kind to us both, especially to my husband while I spent some time in the hospital and rehab. Our caregiver brought my husband to see me every day while I was at the hospital and at rehab, I knew he was in excellent hands and I could focus on getting stronger again.”

Heather R.

“i really like my caregiver, Victor very much. Victor is a very patient and observant aide who knows when I need his help. I knew from the first day meeting him that we would get along very well.”

Johnson L.

““I want to give a huge thank you for the care that Always Best Care provided over the last year and a half. They started out assisting just my dad since he was wheelchair bound and then began providing care to my mom as well who had advanced dementia. The two ladies that helped them both did an amazing job and gave me the confidence that they were being well cared for since I live on the other side of the country. Up to my dad’s passing, his caregivers were there for him to provide comfort and companionship while managing my mom’s emotions as well during the difficult time my dad had. Being a nurse myself and in the healthcare field for a while, I had high expectations which were exceeded by the caregivers and office staff of Always Best Care.”

harry B.

“Both of Mom’s caregivers are exceptional. They are always professional, calm and extremely patient with my mom. They know how to keep her calm and to manage her anxiety. My whole family is very grateful, knowing that Mom is getting really competent care, great meals and friendly companionship. Thank you.”

Kathleen F.

“My husband had care from Always Best Care until he passed away. Thankfully he is on his "next journey" and finally pain free, while he was here with us, his caregiver, Craig, did an amazing job caring for him and was here to help us from our first day of services. Craig always managed to get my husband to share stories from his time in the war that even I had not heard before. It was a great way to get to know more of my husband so his memory can continue with others around him.”

Beth F.

“I am very pleased with the care that Craig gave to my husband. My husband enjoyed having another man to talk to instead of conversation only between him and I. Craig managed to keep him occupied and safe so that I could go and get some time to myself, allowing me peace of mind that my husband was in great hands”

Sonia T.

“I hired Always Best Care to help my mom who was living with me at home. She was diagnosed with dementia and within 3 months she could hardly do much for herself anymore. I was able to continue working full time while my mom received care from Always Best Care. We had the same caregiver from day 1 and she was absolutely amazing. She kept everyone in the loop with any changes my mom experienced and the regular in person and phone check ins were a great added support to myself and my family. Thank you ABC for all the help and compassion that you showed my mom until her passing.”


“They are very caring and easy to deal with. They work with the family and the patient to see that the patient has what is needed for their care. In all we had a good experience with Best Care.”

Elaine G.

“Our caregiver is the absolute best, you all got lucky finding her.”

Bob G.

“Anything from Always Best Care is good to have. The care from them has given me my life back. I wasn’t expecting a perfect match on the first caregiver, but Always Best Care did a very good job.”

Claudia B.

“We have been using the services of ABC for almost three years, and I have worked personally with John, Kristine, Taylor, Michelle and Wilda, as well as the many wonderful caregivers who have attended to my mother’s needs with great care and attention. Throughout this time, my mother’s care needs have changed many times, and they have always been very responsive to any requests, including the directives of the hospice nurses that work in concert with all of them. Taylor and Michelle are incredibly diligent about keeping on top of issues that arise day-to-day, and running their questions and concerns by me. I remain a loyal customer to ABC because I feel that my mother is getting really great care, and will continue to see the warm, friendly faces she has come to know and trust today and every day. At 94 yrs old, my mother is quite dependent on the care providers for almost all her needs, and they always show up and make her feel safe and secure.”

Rachel C.

“It has been a true pleasure working with you and your organization. You all demonstrate empathy and compassion in caring for frail elderly family members and insure distant families are comforted knowing you are there.”

Steve S.

“Mom’s caregiver is a part of the family, we absolutely love her!”

Joe L.

“Always Best Care has done a fantastic job in providing us with at-home care for my step-mother while we prepared for her transition to move permanently to a skilled nursing facility. With their help, she was able to spend a full six months at home before moving. We would not have been able to do it without them. All the caregivers we have met and used have been kind and attentive, frequently going the extra mile, whatever that may be on any given day. The office staff is friendly, empathetic and very diligent in keeping all parties informed of all aspects of day-to-day care. They are knowledgeable, respectful and efficient. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is looking for help in keeping their loved one at home for as long as possible.”

Sarah C.
 In-Home Care East Hampton, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in East Hampton, 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.

Request More Informationright-arrow-light
 Senior Care East Hampton, CT

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.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


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 East Hampton, 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
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.


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
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.

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 East Hampton, 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.

Empowers Seniors

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.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance 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
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
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
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.

Respite Care East Hampton, CT

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 East Hampton,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.

 Caregivers East Hampton, CT

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:

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


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.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in East Hampton, CT

East Hampton Teachers’ Advocacy Restores Vital Funds to Education Budget

In a victory for public school students, East Hampton teachers’ efforts paid off yesterday when voters turned out on a hot July day to pass the education budget.The East Hampton Education Association and community supporters had been organizing and rallying for months, strongly objecting to cuts that the Town Council and Board of Finance tried to make to the education budget. They successfully rallied the community to vote “no, too low” in a budget referendum in May, resoundingly defeating a budget that would have el...

In a victory for public school students, East Hampton teachers’ efforts paid off yesterday when voters turned out on a hot July day to pass the education budget.

The East Hampton Education Association and community supporters had been organizing and rallying for months, strongly objecting to cuts that the Town Council and Board of Finance tried to make to the education budget. They successfully rallied the community to vote “no, too low” in a budget referendum in May, resoundingly defeating a budget that would have eliminated a number of teaching positions, increasing class sizes.

“Because the education budget passed, we can now move forward to the next school year without the district laying off any teachers,” says East Hampton Education Association President and middle school music teacher Neil Shilansky. “We’re very pleased that student class sizes, especially at Memorial Elementary School, will remain at a favorable level.”

Shilansky says that EHEA, with the help of CEA, mobilized teachers and members of the East Hampton community in many ways. EHEA members attended Board of Education, Board of Finance, and Town Council meetings, and members that live in town spoke during public comment. On school days when there were important Board of Finance or Town Council meetings, EHEA mobilized teachers to wear their Red for Ed shirts as a reminder to attend that evening’s meeting. CEA Communications created signs for EHEA members to hold at busy intersections in town, reminding the community to attend meetings and vote in referendums, while CEA Government Relations staff supported EHEA with sending out emails and texts at crucial moments to all CEA members who live in town.

EHEA members were also proactive in communicating with the East Hampton Board of Education and with district administrators in planning how to pass a budget that retained staff and resources.

“EHEA and parents in the community stood side by side holding signs before the initial referendum vote in May, encouraging residents to vote ‘no, too low,'” Shilansky says.

“Passing this budget means that the students of East Hampton will not have their ability to learn affected by larger class sizes or fewer course offerings,” says EHEA Vice President Richard Storrs, a social studies teacher. “It also demonstrates what can happen when a teachers’ union works with its town citizens to ensure that an underfunded budget proposal that does not serve students’ needs is defeated and a budget that restores funding is successfully passed.”

Opinion: Allyson Smith just the right caretaker for East Hampton squad

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateCROMWELL — Basketball questions, please.The East Hampton girls basketball team on Friday night preferred to accentuate the positive things that have transpired on the court in 2023. Totally understandable for a program sideswiped by the benching of its head coach.The Bellringers have won almost every time out in the six-plus weeks since Shaun Russell was placed on administrative leave for shoving one of his own players during a game. Russell’s retur...

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate

CROMWELL — Basketball questions, please.

The East Hampton girls basketball team on Friday night preferred to accentuate the positive things that have transpired on the court in 2023. Totally understandable for a program sideswiped by the benching of its head coach.

The Bellringers have won almost every time out in the six-plus weeks since Shaun Russell was placed on administrative leave for shoving one of his own players during a game. Russell’s return to the sideline this season appears more and more unlikely with each passing day.

Yet East Hampton basketball and Russell are so intertwined that the players couldn’t talk hoops after Friday’s win over Cromwell without mentioning Russell, who first drew up a winning culture 26 seasons and 400-odd wins ago.

This was the scenario after East Hampton improved to 17-1 with a 44-37 victory over the Panthers. The win locked in the Bellringers as the top seed in the upcoming Shoreline Conference tournament. With wins in their final two games, they also would clinch the top seed in the CIAC Class M tournament.

Beating the Panthers on their home floor evened things up between the rivals. Shortly after Russell was barred from coaching pending an investigation, East Hampton struggled at home in a 38-29 loss to their chief rival.

“That was our first game really without him,” said junior guard Jackie Russell (no relation).

“We were just like a mess without him. No one was in the right head space that day,” she said. “We weren’t playing our East Hampton Bellringer basketball. We kind of just fell apart and weren’t executing, we weren’t playing as a team. This was a big game for us to redeem ourselves.”

“We’re doing this for him,” sophomore point guard Liana Salamone said.

In Russell’s absence, East Hampton has found just the right caretaker in Allyson Smith, who played for him from 2001-2005 and has steadied this latest talented, cohesive group of Bellringers.

“She truly volunteered and stepped up to help out our girls in a difficult situation,” East Hampton principal Eric Verner said. “We’re both pleased and lucky to have her.”

In a stellar four-year career as a Bellringer, Smith scored 1,444 points, accumulated 300-plus steals and earned All-Shoreline and All-State distinction. Seven years ago, she was inducted into East Hampton’s hall of fame.

“At the end of the day, the East Hampton program is my life,” she said. “This is my family. It’s an opportunity to support what matters to me. I just stepped in and offered my help.”

Smith went on to play at Southern Connecticut. She was on the roster as a freshman when the Owls won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2007 and averaged double figures in scoring as a junior and eventual senior captain.

Friday’s game in front of a full, loud house at Jake Salafia Gymnasium stirred the nostalgia of her playing days. She’s been totally comfortable in the role, too. Until recently, she was the head coach at Rocky Hill for eight seasons.

“There was a lot to this win,” said Smith, who is in the early stages of a successful career in marketing. “This was a big one. Cromwell-East Hampton is a long-time rivalry back to when I played. Cromwell is an incredible program. You don’t have to get up to play this type of game in this type of environment, which is incredible.”

The Bellringers held leads of 16-7 after one quarter and 25-12 at halftime. Jackie Russell drained four 3-pointers (two set up by Salamone) and scored 15 points in the first half. She finished with five 3’s and a game-high 20 points, while Salamone put up 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Cromwell trailed by seven entering the fourth quarter and was within two possessions of tying the game with 47 seconds left, but East Hampton pulled the ball out and the Panthers couldn’t score again.

Having won 12 straight, the Bellringers are clearly in a comfort zone under Smith. With the postseason ahead, they’re also a bit restless. The program is 90-6 in the regular season since 2018-19 but hasn’t won a state title.

“Unfinished business, I agree,” Smith said. “Hey, it’s one day at a time. Coach Russell has built an incredible program and we’re hoping to (at least) get back to where we were last year.”

This was the semifinal round in Class M, where the Bellringers lost to Bacon Academy 30-26. The two could meet again — Bacon just finished its season at 17-3 and is in the running for the No. 2 seed.

“We want to win the whole thing,” Salamone said.

Anthony DeFilio, an assistant coach with the Coginchaug /East Hampton/Hale-Ray football program for the last six seasons, was named head coach on Thursday.

Coginchaug has churned through head coaches – DeFilio is now the fifth since 2015 – and needs to make this work. Mike Eagle coached the Blue Devils in 2021 and 2022 but stepped down after a 1-9 season to focus on his family.

Maybe the best thing about DeFilio’s hiring is his 14-year involvement with the youth program, which incorporates three towns. A strong connection and that type of continuity is crucial toward building a successful program at Coginchaug.

“There aren’t many people with the passion of Anthony DeFilio,” Coginchaug athletic director Todd Petronio said. “He’s a champion of all kids.”

In a statement, DeFilio said he envisions “a culture of football from the youth level through the high school level that promotes a unified understanding of fair play, fundamental football skills and team camaraderie.”

From the week gone by in high school basketball:

** Middletown junior guard Shalyn Smith scored 22 points and senior Jada Bryant had 11 to power the Blue Dragons to a 56-36 win at Maloney. Middletown is 10-9 and finishes the regular season on Monday at Berlin ahead of the CIAC Class LL tournament.

** It’s just a given that senior Anthony Parker will lead Xavier in scoring. On Friday, he had 30 points and Aidan Driscoll scored 23 as the Falcons (13-4) walloped Career 87-40. Parker was coming off a 28-point game in Xavier’s 82-65 upset of Wilbur Cross. Xavier’s final home game of the regular season is Friday against West Haven.

** Portland put up 84 points — 33 from 3-point range — in its Friday win over Westbrook. Harrison Collins led the Highlanders with 24 points, while Austin Vess and Joe Rusczyk added 16 apiece. Portland is 13-4 with three games left and aiming for the No. 1 or 2 seed in the Shoreline tournament. Brandon Naccarato scored 30 points for Westbrook.

** Andrew Crayton had 22 points and eight rebounds and Haddam-Killingworth teammate Blake Kamoen put 11 points and 12 rebounds in the Cougars’ 57-48 home win over Valley Regional. The Cougars were 17 of 20 from the free-throw line.

** Liana Salamone had another 30-point game for East Hampton, scoring 32 as the Bellringers beat Morgan 57-26.

** Brady Lynch led East Hampton with 19 points and the Bellringers outscored Morgan 21-9 in the fourth quarter to pull out a 61-59 victory.

** Mia Poturnicki scored 15 points in Coginchaug’s 50-27 win over Old Saybrook. The Blue Devils look like a lock for the No. 4 seed in the Shoreline tournament.

** Kenzie Purdell of Hale-Ray scored a season-high 23 points in the Noises’ 54-38 win over Old Lyme.

** Kylie Lake had a 29-point night for Old Saybrook in its 52-26 win over Old Lyme.

** Under first-year coach Michael Brady, Coginchaug qualified for state tournament play for the first time since the 2018-19 season with a 61-49 win over Hale-Ray. Jayson Penney posted his second triple-double in as many weeks: 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Preston Mennone added 17 points. The Blue Devils could finish .500 with wins at Old Lyme (Tuesday) and home versus East Windsor (Friday).

Paul Augeri is a freelance writer for the Middletown Press.

Animal cruelty charges dismissed against East Hampton horse trainer at Portland farm

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateMIDDLETOWN — A Superior Court judge on Wednesday dismissed animal cruelty charges against an East Hampton horse trainer after the prosecutor admitted there wasn't enough evidence to take the case to trial.Middletown prosecutor Jennifer Cooper told the judge that Alexis Wall had "maintained her i...

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate

MIDDLETOWN — A Superior Court judge on Wednesday dismissed animal cruelty charges against an East Hampton horse trainer after the prosecutor admitted there wasn't enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Middletown prosecutor Jennifer Cooper told the judge that Alexis Wall had "maintained her innocence all along."

"The arrest warrant was replete with allegations that can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Cooper said.

Wall, 30, had pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of animal cruelty, including nine counts of torture, seven counts of mutilating or cruelly beating or unjustifiably injuring an animal, two counts of failing to provide proper drink and two counts of overworking.

The horse trainer was arrested in July 2022 following an investigation by the state Animal Control Division into the alleged mistreatment of several horses while Wall was working as a trainer at the now-defunct White Birch Farm in Portland.

During the proceeding, Wall's attorney Robert Pickering chided the press and animal rights advocates for keeping his client's arrest in the news. Wall stood silently next to her attorney as Cooper announced her decision to end her prosecution of the case.

"No horse was victimized, no owner was victimized, how could a victim be standing before this court?" Pickering asked when Judge Julia Dewey heard from a horse owner who claimed her animal was abused by Wall. "My client has bee ostracized by the horse community," Pickering said before adding that the press blew the arrest "way out of proportion."

Reilly was upset with the outcome. She told Dewey that a video shows her horse Ocho breathing heavily and in obvious distress while tightly tethered so his head couldn't move as a method of Wall's training. "The video does not show a horse trainer but rather the defendant enjoying inflicting cruelty on Ocho," Reilly said during the proceedings.

Wall's arrest and court proceedings had been closely watched by animal rights activists who were concerned when a judge didn't order her to refrain from working with animals while the case was pending.

It was unclear whether Wall is still employed as a horse trainer, but court officials hadn't limited her ability to work with animals as a condition of her release. Pickering said the allegations and arrest, even though it was dismissed, would make it hard for her to be hired as a trainer.

According to an incident report by the Animal Control Division, Wall said she began working at White Birch Farm in November 2021, around the same time that an arrest warrant alleges she began abusing horses there.

At the center of the allegations were the controversial techniques that the warrant said she used on the horses she trained. According to the warrant, Wall’s methods were grounded in a philosophy that focused on inflicting pain.

Under Wall’s training, horses would be tied up for hours, deprived of food and water, overworked and sometimes maliciously whipped or beaten to the point of injury, the warrant stated.

Wall was described in the warrant as having used a training philosophy that focused on inflicting pain, and she encouraged her students to adopt a similar approach.

“Pain is an important part of training — that horses listen to pain and the pain must be great enough to make a lasting impression,” she allegedly told one witness, according to the affidavit.

During one training class, Wall allegedly repeated the sentiment that “horses listen to pain,” and proceeded to “hit horses in the face with lead ropes and encouraged everyone attending to do the same,” according to the affidavit.

The alleged abuse first came to light when Portland Animal Control received an anonymous letter in May, the warrant stated. Authorities from the state Animal Control Unit also received a complaint about a week later, the warrant stated.

After receiving the complaint, Animal Control Officer Tanya Wescovich wrote in the affidavit that she spoke with one witness who said she had boarded her horse at White Birch Farm.

The witness told Wescovich that “under the instruction and training of Alexis Wall, several horses have been subjected to cruel punishments, such as withholding food and water, tying for long periods of time, excessive use of spurs and being ridden hard for long periods of time,” the warrant stated.

Another witness, whom Wescovich encountered while at the farm, said in the affidavit that she observed “more than one horse bleeding from the mouth after being ridden or having their head tied tightly to the saddle, and horses whipped excessively.”

During the state's investigation, Wall told an animal control officer that, "I do not abuse horses. ... I have seen people abuse horses and I do not abuse them," the report stated.

'It’s unacceptable' | East Hampton packs town council meeting after nearly $800K in school budget cuts

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. — East Hampton schools could soon see nearly $800,000 in budget cuts, leaving some teachers with their jobs on the line."To be told that we’re just gonna cut $800,000 and get rid of the people? That’s how a school works. You can’t. I don’t know what they were thinking and I don’t know how," said Barbara Dupuis, a kindergarten teacher.Dozens of people filled a town council...

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. — East Hampton schools could soon see nearly $800,000 in budget cuts, leaving some teachers with their jobs on the line.

"To be told that we’re just gonna cut $800,000 and get rid of the people? That’s how a school works. You can’t. I don’t know what they were thinking and I don’t know how," said Barbara Dupuis, a kindergarten teacher.

Dozens of people filled a town council meeting Tuesday evening, speaking out against those cuts.

"Our teachers care and if you do too you will not approve these budget cuts," said one resident.

"It’s unacceptable to cut the budget and let these teachers go," another resident said.

East Hampton schools superintendent Paul Smith, said the budget the board of education presented did ask for more money but accounted for rising costs.

Instead, the town’s board of finance proposed $792,000 in cuts.

"I feel it’s my responsibility to advocate for the children and I feel like I presented a very responsible budget," Smith said.

Teachers, parents, and students shared several concerns about what these cuts would mean.

"We already don’t have room in our classrooms as it is, if anything we need more teachers not less," Noelle Lavender of East Hampton said.

"In a time when there are so many more demands, mental health crisis, we need as many teachers as we can get I mean teachers should not be cut at this point," said Kelly Snyder a kindergarten teacher.

Their hope was that the town council would send the budget back to the board of finance to make changes to its proposal.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

"I have sat on this town council for 10 years and I have never seen this many people," said town councilman Kevin Reich.

However, the council did end up voting against that. Nothing is final though, the town council chairman said discussions over the budget will continue and changes can still be made.

Related Articles

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.

East Hampton girls basketball coach suspended after pushing athlete during game

EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) - An East Hampton High School basketball coach remains on suspension after an incident during a game last month.Shaun Russell is the girls head basketball coach at East Hampton and he’s on leave for pushing a student athlete during a game on December 20.Russell won’t coach the Lady Bellringers Tuesday night and it’s not known when or if he will again.The school district, led by Superintendent Paul K. Smith, is investigating the incident.The video, shot by Valley Regional H...

EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) - An East Hampton High School basketball coach remains on suspension after an incident during a game last month.

Shaun Russell is the girls head basketball coach at East Hampton and he’s on leave for pushing a student athlete during a game on December 20.

Russell won’t coach the Lady Bellringers Tuesday night and it’s not known when or if he will again.

The school district, led by Superintendent Paul K. Smith, is investigating the incident.

The video, shot by Valley Regional High’s Student TV channel and posted to YouTube, shows Russell pushing one of his student athletes from one spot on the floor toward a different spot.

The player is not being identified because she is a minor.

Russell’s suspension came swiftly after the game.

“Regardless of the excitement of an athletic contest we expect our coaches to temper their behavior to represent the high ideals of East Hampton Public Schools” from Superintendent Smith.

The suspension is for basketball coaching only. Russell is still at his daily job at East Hampton High as the Athletic Director and that isn’t sitting well with some, including a fellow high school coaches.

“If it didn’t make it to the news, I’m sure this would have been swept under the floor, it raises questions about what has gone on in the past, what haven’t we seen. This was caught on camera in front of a bunch of people. I can only imagine that more has happened at practice or behind closed doors,” said Jason Mangini, Ski Coach for Wamogo / Litchfield High School.

“It was a bit much he didn’t have to do that, you could have just had her go over, cause the push, he fully pushed her. He didn’t have to do that,” said Avery Doyle, of East Hampton.

The completed investigation will be brought to the East Hampton Board of Education as soon as possible. In the meantime, those on the outside are left wondering, what the permanent result of this incident will be.

East Hampton will host Cromwell in a home game Tuesday night.

The assistant coaches will run the team.

East Hampton is off to a start 5-0 start to the season.

East Hampton coach suspended after shoving player

Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.


This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.