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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 Farmington, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in Farmington, 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.

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 Senior Care Farmington, 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 Farmington, 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 Farmington, 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 Farmington, 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 Farmington,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 Farmington, 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 Farmington, CT

From ballroom to pickleball courts: This CT hotel is making changes to better benefit their town

The grand ballroom at the former Marriott hotel in Farmington, which hosted decades worth of conventions and wedding receptions, is slated to become a complex of pickleball courts.New Jersey-based CSRE Group is converting the building into apartments, and won town approval Monday night to remodel the former ballroom space into pickleball courts.&ldquo...

The grand ballroom at the former Marriott hotel in Farmington, which hosted decades worth of conventions and wedding receptions, is slated to become a complex of pickleball courts.

New Jersey-based CSRE Group is converting the building into apartments, and won town approval Monday night to remodel the former ballroom space into pickleball courts.

“Our plan aims to enhance the town of Farmington by introducing a recreational facility centered around indoor pickleball courts. These courts will be available for public rent while also offering a membership option that grants access to the courts and all the amenities of our multi-family property,” CSRE said in a letter to the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.

“We believe this proposal aligns with the town’s interests and will contribute positively to the overall livability of the area,” the company wrote. “Pickleball is a popular and inclusive sport that appeals to a wide range of age groups and skill levels.”

Town officials said CSRE still intends to locate a restaurant on the property as well. That was a key feature of the original conversion plan when Jason Schlesinger, a principal in CLP Farmington LLC, bought the hotel form $10.5 million two years ago.

“We’re going to repurpose this asset and use every inch of it. And the amenities are what will set us apart,” Schlesinger said at the time. His plan included a new restaurant and bar along a corridor wall between the lobby and ballroom, known as the D wing. The idea was to replace the wall by an enormous retractable glass door so the new restaurant could offer inside and outside seating.

Schlesinger obtained the necessary town permits, but sold the project to New Jersey-based CSRE before major construction started. CSRE named it Up House Apartments, and is converting the 381 hotel rooms into more than 250 apartments with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units.

Currently, apartments.com lists one-bedroom apartments at $1,900 to $2,400. Sizes range from 592 to 694 square feet.

Two-bedroom units are listed at $2,700 to $2,900. They include two bathrooms, and sizes run from 691 to 757 square feet.

CSRE has renovated the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools, and added a new fitness center. The amenities list also includes an outdoor dining patio with grills, a yoga studio, a business center, a Peloton room, virtual golf, a dog park and an electric vehicle charging station.

In making its case for the pickleball complex Monday night, CSRE told commissioners that it would benefit health and the local economy.

“We aim to promote physical activity, wellness, and social interaction among community members,” the company said. “The introduction of a pickleball facility will attract visitors from neighboring areas, positively impacting local businesses such as restaurants, cafes, and shops. The increased foot traffic can generate economic growth and create employment opportunities.

“Our proposal aims to create a sense of community by providing residents and visitors with a common space for recreational activities,” the company said. “The shared experience of playing pickleball and engaging in multi-family amenities can foster social connections and strengthen neighborhood bonds.”

CSRE said the courts will meet official standards and include high-quality flooring, lighting and nets.

The public will be able to book time slots at the complex, and CSRE said it will offer hourly, daily and long-term options. It will also offer a membership package that will provide discounted rental rates as well as access to the fitness center, pools and courtyard.

CSRE has numerous other residential properties in seven Connecticut communities including The Packard in West Hartford and Element 250 in Hartford.

Farmington Physician Honored by Hartford County Medical Association

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Health & FitnessFarmington Surgeon Laureen Rubino, MD, was Presented with Distinguished Service Award|Updated Wed, Oct 11, 2023 at 3:43 pm ETAt the Hartford County Medical Association (HCMA) Annual Meeting, the Timothy Chartier, MD, ...

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Health & Fitness

Farmington Surgeon Laureen Rubino, MD, was Presented with Distinguished Service Award

|Updated Wed, Oct 11, 2023 at 3:43 pm ET

At the Hartford County Medical Association (HCMA) Annual Meeting, the Timothy Chartier, MD, Distinguished Service Award was presented to Farmington resident Laureen Rubino, MD.

Dr. Rubino is a highly skilled general surgeon who has been in private practice in Manchester since 1993. Dr. Rubino is a past president of the HCMA and currently serves as one of HCMA’s liaisons to the Connecticut State Medical Society. Dr. Rubino has been the chief of surgery for the Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) since 2002.

“It is important for the Hartford County Medical Association to acknowledge some of the outstanding physicians and leaders in our region, like Laureen Rubino, MD, because so many of them are under-recognized for their work,” stated Frank Santoro, MD, president of the Hartford County Medical Association and a dermatologist at Hartford HealthCare. “Over 100 physicians joined us at our award ceremony to show our appreciation for the work of Dr. Rubino.” Dr. Santoro added.

Dr. Santoro presented Dr. Rubino with the award along with Mark Thompson, Executive Director of the HCMA. Senator Saud Anwar, himself a physician, presented Dr. Rubino with a special state proclamation from the Connecticut General Assembly.

The Pond House Café in Elizabeth Park, West Hartford, was the setting for the HCMA Annual Fall Reception and Award Ceremony. The keynote speaker at the event was Barry Stein, MD, the Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Hartford HealthCare. The topic is “AI in Healthcare: Advancement or Threat?” Guests were entertained by “Dr. Violin,” Patrick Bogui, a soulful violinist and fourth year medical student at UCONN and aspiring medical doctor.

Find out what's happening in Farmingtonwith free, real-time updates from Patch.


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Developers target CT town for apartments and replacing office building with much larger structure

Developers are planning two projects that could change the face of Farmington’s South Road just west of Interstate 84, with one adding a 65-unit apartment complex and the other demolishing an office building and constructing a replacement nearly twice as large.The town has already approved Sager Development’s proposal for an apartment building at 80 South Road that would set aside 15 units as supportive housin...

Developers are planning two projects that could change the face of Farmington’s South Road just west of Interstate 84, with one adding a 65-unit apartment complex and the other demolishing an office building and constructing a replacement nearly twice as large.

The town has already approved Sager Development’s proposal for an apartment building at 80 South Road that would set aside 15 units as supportive housing for people with intellectual disabilities. The state Council on Environmental Quality next month is concluding a study of environmental impacts.

Also in September, Metro Realty will ask the town’s planning and zoning to support a zone change to allow a roughly 30,000-square-foot medical office building at 111 South Road. If the request is approved, the company would level the existing building and put up a two-story replacement more than twice as big.

The two properties are within a quarter-mile of each other between Farmington Meadow Drive and the I-84 overpass.

The Sager Development plan won municipal approvals last year, and got a major boost this spring with the state awarded $1.5 million for the ARC of Farmington’s part of the project.

Sager plans 65 units on a mostly wooded parcel of about 3 acres along the south side of South Road alongside the East Farmington firehouse. Part of the property held a one-family house that was built in 1965 and demolished last year.

Fifty apartments would go through traditional leasing processes, while 15 would be set aside for supportive housing. Current plans are to have the apartments on the market by late 2025 or early 2026.

In April, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority awarded Favarh — also known as the ARC of Farmington — $1.55 million in federal low-income housing tax credits to help fund its part of the project.

“Once complete, Favarh staff will provide round-the-clock support to residents living in 12 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments within the overall 65-unit development,” Favarh said in a statement.

That will be the third central Connecticut apartment complex in the Farmington Valley where Favarh partnered with a private developer to create set-aside housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Bear Woods Apartments opened in Canton in 2021, and Lavender Field Apartments of Bloomfield opened last year.

The Council on Environmental Quality noted that one building will have 36 apartments, indoor and outdoor recreation space, an elevator and an office for Favarh building staff. The second building will have 29 apartments and a leasing office. Overall, the complex will have six studio apartments, 20 one-bedrooms and 39 two-bedroom units.

Sager is president of Metro Realty, which is considering demolishing the UAW building at 11 South Road, which is about 14,000 square feet, and replacing it with a roughly 30,000-square-foot building designed specifically for medical offices.

The company noted that it has worked with town planners and regulatory agencies over the past two decades on the development plans for land surrounding UConn Health. The 111 South Road property would be a logical extension to allow outpatient medical offices and surgery facilities, it said.

The Town Plan and Zoning Commission is scheduled to discuss the zoning request at its Sept. 11 meeting at 7 p.m. at town hall.

'Some people have chipmunks...we have bears': How bears have invaded one CT neighborhood

Farmington resident Olivia Germano enjoys looking out the window into her backyard to see the activity on her family's trampoline. But it’s never her own kids that are playing, rather a family of black bears that make an appearance every year.The Farmington Valley is a hot spot for black bears, but bear families have taken a special liking to the neighborhood surrounding Blueberry Lane, where th...

Farmington resident Olivia Germano enjoys looking out the window into her backyard to see the activity on her family's trampoline. But it’s never her own kids that are playing, rather a family of black bears that make an appearance every year.

The Farmington Valley is a hot spot for black bears, but bear families have taken a special liking to the neighborhood surrounding Blueberry Lane, where they always return to nonchalantly lounge on porches and meander through yards.

“Some people have chipmunks in their backyards. We have bears,” said resident Don Perrault.

For the past few decades, residents in northwestern Connecticut have been experiencing the recolonization of bears in the state, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection wrote in a statement to CT Insider. And this growing bear population has to expand its range somewhere, and will gravitate toward areas where they can find the best food source, like neighborhoods.

While videos of bears hanging out and even playing in Connecticut neighborhoods may be entertaining, DEEP has warned that "human-bear conflicts are increasing - both in frequency and severity," adding that residents should avoid contact and not feed them. In 2022, there were two humans attacked by bears and they entered homes a record 67 times.

Farmington has currently logged 234 bear sightings this year, according to DEEP's database. But residents in the neighborhood say the bears are so commonplace now, they don't even bother to report it when they see one.

That's why Brian Lux, who also lives in the area, thinks that the true number is completely underreported. "We don't call. You're just so used to it,” he said. “Almost anybody here has seen ‘em.”

For Germano, seeing bears in the backyard is a daily occurrence, including the cubs that especially love to play on her trampoline come spring, she said. “At this point my kids no longer use it, the bears do,” Germano said.

And some residents have actually gotten to know one of the bears that has made itself at home in the area, even coining her name, "Yellow Tags."

Perrault has seen the same mother bear in his front yard for years, and has watched her take her cubs up into his tree, he said.

And Catherine Skaperda, who lives down the street, has developed a unique relationship with this bear. She said for the past seven years, the same double-tagged, female bear would rest at her front porch. Skaperda’s grown to love the bear and has watched her come back with different litters, she said.

“I’ve known her since she was a cub,” she said. “She’s so kind..."

Even when "Yellow Tags" is on her porch, Skaperda said she would still come right out the door and walk past the bear, so close they're almost touching, but she's never been afraid. In fact, Skaperda's more afraid of other people than bears, she said.

“I look at her as a guard dog,” Skaperda said.

All bears have a home range, and this bear returns to that neighborhood because it is within part of her home range, according to DEEP's statement. Due to the presence of human-related food in areas such as neighborhoods, these home ranges can be even smaller in size due to the calorie-dense food available, so bears don’t have to travel as far or work as hard to meet their caloric needs, which can result in an even greater amount of time spent in one specific area.

Germano has also grown accustomed to closely being around the bears. She recalled a time when she was sitting by her fire pit with family when black bears waltzed right into the backyard, just yards away. "We have visitors," she had announced, and while her other family members, who aren't from the area, were very startled, Germano barely bat an eye.

“It's such a common occurrence that I don't even get scared anymore,” she said.

And residents didn't seem to think that the black bears, animals naturally fearful of humans, felt any need to keep their distance either.

While perceived as cute and often shared on social media, the type of behavior in which bears frequent yards, porches and trampolines is learned behavior, and matches bear habituation, in which bears lose their fear of people, according to DEEP's statement.

“We’ve had a couple of close encounters,” Perrault said.

One day he came around the corner outside his garage and was face to face with a large male bear, he said, “He looked at me, I looked at him.” And while Perrault immediately bee-lined for the other direction, the bear was unfazed, and just moseyed along to the backyard.

“They’re everywhere,” Germano said. “And they're not afraid of humans at all.”

Taking action against bears

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Germano said she loved seeing the bears and having them around, but given attacks and entries into home, it raises the question whether bears have grown too comfortable. Variations of a bear hunt has been proposed on several occasions in Connecticut, but never adopted. Under new laws, residents are able to kill a bear, however, if they feel threatened.

As for involvement from DEEP, the agency said it may humanely trap and perform aversive conditioning to give the bear a negative association with a location. It’s a tool used to help restore fear into bears.

And the current level of comfort isn't safe for bears or people.

Increased comfort around homes can lead to more conflicts with people and property, according to DEEP. Bears that are food conditioned will break into houses and approach people looking for food, whether it is from the person feeding them or not. They then become a public safety threat and are often involved in human-bear conflicts.

Unfortunately, this bad behavior can then be taught to cubs as well, thus creating another generation of bears that are not fearful of humans and that think homes and neighborhoods are the ideal place to look for food, according to the statement.

Additionally, DEEP officials have seen a tendency for people to remain quiet while they see a bear, even if it is behaving unfavorably, due to their desire to get a picture or video of the encounter. But people should be putting their efforts into scaring the bear so the animal understands this is not good practice. "We should never put our gratification from that picture or video ahead of what is best for the bear."

Bears are still animals with wild instincts, and while it is not necessary to be fearful, exercising caution is always a good thing, DEEP officials said. "A healthy respect vs. fear is an important part of coexistence."

Residents agreed that an appropriate level of caution was necessary to live in harmony with the animals.

“You gotta respect them because they are wild animals,” Perrault said. And even when you get close enough to pet them, you have to remember that they're going to pet you back, but it's going to be like petting a running chainsaw, he said.

And the implications of food-conditioned bears aren’t only adverse towards the animals and humans, but the environment itself.

“Bears are ecologically important as seed dispensers, and of the role they play in forest ecosystem health by their foraging methods such as tearing apart logs for insects,” according to DEEP.

Therefore, intentional and unintentional feeding of bears additionally reduces bears' natural foraging and can affect other species and environmental processes.

Perrault said he felt bad for the bears. “We’re trampling on their territory,” he said, gesturing to the houses in the forested neighborhood.

The best option for both people and the animals is for residents to limit attracting bears in the first place by making sure they do not have access to human-sourced food, including trash, birdseed and dogfood, according to DEEP.

"Limiting attractants will limit bear sightings and therefore limit human-bear conflicts," the statement reads. "This is not something that can be accomplished by one person though, it's a community effort."

Businesses impacted by dangerous conditions on the Farmington River

A wet July has made for less than ideal conditions for summer businesses along the river.CANTON, Conn. — A very rainy July has made the Farmington River too dangerous for people to go in."It’s raging and flowing very quickly and really really high," said Vicki Rees of New Hartford."People should not be in there. It’s dangerous, it’s kind of murky," said Kristen Oswald of Canton.Th...

A wet July has made for less than ideal conditions for summer businesses along the river.

CANTON, Conn. — A very rainy July has made the Farmington River too dangerous for people to go in.

"It’s raging and flowing very quickly and really really high," said Vicki Rees of New Hartford.

"People should not be in there. It’s dangerous, it’s kind of murky," said Kristen Oswald of Canton.

That means businesses that depend on the river and nice weather, are having a tough time.

"This has been a very slow, sad year so far. So far, we’ve been open all of three days in the month of July," said Jeremy Harraden, manager and vice president of Farmington River Tubing in New Hartford.

He said this summer has been a battle with mother nature.

"Last month there was no water in the river it was too dry so you know it was getting to the point of having to restrict the hours," Harraden said. "Now it’s too much water in the river and we can’t even open," he said.

The river is getting closer to safer levels but it’s not quite there yet.

"A thousand cubic feet per second, it has to get below that before we can open," Harraden said. "This most recent storm crested the river about 8,000 cubic feet per second coming by here and we’re down to 2,500 right now," he said.

Collinsville Canoe and Kayak are also waiting for conditions to improve so rentals can pick back up.

"It’s something we’ve been through before but not something we enjoy," said Sue Warner, president of Collinsville Canoe and Kayak. "July and August are our two key months for those programs so it is frustrating," she said.

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They’re looking on the bright side though, there is still plenty of summer left.

"We’re hoping to have the best August we’ve ever had that’s what we’re looking forward to," Warner said.

Both businesses are ready to welcome people back as soon as possible.

"As soon as we get a good water level and a nice day we’ll be open for business," Harraden said.

People are encouraged to call ahead before going to Farmington River Tubing and Collinsville Canoe and Kayak to get an update on conditions and whether or not they are open. Both are hoping to be able to reopen this weekend.

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


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