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 Hartford, CT

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

Major change made to state financial oversight of CT city’s finances, “significant challenges” remain

HARTFORD — Six years after teetering on near bankruptcy, the oversight of the city of Hartford‘s finances by a state review board was eased significantly Tuesday, its members agreeing Hartford had made significant progress in turning around its fiscal woes.Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin asked the Municipal Accountability Review Board, wh...

HARTFORD — Six years after teetering on near bankruptcy, the oversight of the city of Hartford‘s finances by a state review board was eased significantly Tuesday, its members agreeing Hartford had made significant progress in turning around its fiscal woes.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin asked the Municipal Accountability Review Board, which has overseen city budgets and contracts since 2018, to drop the review level to a lower tier. That means the review board, known as MARB, will continue to be involved with oversight of city finances, although at a less stringent level.

The road to improved financial health for the city stretches back almost as far as when Bronin first took office in 2016. Along the way, there was a state bailout that provides about $40 million annually over 20 years to pay off hundreds of millions in debt; concessions from the city’s labor unions and $50 million spread out over five years from three major corporate employers in the city: Travelers Cos., the Hartford Financial Services Group and Aetna Inc.

Just a few months into his first term in 2016, Bronin announced 40 layoffs, the elimination of 95 positions and $15.5 million in cuts to start bringing spending into line.

“We have budgeted with rigor and care and discipline, and I think that is reflected in multiple years of surplus as well as the improving fund balance and continued positive outlook,” Bronin told the board’s members Tuesday in a meeting at the Legislative Office Building. “I want to stress as I’ve said many times publicly, and in this forum, that our progress is very real and also fragile. I think it needs to be protected and defended with similar rigor in the years going forward.”

Bronin, who is not running for another term in November, said MARB’s oversight is a healthy one, providing an independent review, “and I think that is good for the city because of the discipline it imposes.”

MARB’s members unanimously approved Bronin’s request Tuesday, with some praising the restraint of a step down from oversight, rather than a complete withdrawal.

“I also appreciate that it’s not just sort of a victory lap because there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Kevin Alvarez, deputy chief of staff and director of policy for State Treasurer Erick Russell. “I think this is a right and, sort of, prudent step in that direction.”

Alvarez, who was representing Russell at Tuesday’s meeting, echoed others in praising Bronin’s leadership but also the hard work of “the people of Harford and people in state government.”

The oversight board ranks municipalities based on their fiscal outlook. Tier one is the least serious, while a tier four ranking is the most dire. Hartford was classified as a tier three.

Bronin asked that the board drop the city’s oversight to a Tier 2. The city will still have submit monthly financial reports to MARB, as it does now, and submit key financial and budget assumptions. But the change means that labor contracts, contracts over $100,000 and other details will no longer have to be reviewed by the board.

In his letter letter to MARB seeking the change, Bronin ticked off a list of challenges the city still faces. The list includes long-term pension obligations; the “inadequacy of the city’s property tax base,” including a high percentage of non-taxable properties; and “the current threat to the value of commercial office buildings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The city also will have to file reports related to state bailout.

In late 2017, Hartford facing a $65 million deficit and escalating annual debt payments, sought MARB oversight and was one of the first municipalities to secure oversight by the newly-created review board.

That same year, the city’s financial situation was so precarious that Standard & Poor’s downgraded Hartford debt to junk bond status, reflecting the strong possibility that Hartford could default on its debt or be forced to renegotiate with bondholders to pay them less.

Two months ago, Moody’s Investors Services on Friday upgraded Hartford’s bond rating from Ba2 to Baa3, calling the city’s financial outlook positive.

Bronin often has pointed out that the city hasn’t taken on any additional debt since 2016.

Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at [email protected].

A major CT employer will require workers to put in more time at the office

HARTFORD — The Hartford Financial Services Group, a major employer in Hartford with thousands of workers at its headquarters office in Asylum Hill, confirmed Monday that it will require employees working partly from home to report to the office three days a week, as of Jan. 2.In addition, some employees of The Hartford who had previously worked exclusively from home will adopt a hybrid schedule working a portion of the...

HARTFORD — The Hartford Financial Services Group, a major employer in Hartford with thousands of workers at its headquarters office in Asylum Hill, confirmed Monday that it will require employees working partly from home to report to the office three days a week, as of Jan. 2.

In addition, some employees of The Hartford who had previously worked exclusively from home will adopt a hybrid schedule working a portion of the week in the office.

The change has the potential to foster downtown Hartford’s workweek vibrancy, which suffered a devastating setback during the pandemic when office employees were abruptly sent home to stop the spread of Covid. But tightening up the requirements to be in the office also could ruffle those employees who have come to enjoy the flexibility of working at home and have reshaped their lives around it.

“We are updating our enterprise work model with increased in-office days for those in hybrid arrangements and bringing more employees back to the office,” The Hartford said, in a statement Monday in response to an inquiry by The Courant. “Our work model is designed to balance business performance, growth, collaboration and a contemporary employee experience.”

Beginning in January, “the majority of employees with hybrid work arrangements will work 3 days (Tuesday through Thursday) in our offices, and some remote employees will transition to hybrid schedules,” the statement said. “Senior executives will work 4 days in our offices.”

The property-casualty insurer declined to comment on the parameters under which fully-remote workers would be required to return to the office. The Hartford also declined to say whether the new policy would be enforced with disciplinary measures or whether it was more a guideline.

An increasing number of employers are requiring their workers to be in the office at least three days a week. Some are reshaping their workplaces to create an atmosphere that more resembles home with couch groupings for collaboration and cafeterias that have kitchen islands for informal gatherings.

Interior workplace designers say such changes are responding to what workers have become accustomed in their homes, not spending the entire day at a desk.

But experts also say requirements to be in the office are, in most cases, more accurately described as guidelines. Employers walk a fine line how strongly they enforce “in-office” requirements because they risk losing valued workers to other companies and competitors.

Travelers Cos., the property-casualty insurer, with a major presence in the heart of downtown Hartford has required most of its employees to work in the office at least three days a week for more than a year. In 2022, that amounted to 2,500 in the office on a given day, but those numbers have increased by “hundreds,” Travelers said recently. Travelers employs about 7,000 in the Hartford area.

The Hartford’s move could benefit downtown businesses — including a growing number of coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses — especially since the insurer has consolidated hundreds of workers from its Windsor location to Hartford.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who earlier this year publicly urged employers to bring more workers back to offices in Hartford for a greater part of the workweek, Monday praised the decision by The Hartford.

“We know that many workplaces aren’t going back to five days in person anytime soon,” Bronin said. “But every additional day that employees are back in the office makes a difference for our city — our cafes, our small businesses and just the sense of energy and activity that you feel on the street.”

Bronin said he has long believed that the pendulum would swing back toward more “in-person” work.

“There’s no question that organizations of every kind lose something when they are too fully remote,” Bronin said. “They lose the ability to build strong personal relationships, lose the chance for those spontaneous interactions that are critical to innovation and lose the ability to mentor young talent and create an organizational culture.”

At the same time, Bronin said, he is urging conversions of vacant office space, if feasible, into housing to continue building the downtown Hartford residential base.

Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at [email protected].

Struggling CT malls eye multifamily housing to fill empty retail space

Two Connecticut mall operators are seeking to convert part of their properties to multifamily housing, as they join the nationwide struggle to reinvent large indoor shopping centers suffering from high retail vacancies.Redeveloping mall space into apartments is a growing concept that industry experts say can help turnaround struggling retail centers, and boost the limited housing stock throughout Connecticut, which is grappling with a shortage of nearly 90,000 affordable rental units, according to the National Low Income Housing Coali...

Two Connecticut mall operators are seeking to convert part of their properties to multifamily housing, as they join the nationwide struggle to reinvent large indoor shopping centers suffering from high retail vacancies.

Redeveloping mall space into apartments is a growing concept that industry experts say can help turnaround struggling retail centers, and boost the limited housing stock throughout Connecticut, which is grappling with a shortage of nearly 90,000 affordable rental units, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The owner of Danbury Fair Mall, California-based real estate investment firm Macerich, has proposed a zoning change that would allow it to convert the 116-acre property into mixed-use, including residential. Other non-retail options that have been floated include an adult day care center, assembly hall, college campus, or even an ice rink.

The redevelopment plan includes 144 new apartments in a 75,000-square-foot former Lord & Taylor department store, along with restaurant and retail space as part of a “24-hour living” environment.

The Danbury Fair Mall contains 1.6 million square feet, which represents roughly 40% of the retail space in Danbury. However, “the simple retail economic fact is that all 1.6 million square feet cannot be maintained as pure retail space into the future,” said Thomas W. Beecher, an attorney who represents the mall owner. “Flexibility of uses are needed.”

That’s the same sentiment shared by the owner of Milford’s 1.3 million-square-foot Connecticut Post Mall.

Austin, Texas-based Centennial Real Estate has been granted a zone change to create a mixed-use “live, work, play” area within Connecticut Post Mall, along Route 1, that could include up to 750 apartments, built in three phases.

Death and rebirth of U.S. malls

The 1970s brought an explosion of mall development. According to Forbes, the number of malls in the U.S. grew more than twice as fast as the population between 1970 and 2015.

A 2017 report by Credit Suisse estimated that 20% to 25% of malls would shutter by 2022, largely because of store closures. Newsbreak.com said the U.S. had around 2,500 malls at its peak, but only about 600 to 700 remain.

In Connecticut, a number of malls in Waterbury, Enfield, Waterford and elsewhere have faced significant challenges with high vacancies, especially in the wake of store closures by major brands like Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Sears.

Other retail centers, like Westfarms in Farmington, have fared better.

Malls across the country have been reinventing themselves for years, converting empty retail space to various uses like entertainment complexes, healthcare facilities and even pickleball courts.

Housing is a new twist in the evolution of Connecticut malls.

Milford Mayor Richard M. Smith said malls are becoming outdated, and in an age when Amazon has taken over the retail market, “we’ve got to re-imagine.”

Phase one of “The Post” redevelopment includes demolishing a portion of the Connecticut Post Mall — including space formerly occupied by Macy’s and Sears — and building mixed-use areas, with up to 250 apartments and outward-facing retail on the first floor, surrounding an open-area plaza, similar to a town green.

Ten percent of the housing units would be affordable.

Like the Danbury plan, The Post will still contain retail storefronts, but less space should drive down the vacancy rate and help attract higher-profile merchants, especially with an embedded customer base living on-site, the mayor said.

The project is also smartly positioned near other commercial sites, right off the highway and not deep into city neighborhoods, he said.

“My goal was to seek an integration and to create a destination that people know they’re going to want to go to,” Smith said.

Two additional development phases — each with up to 250 apartment units — could also occur, but only if there’s enough demand for more housing, Smith said.

Financial impact, market demand

Milford City Planner David B. Sulkis said the mall’s value, from a tax standpoint, has decreased over a number of years. The property had an appraised value of around $180 million in 2021, down from nearly $212 million in 2017, according to city property records.

Phase one of the redevelopment plan has the potential to increase the mall’s property value by millions of dollars, Smith said, and up to tens of millions if all phases are completed.

The location and its amenities position The Post to be successful as a live, work, play destination, Sulkis said.

“We’re a stone’s throw from New Haven and Fairfield County, not a long train ride to New York. So, it is a very attractive place to live. I think that bodes well for the future development,” he said.

Industry experts agree that outfitting struggling malls with apartments is a smart move to meet existing demand.

Victor W. Nolletti, executive managing director of investments for Institutional Property Advisors, a division of Marcus & Millichap, said the Danbury and Milford/Greater New Haven housing markets are vibrant and not oversupplied.

Residents are facing a “pretty significant systemic housing shortage in the country,” particularly in the Northeast, making multifamily construction attractive, he said.

Malls, especially in dense commercial districts like Milford and Danbury, are prime sites for residential development.

“There’s strong demand in both markets for housing. It’s a matter of how it’s executed,” Nolletti said.

Malls are also not configured to compete with, or be transformed into industrial or logistics centers since they weren’t designed for heavy truck traffic and don’t have adequate ceiling heights, Nolletti said.

“I just don’t know how feasible it is to take a former Macy’s and turn it into a high-bay warehouse where you’d get much less rent per foot for a warehouse than you do for a residential apartment,” he said.

Donald J. Poland, senior vice president of urban planning for East Hartford-based Goman+York Property Advisors, said the Milford and Danbury plans are poised for success partly because the developers are also the owners, an obstacle that other struggling malls and their municipalities have difficulty overcoming.

If 250 units are built in place of empty retail, that creates 250 captive consumers who are likely to shop and dine on-site, he said.

Projects like apartment conversions reduce mall vacancies and make other retailers stronger, Poland added.

“Parts of these malls will almost always remain because there is a market for a portion of that retail, which will become stronger with the residential,” he said.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Heads to The Bushnell this Fall

This fall, The Bushnell will welcome the first North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. “SPECTACULAR!”The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NY1, TimeOut NYThe Tony Award®-Winning Best MusicalMoulin Rouge! The MusicalBased on the 20th Century Studios Motion Picture by Baz LuhrmannSet to premiere in Hartford,November 21 through December 3 at The BushnellTICKETS ON SALE NOWHARTFORD – This fall, The Bushnell will welcome the first North American tour of Moulin ...

This fall, The Bushnell will welcome the first North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.


The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NY1, TimeOut NY

The Tony Award®-Winning Best Musical

Moulin Rouge! The MusicalBased on the 20th Century Studios Motion Picture by Baz Luhrmann

Set to premiere in Hartford,November 21 through December 3 at The Bushnell


HARTFORD – This fall, The Bushnell will welcome the first North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Winner of 10 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, the Broadway hit will play two weeks at Hartford's historic Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Performances begin November 21 through December 3. Tickets for this spectacular Spectacular are available online at bushnell.org, by calling (860) 987-5900 or by visiting The Bushnell Box Office at 161 Capitol Avenue (Mon-Fri from 10am to 5pm). The Bushnell's Broadway Series is sponsored by Travelers.


Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the winner of ten 2021 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, two Drama League Awards including Outstanding Production of a Musical, five Drama Desk Awards and ten Outer Critics Circle Award Honor citations including New Broadway Musical.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical opened to critical acclaim at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in the Summer of 2019 and reopened in September 2021 following the shutdown of Broadway due to the pandemic.

“Spectacular! Euphoric! In Moulin Rouge! The Musical, life is beautiful,” raves The New York Times. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a fabulous new musical. The high begins the instant you walk into the theatre,” said the New York Post. Entertainment Weekly concludes that “it’s easy to believe that Moulin Rouge! The Musical could run for 50 years.”

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is directed by Tony Award® winner Alex Timbers and with a book by Tony Award® winner John Logan, choreography by Tony Award® winner Sonya Tayeh and music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tony Award® winner Justin Levine.

The design team for Moulin Rouge! The Musical includes Tony Award® winner Derek McLane (sets), Tony Award® winner Catherine Zuber (costumes), Tony Award® winner Justin Townsend (lighting), Tony Award® winner Peter Hylenski (sound), Drama Desk Award winner David Brian Brown (wig and hair design), Sarah Cimino (Make-up design) and Tony Award® winner Matt Stine (Music Producer). Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Stephen Kopel.

Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular spectacular … Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and - above all - Love. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is more than a musical; it is a state of mind.

As in the film, Moulin Rouge! The Musical celebrates over 160 years of music – from Offenbach to Lady Gaga. The stage musical features many of the iconic songs from the movie, and also includes recent hits released since the movie premiered 21 years ago.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is produced by Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan OAM for Global Creatures and Bill Damaschke. General management is by Foresight Theatrical.

Co-producers of the touring production include Aaron Lustbader, Hunter Arnold, Darren Bagert, Erica Lynn Schwartz/Matt Picheny/Stephanie Rosenberg, Adam Blanshay Productions/Nicolas & Charles Talar, Iris Smith, Aleri Entertainment, Sophie Qi/Harmonia Holdings, CJ ENM, Len Blavatnik, Ambassador Theatre Group, Endeavor Content, John Gore Organization, Spencer Ross, Gilad-Rogowsky/InStone Productions, AF Creative Media/International Theatre Fund, Nederlander Presentations/IPN, Cody Renard Richard, Jujamcyn Theaters, Eric Falkenstein/Suzanne Grant, Peter May/Sandy Robertson, Tom & Pam Faludy, Triptyk Studio, Carl Daikeler/Sandi Moran, Desantis-Baugh Productions, Red Mountain Theatre Company/ 42ND.CLUB, Candy Spelling/Tulchin Bartner, Roy Furman, Andrew & Ruby Ryan, Brent & Sarah Deboer and Michael Ryan.

Released by 20th Century Studios, Baz Luhrmann’s "Moulin Rouge!" premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two.

The Moulin Rouge of Paris, managed by Jean-Jacques Clerico (CEO), is a dazzling and spectacular universe, the symbol of the Parisian way of celebrating since 1889. Starting life as a popular cabaret and dance hall, the venue became an iconic music hall in the Roaring Twenties, and then a theatre where numerous famous French and international artists stepped out into the limelight. Today, the Moulin Rouge and its 60 artists present the Féerie revue show: two hours of amazement between cabaret and music hall styles where dance scenes and surprise acts intersperse – without forgetting the Moulin Rouge’s most emblematic dance, the French Cancan! Since its creation, the Moulin Rouge of Paris has always been an invitation to live and share all the emotions and effervescence of a unique party extravaganza. http://www.moulinrouge.fr/

The Grammy-nominated Moulin Rouge! The Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording, produced by Baz Luhrmann, Justin Levine, Matt Stine & Alex Timbers, is now available by Baz Luhrmann’s label, House of Iona, and RCA Records. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Cast Album chart.

The book Moulin Rouge! The Musical: The Story of the Broadway Spectacular, a glittering backstage pass to Moulin Rouge! The Musical and its journey to Broadway, is now available from Rizzoli.

MAC is the Official Makeup Partner and Preciosa is the Official Crystal Partner of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.MoulinRougeMusical.com

An Original Ballet Choreographed by Claire Kretzschmar to be Performed

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Arts & EntertainmentBallet Hartford to Perform World Premiere of "A Ceremony of Carols" on December 9 in West HartfordExpress Strategies, Com...

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

Arts & Entertainment

Ballet Hartford to Perform World Premiere of "A Ceremony of Carols" on December 9 in West Hartford

Express Strategies, Community Contributor

|Updated Tue, Oct 17, 2023 at 9:19 am ET

It has been nearly a year since Claire Kretzschmar stepped away from a prominent and admired role with the New York City Ballet, aiming to grow in new ways - in a career already brimming with accomplishment - by crafting new chapters with characteristic enthusiasm, creativity, and skill.

One of those chapters is being written in Hartford, amidst the company of Ballet Hartford.

Her stellar credentials, and already multi-faceted career, speak volumes. Claire Kretzschmar is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, podcast host and highly regarded former soloist with New York City Ballet (NYCB). She grew up in Winston-Salem, NC where she began her dance training at the Academy of Dance Arts and Wake Forest Community Ballet. As a teenager, she continued her training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York City.

In 2010, she joined NYCB as an apprentice and progressed through the ranks to become a soloist dancer in 2018. With NYCB, Claire performed featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck, and Kyle Abraham. She is the recipient of the 2017 Janice Levin Award and the 2015 Martin E. Segal Award for rising artists.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Fordham University in 2018, Claire currently teaches creative movement and ballet in New York, and helps organize and curate programming for a NY-based arts collective called Arthouse2B. That’s not all. She co-hosts the "The Rosin Box" segment of NYCB's podcast and has choreographed on multiple occasions for the New York Choreographic Institute and for “The Tiny Garage Show” – a performance series born out of the pandemic and set from inside her family's garage.

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Even with all that, Claire has made a return engagement with Ballet Hartford a scheduling priority. She dipped her toes into the pond of Ballet Hartford in the Spring of 2023, resetting the choreography of the popular “Peter and the Wolf,” with the result delighting audiences (young and older) and dancers alike. The experience drove a desire to reprise her time in Connecticut’s Capital City.

“With Ballet Hartford, I sincerely look forward to each ballet class and rehearsal. The dancers and artistic staff pursue excellence and promote respect in all that they do, making Ballet Hartford a rare combination of talent, integrity, and spirit. I’m so excited to work with the company this fall,” says Claire.

“Claire brings an incredibly rich career, unique perspective, and a thorough understanding of art and choreography to the company,” commented Leyna Doran, Artistic Director of Ballet Hartford. “We are absolutely thrilled to have her with us for the journey to create something new, and to explore the potential and possibilities with her in building a piece that will be memorable for us and for our audiences.”

“I will be choreographing a new ballet set to Benjamin Britten’s music, ‘A Ceremony of Carols,’ which will showcase the talented dancers of Ballet Hartford while illuminating scenes from the nativity story,” Claire explains. “I hope and believe that it will be a ballet filled with great joy and resonance – a piece that audiences will want to see again and again at the holiday season.”

The opportunity to choreograph a new ballet to music that inspires her, coupled with the chance to work with the expanding Ballet Hartford company, is pleasingly irresistible. And it shows.

“It is with great humility that I eagerly pursue this opportunity, and it is awesome to work with Leyna, costume designer Nicole Elaine, and the very talented, innovative and elegant dancers in the company," Claire shares. “I just fell in love with this music, and I want to make this something special associated with the holiday season. I believe it will really grab your heart, tapping into the joys and sorrows of motherhood, and so much more.”

There are unquestionably some challenges ahead, which Claire has eagerly embraced. “A Ceremony of Carols” will be the largest cast she has worked with, the longest ballet she has choreographed, and the first time she is working closely and collaboratively with a lighting designer and a costume designer.

The music continues to inspire her ideas, which will be translated into themes that will become evident throughout the ballet when it premieres in December. “I’m really excited and unafraid to try new things and take risks in developing this ballet,” a confident Claire exclaims.

She hasn’t ruled out performing a brief solo, but only if it fits smoothly within the context of the piece. Whether or not that will happen remains “somewhat of a mystery” even to her, in the early weeks of her work as Resident Choreographer. For Claire, the integrity of the piece takes precedence.

Her goal is to build a ballet that “grabs your heart” as a member of the audience, bringing great joy along with more serious moments, amidst thoughtful reflection – a performance that will showcase the artistry of Ballet Hartford dancers and resonate with audiences in stirring and enduring ways.

There is something special unfolding here this fall. It turns out that Claire Kretzschmar and Ballet Hartford are a match made in, well, Hartford.

The premiere of “A Ceremony of Carols” will be on Saturday, December 9, at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM, on the stage of the Hoffman Auditorium on the campus of the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. Tickets are now available online.

The views expressed in this post are the author's own. Want to post on Patch?

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