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.

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“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!”

Peggy S.

“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.
 In-Home Care Marlborough, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in Marlborough, 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 Marlborough, 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 Marlborough, 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 Marlborough, 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

Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
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 Marlborough, 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 Marlborough,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 Marlborough, 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 Marlborough, CT

Marlborough Filmmaker Will Fly To Space As Crew Member Of First Civilian Mission To Moon

A filmmaker from Marlborough will be part of the first-ever civilian mission to orbit the moon.Brendan Hall, a documentary filmmaker, was selected out of over one million artists and creatives to be a crew member of the "dearMoon" mission, which will make a month-long journey to the moon and back using a SpaceX rocket later in 2023.The idea for the project came from Japane...

A filmmaker from Marlborough will be part of the first-ever civilian mission to orbit the moon.

Brendan Hall, a documentary filmmaker, was selected out of over one million artists and creatives to be a crew member of the "dearMoon" mission, which will make a month-long journey to the moon and back using a SpaceX rocket later in 2023.

The idea for the project came from Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, who purchased the seats aboard the rocket for eight other crew members.

Hall's films have focused on telling stories in remote parts of the world such as Siberia and the Amazon rainforest, making a trip to the moon a natural next step for him.

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts who started making films when he was 12 years old, Hall has directed projects for National Geographic, Google, Adobe, and The Nature Conservancy. He has also worked on shows such as PBS’s Bill Nye: Science Guy and Apple TV’s Red Heaven.

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A post shared by Brendan Hall (@brendanfilm)

Hall said that he is excited to be selected as a crew member for the out-of-this-world trip.

"It’s an incredible honor to be a part of this team and help share an inside perspective of our mission," he said in an interview produced by the project.

He added, "I didn't think in a million years, that I'd actually be selected for this."

Other notable crew members joining the trip include music producer Steve Aoki and K-pop artist TOP.

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A post shared by dearMoon (@dearmoonproject)

Watch an interview with Hall and the other crew members here.

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Welsh guitar player James Oliver to make U.S. debut

James Oliver from South Wales is a United Kingdom guitar phenomenon. Something of a stalwart on the club circuit in South Wales, it wasn’t until he ventured out on his own that it became apparent just how good he was at playing guitar.He is scheduled to make his highly-anticipated United States debut in September with stops in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He is being brought to the United States by Glenn Holley.Oliver’s Connecticut concert is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 4 at The Farm at Carter Hill in Marlb...

James Oliver from South Wales is a United Kingdom guitar phenomenon. Something of a stalwart on the club circuit in South Wales, it wasn’t until he ventured out on his own that it became apparent just how good he was at playing guitar.

He is scheduled to make his highly-anticipated United States debut in September with stops in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He is being brought to the United States by Glenn Holley.

Oliver’s Connecticut concert is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 4 at The Farm at Carter Hill in Marlborough.

“James Oliver is one of the United Kingdom’s most revered and incredible next generation guitar masters,” said Giles Robson, a multi-award-winning blues harmonica player from the United Kingdom.

These sentiments were echoed by John Leckie, producer for John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Sammy Hagar, who called Oliver the “Best guitarist in the United Kingdom.”

During the last 18 months, the 28-year-old Oliver has gathered rave reviews from six-string legends such as Albert Lee, Bill Kirchen and Greg Koch, and is now working with the Last Music Company, home to Jimmie Vaughan.

Known for his explosive picking technique, Oliver plays a high-energy mix of blues, rockabilly, rock-n-roll, and country with his own distinctive flair. The guitar player is doing his utmost to revive the rockabilly sound, he’s already being touted by his peers as ‘the next titan of the Telecaster’ and now counts Vaughan as a label mate.

Prior to having his debut recording, “Twang!” peaking at number one on the Amazon Blues Chart, he has played nearly 2,000 live shows both with his trio and in other ensembles.

The three New England performances are an opportunity for American media and music enthusiasts to get a close look at this emerging international artist. Having recorded three contemporary albums infused with his own brand of classic Americana, Oliver was named the 2020 Emerging Artist of the Year at the United Kingdom Blues Awards. Oliver has already rubbed shoulders with many of the greats of the guitar firmament. Now he is preparing to write a new chapter of not only his career, but also Welsh music history.

An interesting sequence of events led to Oliver’s trip to the United States. Event promoter Glenn Holley was intrigued with Oliver’s playing. He made contact with him and started corresponding with him. Holley discovered that Oliver had an affinity for Danny Gatton. Unknown to Oliver, Holley had a deep appreciation for Gatton that remains until today. When Holley found out Oliver had a copy of Gatton’s “the Humbler,” (a record Holley produced), the relation was cemented.

As a feature of Oliver’s U.S. debut, he will perform on a guitar, Danny Gatton’s iconic 1954 Gibson ES-295. Several years after Gatton’s untimely passing in 1994, Glenn Holley of Hebron, Connecticut had the opportunity to acquire ownership of Gatton’s vintage Gibson, which will be on loan to Oliver for his U.S. performances.

“As a musician who has immersed Americana guitar styles deeply into my playing, I am beyond ecstatic to be performing in the states for the first time,” Oliver said. “I am especially looking forward to playing Danny Gatton’s legendary Gibson on September 4, which is Danny’s birthday. He is one of my all-time favorite guitarists and a big influence on my playing. This is a pilgrimage for me.”

Holley said, “Oliver has honed his remarkable skills by playing over 2,000 concerts across all corners of Europe. To be able to introduce this highly entertaining guitar virtuoso to American audiences is an incredible honor for me. New England music fans will want to mark their calendars for a rare opportunity to see one of the world’s finest guitar players right in their backyard.”

The Farm at Carter Hill is located at 86 East Hampton Road. Go to www.thefarmatcarterhill.com/ for information, or call 860-906-7866.

Learn more about Oliver at www.jamesoliverband.co.uk/bio or https://www.facebook.com/Joband1234.

CT filmmaker selected for first ever civilian project to orbit moon

MARLBOROUGH, Conn. (WFSB) - Traveling to space, an experience you can only dream of, is becoming a reality for one Connecticut filmmaker.“I grew up watching space films, being under the night sky. Taking photos and time lapses have been some of the most transformative and important moments in my life,” said Brendan Hall.Marlborough native Brendan Hall was selected from over one million artists from around the globe to be one of 8 crew members for “Deer Moon,” the first ever civilian project to orbit the ...

MARLBOROUGH, Conn. (WFSB) - Traveling to space, an experience you can only dream of, is becoming a reality for one Connecticut filmmaker.

“I grew up watching space films, being under the night sky. Taking photos and time lapses have been some of the most transformative and important moments in my life,” said Brendan Hall.

Marlborough native Brendan Hall was selected from over one million artists from around the globe to be one of 8 crew members for “Deer Moon,” the first ever civilian project to orbit the moon.

His mission is to encourage preservation and appreciation for our planet.

“My goal with the space film and my goal beyond that is how we can look at our planet with a new sense of wonder, a new sense of importance as well as empathy for each other. The more people I’ve met, the more I’ve traveled, the more similar we all feel and so I hope that having this new lens, in this completely different space, profiling the crew members as well as looking back on Earth can help us preserve it,” Brendan said.

As a filmmaker, Hall plans to show an inside perspective and showcase the process and journeys the crew takes before, during and after the mission and how they come back different.

“I started making films when I was 12 in my back yard and that initial passion turned into making films with my friends,” Brendan explained.

Now at 28, he travels the world for a living walking in other peoples shoes, learning from them, and translating it to us, through cinematography.

“My mission as a film maker is to inspire people to preserve our planet,” Brendan said.

Now he gets to walk in the “moon boots” so few have ever stepped foot in.

“When I first heard the news, it felt like time just froze,” said Brendan. “It was just me an Yusaku Maezawa, the entrepreneur who’s leading this mission, and he said ‘I’d like you to be a crew member of DearMoon.’ And it was a single sentence that changed the entire course of my life.”

The mission will happen as soon as 2023 on SpaceX’s “Starship,” the largest rocket ever built.

“I can’t even begin to understand how we’ll feel once we’re up there. I’m still processing it all. It’s going to be the honor of my life to capture it,” Brendan explained.

A lot of emotions are going into this journey, but not just for Brendan, also for his parents.

“It’s amazing. In the entire world, a million people. When he told us, half of me was oh that’s amazing, like the top half. And my stomach dropped. And I’m going to be honest, I was like oh my god, don’t die,” said Brendan.

It’s a nerve-wracking experience but also a major milestone.

“My grandkids might not think that this is as special at all because there will so many of these flights going. This is just the earliest part of an era that might be very similar to the era of flight and aviation. I’m just so honored to be part of one of these first milestones,” Brendan exclaimed.

We’ll be following along on Brendan’s trip to space. Stay with Channel 3 for the journey.

Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.

How the owners of a CT lobster shack and garden center have maintained a backyard restaurant oasis for 18 years

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateOn a quiet summer evening in Marlborough, the food shack at Jessica’s Garden releases the scent of warm butter and the sounds of a grill cooking, the shack’s bright pink paint appearing in the reflection of the lily pond nearby. Someone just ordered one of its popular lobster rolls.The ...

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On a quiet summer evening in Marlborough, the food shack at Jessica’s Garden releases the scent of warm butter and the sounds of a grill cooking, the shack’s bright pink paint appearing in the reflection of the lily pond nearby. Someone just ordered one of its popular lobster rolls.

The fresh lobster meat is served in a grilled bun, both of which are doused in real butter. According to co-founder Jessica Carroll, the food item is one of the many qualities that separates Jessica’s Garden & Lobster Shack from other outdoor dining spaces in the state.

“There are people who come here religiously for lobster. You don't have to drive all the way to the shore,” she said. “There are certain people that come here just for their birthday. Families get together from all different states, and they all meet here."

Jessica’s Garden & Lobster Shack on East Hampton Road is an outdoor restaurant and garden center that also serves as a giant backyard for families. Since they started Jessica’s Garden in 2004 after their honeymoon, Jessica and Matt Carroll have combined their landscaping and food industry skills to maintain their local family-run business for 18 years.

Jessica said the garden serves as a sanctuary from the stressors of the outside world.

“It's just a break from your normal day, especially for people who are local,” she said.

Whether guests need comfort food or a quiet place to think, the garden has something for everyone. Behind the pink food shack and garden center, a rope swing hangs by a large oak tree, adults socialize at the picnic table or read in one of the rocking chairs and children compete in a serious game of capture the flag or play in the miniature house.

The atmosphere is almost as calm as the lily pond, which is encircled by a walking trail and fairy garden. On the trail, people can find small fairy houses, miniature statues and a wide array of vegetation like Clethra, a shrub with white flowers and a strong scent. The only sounds are crickets, birds and sometimes the toads that live in the pond.

Growing up in East Hampton, Jessica knew of the sanctuary long before it became her garden center and restaurant, she said.

“I fell in love with the pond. I lived in this area. So I’ve always liked this little spot, and then it came up for sale,” she said.

She bought the property as a place to keep her landscaping equipment and keep an inventory of her trees and plants, but it turned into a garden center when people expressed interest in buying the greenery she grew. They deliver mulch to customers in 15 different towns across the state and are open from March to the end of October.

The decision to add an ice cream shack and other food items didn't come until a few years later after the Carrolls noticed a decline in plant sales during the summer.

“We thought, ‘How can we balance this business and make it more sustainable? And allow people to enjoy the property?’” Matt said.

The pink shacks that now sell ice cream and food were originally painted green to blend in with the rest of the garden, Jessica said, but then a friend visiting from Florida who had trouble finding them gave her an idea.

“He’s like, ‘You really need it to be a color that's going to stand out.’ And Florida has pink houses,” she said. “I definitely like things to blend into nature. I don't like to be a sore thumb. But if you want business, you've got to be a sore thumb, right?”

The menu includes Gifford’s ice cream (they even sell ice cream for dogs), grilled cheese sandwiches, pulled pork, smoothies, kids meals served on frisbees and hot dogs, which they feed to the bass in the pond. They are currently building a new kitchen and indoor dining space, which is expected to open in the spring of 2023. With the new kitchen, they plan to add French fries, onion rings and more seafood options, Matt said. They have also partnered with Burger Heaven & Sweet Açai in Portland, and plan to bring its açai bowls to Jessica’s Garden.

Matt said adding quality food has helped sustain their business and has even drawn in loyal customers from across the country.

“We have regulars who come in from California every year and we're their first stop. People travel from far away,” he said.

Besides the menu, the garden is constantly changing due to the weather. Jessica is at the garden almost every day weeding, pruning and watering the plants. Three employees help out on the weekends.

Heavy rain can bury the fairy houses and sometimes slow business, an issue they hope the new interior dining space will fix. The heat wave also affects the quality of the plants and requires higher maintenance. Jessica said while the heat makes the plants harder to maintain and requires her to work all the time in the summer, she will always keep the garden.

Taste of Connecticut

“That’s my passion. That’s what keeps me going,” she said.

Matt said seeing how much families enjoy the place makes the long hours worth it. The restaurant’s motto even reflects its focus on family: "Family Time Matters."

Their own kids also grew up playing in the garden, and some of the high school and college students who scoop ice cream for them have been visiting since they were infants.

“We've been in town a long time. We've seen a lot of places come and go, and we just stick to our formula and what we know works,” he said. “It’s good having all the regular customers return every year and the kids, who we see grow, come back and they talk about how much they've always loved the place. And seeing our employees over the years now are doctors. It’s pretty cool to see.”

This CT filmmaker is heading to space with Steve Aoki, other artists on SpaceX rocket to the moon

Updated: April 20, 2023 11:25 a.m.This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateBrendan Hall was looking at the sky over the Grand Canyon when a sunset turned into a meteor shower and the trajectory of his life changed forever.It was a summer trip in 2014. The then-NYU film student observed an amphitheater of stars surrounding ...

Updated: April 20, 2023 11:25 a.m.

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Brendan Hall was looking at the sky over the Grand Canyon when a sunset turned into a meteor shower and the trajectory of his life changed forever.

It was a summer trip in 2014. The then-NYU film student observed an amphitheater of stars surrounding the Milky Way as lightning bolts struck the horizon. He became protective over the view. He wanted his camera to not just capture, but encourage viewers to preserve what he was seeing.

"That trip and that moment was when I thought, 'I want to make documentaries,'" he said.

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Now, the 28-year-old filmmaker from Marlborough will embark on another life-changing excursion — to outer space. Hall was selected as a crew member for the "dearMoon" project, which is set to be the first civilian trip to the moon.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who is paying for the trip, announced in December the eight artists and creatives who would accompany him on SpaceX’s Starship. The crew also includes Grammy-nominated producer Steve Aoki, South Korean rapper T.O.P and YouTuber Tim Dodd.

“Being under the night sky were some of the most inspiring moments of my whole life,” Hall said. “But I never even dreamed that I would go up there, especially on a mission like this.”

CT natives Brendan Hall (bottom right) and Anthony Blake visited the Grand Canyon on a road trip. Photo credit: Contributed photos/Anthony Blake

The six-day mission is scheduled for 2023, but a launch date has yet to be announced. To carry out the mission, the Starship still needs to complete an orbital flight test. SpaceX owner Elon Musk announced in January the rocket could be ready by February. The test has experienced several delays and it's unclear if the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the attempt. SpaceX and dearMoon did not respond to requests for comment.

One million people from all over the world applied for the mission when applications opened in 2021, according to the dearMoon website. Hall submitted his on a whim, thinking the concept was “too incredible to believe.” That changed when he had his first Zoom interview. Former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki was one of the attendees.

Hall isn’t sure why he was selected as one of the few. The process spanned almost a year, he said.

Many of the interview questions focused on character: his work, reasons for applying and what artwork he would create during the mission, he said.

“I also told him about how much I wanted to tell this human story, and the story of the crew members transforming through this mission,” Hall said. “This is about people as much as [it is] about the moon or about space.”

Hall said his nature documentaries center around people and how they’re impacted by the natural world. He accompanied TV host and "science guy" Bill Nye to Greenland to film a documentary about the scientist's fight against climate change. Hall first received a camcorder for his twelfth birthday and began creating short films with his friends in his backyard. Ever since, he's been working on the craft of telling stories through a camera lens.

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A post shared by Brendan Hall (@brendanfilm)

Paul Bancroft, a career and technical education teacher, said by the time Hall walked through the doors of Regional Hebron, Andover and Marlborough (RHAM) High School, he had years of experience and advice from older students. It was his drive, maturity and discipline that set him apart from his peers, Bancroft said, recalling all the questions Hall asked about cinematographers and what type of camera he should buy with his birthday money.

“He really had a good eye for the camera,” he said. “He was always looking for new ways to tell the story.”

When Hall was assigned to get some footage of ice fishing, he attached a GoPro to a pole and stuck it through the ice to get underwater shots of the fish, Bancroft recalled.

Bancroft said because of Hall's extra efforts, he wasn’t surprised when Hall was accepted to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, one of the top-five film schools in 2012, the year he graduated from high school.

“That is what he had set his mind to,” Bancroft said. “And Brendan, you know what, when he set his mind to a goal, he went for it. And he certainly had the talent.”

Before his junior year at NYU, Hall and his childhood friend, Anthony Blake, took a road trip to 10 national parks and developed the idea for "Out There: A National Parks Story” a project they would film over the next five years. The film is set to be released in May.

Blake said he could tell Hall’s perspective changed on that 2014 trip. Hall had “a lightbulb moment” at the Grand Canyon and decided his camera’s purpose would be inspiring others to preserve natural beauty, Blake said. While traveling in the following years, Hall would get up in the middle of the night to time lapse videos of stars.

“It’s great to see someone in love with what they do,” Blake said.

Hall continued filming nature with the National Geographic Channel, first as an intern and then a freelance filmmaker.

He is still brainstorming concepts for his "dearMoon" film, but ensures it will have the same aim as his past documentaries. By filming Earth, he hopes viewers will appreciate it more. Astronauts like Ron Garan and Russell “Rusty” Schweickart have returned from space with a different perspective on our planet and mankind’s role, a cognitive shift called the overview effect.

Hall is unsure when his civilian space training, a process that could take months, will begin or what it will entail. But he doesn’t have any doubts about the ability to pull off the mission, he said. Part of his job involves speaking with camera manufacturers and SpaceX officials about the best technologies to bring based on the payload of the rocket and limitations like radiation getting on the camera sensor.

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A post shared by dearMoon (@dearmoonproject)

“Cameras draw power, they draw electricity. Your laptop does and your hard drives do. And we're a big floating ship in space. So electricity, and power is going to be very limited,” Hall said. “Those are all things we'll be developing, which will be really exciting. It'll for sure be a process that is totally new to me.”

Bancroft said documenting the mission is an important role. In the early days of the space program, astronauts brought tiny handheld cameras on missions. Hall, he said, will be following the many would-be filmmakers who have traveled to space.

“Mankind has always documented our adventures,” he said.

Bancroft was asked if he had any advice for his former student.

“I don't think I am anywhere qualified to give Brendan Hall advice anymore,” he said. “I guess I would say ‘Have a great time, Brendan, enjoy every moment.’”

Abby Weiss is a Connecticut native and a features reporter at Hearst Connecticut Media. She graduated with a B.S. in journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2022. She has written for InsideClimate News, The New York Post and Callaway Climate Insights.


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