Since I was not given the opportunity to speak at the Planning & Zoning meeting [Tuesday] night, I am writing to express my personal support for the proposed project for a Waveny CCRC on Oenoke Ridge Road.
There are many considerations for approving the proposed CCRC or not allowing the proposed project to go forward.
I am a twenty-year resident of New Canaan and an active community volunteer. My husband and I have raised our three children in New Canaan and are very grateful to be members of this wonderful community,
What I did not hear mention of at last night’s Planning & Zoning hearing was the predicament many persons in my generation face when trying to care for their elderly parents and relatives. There are very limited resources for elder care in New Canaan, and we need to support those resources we have.
The reason I am in favor of such a project is based on my personal experience in caring for my father here in Connecticut a few years ago. When my father became legally blind as a result of developing macular degeneration and a form of dementia, he could no longer live independently in his home in California where he had resided for 50 years. As his eldest daughter, it became my responsibility to find an appropriate residence that was close to my busy family and me.
We researched many facilities in the area and ultimately decided on Brighton Gardens in nearby Stamford where I could look in on him almost daily and bring him to our home for Sunday dinners while he was well enough to visit. Waveny Life Care was not an option as The Inn was full with a long waiting list as was Waveny Care Center. As my father’s health declined I assisted with all aspects of his care including any necessary outside doctor’s visits and other errands that were important to him. After some time and many visits to the hospital my father later required skilled nursing. Again I tried to get him into Waveny for care but there was no room, and I had to turn elsewhere. Waveny was the most convenient to our home but unfortunately was not available.
There are many others in my generation who need to take care of elderly and declining parents and loved ones who want to utilize Waveny LifeCare for the needs of their families. Waveny LifeCare is nationally recognized as a top facility providing quality health care, and we, as a community, should do everything we can to help shore up its finances and its future as it does a great service to our community. Allowing Waveny LifeCare to build a CCRC would expand its model and ensure its long term viability. The nonprofit world is a difficult environment with increasing needs and decreasing financial support.
While I have no expertise in the law, architecture, or zoning regulations, I cannot but help to be impressed by the opponents of this project. The objections put forth by the neighbors surrounding the proposed project are fierce, loud and well organized.
Too often in our town the immediate neighbors who don’t want things to change right where they live reject ideas for positive change. As a result progress that is needed is not allowed to happen.
This current project would be a win-win because it would both support the futures of Waveny Care Center and The New Canaan Historical Society and Museum. We need to support our town, its economy, and our institutions. One way to do this is to help keep our seniors here in New Canaan rather than watching them move to nearby communities who offer the services they need.
I fear that if we cannot come together as a community to better provide for the needs of our citizens we will not progress either economically or as a community. Those who oppose this proposal should step up to suggest a viable alternative so that the needs of our community as a whole can be met.