Wilton Commons Open

June 15, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher released the following statement today re: the opening ceremony for Wilton Commons, Senior Congregate Housing Project.

“This day is the realization of a dream, a dream of stemming the tide of seniors inappropriately being place in nursing homes prematurely, severely reducing their productivity, their quality of life and their longevity.

George Caccio, with tears in his eyes, would recount to all of us who would listen his distress and concerns he felt during his regular visits to his fragile mother at her nursing home. He met too many still alert vibrant seniors who he believed in his heart should not be there. His anger at the injustice of these placements drove his passion to convince a dubious Wilton community to embrace the concept of a compassionate appropriate alternative-Wilton Commons, an affordable congregate living community for seniors. It was to serve those who find it difficult to live independently.

” It was a message he and his band of committed Wiltonians —-would repeat for over a decade as they planned, organized, proposed and lobbied for this unique affordable congregate housing for our area’s frail and vulnerable elderly. George and company advocated and cajoled not only me personally but also our townspeople, selectmen, churches, commissioners, legislators, Congressional delegation, multiple Governors and agencies to make this remarkable project a reality.

“Aristotle said that you can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. We thank George and his wonderful band of concerned citizens and clergy who recognized a need for affordable living options for the seniors we cherish and did something about it!

“We thank the State of Connecticut, and Governor Malloy for their support. TheState Fiscal Stabilization Fund provides the catalyst to continue this vital service during this difficult economic time when servicing the elderly residents of Connecticut is needed more than ever. It was a wise financial decision on the state’s part as Wilton Commons will keep some people from going to a nursing home prematurely; thus reducing the cost of Medicaid.

“We thank the Town of Wilton. It was theTown that agreed to lease us 4.8 acres of land ideally located near shopping and a railroad station (market value $2.2 to 2.5 million) and are leasing this land to Wilton Commons for 85 years for one dollar a year.

“We thank the community of Wilton for its openness, generosity and philanthropy. The community showed its character and compassion by contributing nearly $2 million in donations and pledges to their worthy project.

“And finally, a good deal of credit must also go to the young families of Wilton who, time after time, approved multiple referendums. The votes taken by the community were truly nonpartisan and lifted your spirit. They allowed the town to extend the timelines needed as the wheels of government turned even more slowly when economic expansions turned into recessions. The voters’ approvals and financial contributions are sterling examples of the belief that Pearl Buck expressed so well when she said ‘Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them.’

“I am truly proud to be a member of such a truly caring compassionate community, not only for our young people but also for our frail elderly. Congratulations to Wilton and to all those that made this day possible and this dream a reality.”