Daily Voice Reports: "Neighbors at The Inn Share their Stories"
Posted on March 1, 2016
NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Three residents of The Inn, Waveny LifeCare’s charming residence for seniors who live independently in a an active, intimate retirement community, recently visited with the Daily Voice.
Residents Joni Abberley, Ron Barlow and Betty De Araujo told Senior Client Editor Tom Renner about their lives, families, moving to The Inn and more. Over the next three days, Daily Voice will share their stories. We’d love for readers to get to know more about our neighbors at The Inn.
Find the Daily Voice's original story here
Resident's Move To The Inn In New Canaan Is 'Best Thing I've Ever Done'
NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Joni Abberley opened her mind when she made the choice to move to The Inn in New Canaan in 2013, backed by her family’s support and encouragement.
“I just decided I was going to make a go of it,’’ said Abberley, who had lived in New Canaan and Darien for most of her adult life. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself in my whole life. The people are lovely, the food is fabulous and we have great activities planned for us.”
Abberley is one of about 35 residents at The Inn, which is part of the Waveny LifeCare Network. The Inn provides a caring and supportive environment, yet allows senior citizens to maintain independence. Days are filled with social, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities. The Inn is just steps from New Canaan’s Lapham Senior Center, but also offers tight security amid a bucolic setting.
Abberley embraces all aspects of living at The Inn, but especially the activities with other residents. Abberley particularly enjoys events related to fitness.
“I was a bit of a tomboy when I was young woman," she said. “I had always been interested in all kinds of sports. My children were all great athletes. When my husband retired, I took up golf. We played tennis, we skied, we sailed. That took up most of our spare time.”
Abberley’s husband, John, died in 2006 at the age of 89. He served in World War II with the U.S. Navy, where he was the Lieutenant Commander and captain of a convoy frigate during the Normandy Invasion in 1944.
“He told me about one of the other ships in the U.S. fleet had been having trouble,’’ Abberley said. “He went and picked up some survivors. Years later, members of that other ship invited him to their reunion. It was tearful. He didn’t think they’d remember him, but they sure did. It was very interesting, some of the stories these men told.”
Abberley and her husband also spent a significant amount of time on the water. “He would’ve been a full-time sailor if he could’ve been,’’ Abberley said of her husband, who worked as a lawyer in New York City.
Two of Abberley’s three children reside in Fairfield County. She listens to books on tape, greets family visitors on weekends and spends time socializing with other residents of The Inn. With the friends she has made, the superior work of The Inn’s staff and the lifestyle she now leads, Abberley fully embraces her new home.
“I didn’t know if it was going to work out for me here,’’ Joni said. “I think I’ve made some good friends. There’s always something to do and I get to see a lot of my family. We looked around and I told my sons this place has a great feeling and that that was it. I decided I wanted to be here, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”
Well-Traveled Business Executive Finds A Home At The Inn In New Canaan
NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- When Ron Barlow worked as the president of a publishing house, he enjoyed sticking his fingers in all the different aspects of the business.
Not much has changed for Barlow now that he lives at The Inn in New Canaan. Barlow still involves himself in almost all of The Inn’s activities, even after a stroke last year stole a bit of the spring from his step.
“I am a great believer in getting involved with every activity you can,’’ Barlow said. “If you don’t, they’ll stop having the activities.”
Barlow, who grew up in Mamaroneck, N.Y., is a member of The Inn’s singing groups, The Inn Notes. He exercises every day, and chats up a storm with anybody who is an Inn resident or employee.
Barlow graduated from St. Lawrence University in New York – he proudly displays several school items in his apartment at The Inn -- and met his wife there. Three of his four children also attended the school.
Barlow served in the Navy before beginning his career. He sold insurance before becoming the President of Morehouse Barlow, a publishing house for the Episcopal Church that was based in Wilton. He moved from there to a career in the travel industry. “I had three different careers, all entirely different,’’ Barlow said.
He also moved around, living for periods in Iowa, Chicago, Detroit, Omaha and Rye, N.Y. He owned several homes in New Canaan.
One of his favorite pastimes was skiing, which he finally gave up just 10 years ago. “I ran the company so that kept me busy,’’ Barlow said. “I started skiing when I was 13 years old and quit when I was 75. We did a lot at Butternut in Massachusetts, and I taught all the kids how to ski. When the kids were growing up I did a lot with Boy Scouts, too. We just had a class on teaching the Heimlich Maneuver here at The Inn. I first learned that in Boy Scouts a long time ago.”
Barlow is one of about 35 residents of The Inn, where seniors can live independently in an active, intimate retirement community. The Inn is part of the Waveny LifeCare Network, and is set in a quiet setting just a short distance from New Canaan’s main shopping district.
Barlow enjoys the food, the other residents and the staff at The Inn. He has lived a lot of places and had a wide range of choices for retirement living. He’s happy he selected The Inn.
“There’s nothing this staff won’t do for you,’’ Barlow said. “I chose this place because it’s the one I wanted. It has been the best place for me.”
Former World Traveler Finds New Interests Living At The Inn In New Canaan
NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Betty de Araujo traveled all over the world with her husband. Her move to New York as a single woman on an upward career path may have been her most challenging.
“I was a commercial artist,’’ said de Araujo, who now lives at The Inn in New Canaan. “I was doing fashion illustration at the time working with Marshall Field in Chicago. I came to New York and didn’t know a soul, so I went to the art director at Saks and asked how to get started. He gave me a list of agents, and told me I’d do fine. Luckily, the first agent I connected with was a perfect match, and I never had to worry about finding a job again.”
Traveling was one of de Araujo’s passions with her husband, Victor, who died in 2001. Born in England and raised in Brazil, he came to the United States in 1946 as vice-consul to the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago. He taught English at several colleges in Washington state, and later served as principal representative of the Bahá'í International Community to the United Nations. He was actively involved in issues of human rights, the environment, peace and disarmament, the family, the equality of men and women, and children and youth and attended meetings and conferences both at United Nations headquarters and around the world.
“We traveled to a lot of different parts of the world,’’ de Araujo said. “We had a lot of interaction with the people at the United Nations and people from different countries.”
DeAraujo has put down her suitcase permanently at The Inn. She has found many new interests and new friends.
The Inn is an active retirement community where seniors from all areas can live independently. De Araujo enjoys the friendships, the activities and the staff personnel she has met since moving there in 2009.
“I enjoy the independence and the wonderful services that we have here,’’ de Araujo said. “I think almost everyone would mention the meals, too. I’m quite happy living with other people. There’s a lot of inter-connection between the people here. There’s a nice cross-section of people.”
The Inn develops an assortment of activities for the seniors, including exercise, Jeopardy, guest lecturers, book discussions, and programs based on resident interests.
“There’s always something to do,’’ Betty said. “We all read or listen to books, and we have a lot of book discussions. We have a lot of interaction intellectually with people who come in and there’s a certain amount of intellectual stimulation to be had if that’s what you’re looking for. It has been a great place to live.”