Helping Seniors Remain at Home in New Fairfield



Five years ago, in response to a clear and pressing need for affordable, high-quality home health care and other services for independent seniors, the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA) launched an innovative free service called Quality Living at Home, or QLAH.

Five years later that program is growing, thriving and providing a model for finding service providers for seniors who choose to “age in place” with help from vetted referrals to service providers.

“The QLAH program, created and funded by RVNA five years ago, has empowered many seniors with the information they need to remain independent in their homes with support from a safe, healthy, and socially connected environment. Today there are about 500 seniors that participate in and enjoy the benefits of this program in the Ridgefield and Redding areas,” said RVNA President and CEO, Theresa Santoro.

Now, in response to demand from that community, the program will be available in New Fairfield.

The nation’s elderly population continues to grow and the overwhelming preference of most seniors is to live at home as long as possible. This includes the more than 78 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 who are demanding a more active and independent way to live in their later years. But traditional health care and other home-based support services can be costly.

Before the program was launched in 2008, RVNA consulted with other programs in the region and conducted its own 75 question survey of over 500 seniors in both Ridgefield and Redding. The majority of seniors said they wanted to continue to live at home. They also said that among their greatest concerns was having quality health care service such as home-based skilled nursing. They were also very concerned about the availability of transportation and being able to maintain their homes and properties. They said they were concerned about having enough money to live on. (In Ridgefield, for example, 51% of all households 75 and older live on incomes of less than $50,000 per year.)

In addition to the need, why did RVNA decide to launch the QLAH program?  First, RVNA already had the infrastructure to build it. RVNA already operated 24/7 and had a call center that received hundreds of calls about services available to seniors. Second, RVNA also was linked to an existing network of doctors, health care providers and other community resources.

What evolved was a 24/7 community information center linked to a community resource wellness and a certified aging in place specialist, has run the RVNA information center since it was launched. In addition to healthcare services, resources available include referrals to documented, reference-checked electricians, plumbers, builders and other reliable sources of assistance for seniors.

In the past five years RVNA has also emerged as an effective advocate for seniors by helping them to provide for their special needs, or resolve seemingly insurmountable problems. “Five years has taught us how to marshal resources from all sorts of places for all sorts of things,” Ms. Barron said.  “We started with a few essential services that we could offer to as many people as we could reach.  Then the program took off in Ridgfield, expanded to Redding and is now   expanding into New Fairfield,” she said. “Through our extensive network of community service providers we offer seniors the additional reach and clout they need to help get things done.”

“Our QLAH program is now one of the fastest growing parts of RVNA,” RVNA’s Theresa Santoro said. “We receive questions from as far away as Alaska looking for help for loved ones in our community. By connecting people to the services and the help they need to stay independent – anywhere any time — we help them remain in their own homes in the towns they have lived in and love.”

RVNA will be having their Quality Living at Home Launch with an information session for the seniors of New Fairfield on Wednesday, June 18th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the New Fairfield Senior Center.  Anyone interested in signing up for this free program or interested in learning more about the Quality Living at Home Program in New Fairfield should attend this event.

A second program will be scheduled for the public on Wednesday, June 25th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Come enjoy an informational evening with area experts.  Light dinner provided at 6:30 pm.  RSVP to 203.438.5555.



Quality Living at Home (Aging in Place Program)

Quality Living at Home Program Comes to New Fairfield

“Old Age is no place for sissies”, said the brilliant Bette Davis and we at the RVNA (Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association) take this message to heart.  We believe seniors are a positive force in New Fairfield.  We want to help you stay here and flourish.  One way to do this is to ensure your home is safe, affordable and adapted to your evolving lifestyle.


Join us for the upcoming seminar, “Affordable Ideas for remaining at Home”. This session will be held at the Community Room in New Fairfield on Wednesday, June 25th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM and will address questions on how to adapt your home & live affordably right here, right now!


Our panel of experts will include: * Welcome by New Fairfield’s 1st Selectman * Eloise Barron, CAPS, will introduce RVNA’s Quality Living at Home Program * Jim Gustin, CAPS and Contractor with Home Crew, CT, will discuss Adaptive Ideas for your Home * Cindy LaCour, MSW and VP of the Commission on Aging will share 15 free and Discounted Services available for Seniors * Attorney Ann Fowler-Cruz with Cohen and Wolfe, will discuss Affordable Tips from the Legal Perspective.


Seminar space is limited. Please reserve your place today by calling RVNA “Quality Living at Home”

203-438-5555. A light dinner and refreshments will be served at 6:30 pm.  The program begins promptly at 7:00pm.


Homecare Elite 2013 Top Agency Award

RVNA Received for the 2nd year in a row the HomeCare Elite 2013 Award of Excellence. RVNA was selected as one of the top home health agencies in the United States.

The HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance.

The 2013 HomeCare winners demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care and serving as leaders in the home health community.

RVNA is celebrating 100 years of exceptional care, RVNA is your VNA; ask for us by name!





Home Health & Hospice-a Time of Change (press release)

Home Health and Hospice- a Time of Change

Nurses are known for being compassionate, caring and pragmatic, but even the most resilient nurse may be daunted by the coming changes in home health and hospice. When considering our nation’s aging population, the shortage of skilled staff, and advanced technologies, the challenges can seem daunting. We in the nonprofit home healthcare industry need to continually adapt and change while preserving the heart in our work at the bedside. We are often called on to care for the weakest and most vulnerable patients in our communities. The baby boom generation makes up approximately 28% of the total United States population and will live longer, healthier lives than any other generation before them. They are expected to have more complex health histories and high expectations. The average registered nurse was projected to be 44.5 years old in 2012. Many of these nurses will retire at the same time more senior patients will require care. Medical technology is helping people live longer. Many patients who would have died from medical conditions in the past are now being sustained by the use of technology. RVNA has addressed these challenges head-on including an increase in complex cases being discharged from hospitals. We have dedicated nurses who travel to the homes of these patients and show great ingenuity and courage while providing care. We have embraced technology to streamline workflow and health information exchange partnering with other like-minded organizations.  And, we’ve created programs to help our patients and their families to successfully manage their illnesses. We will continue to be in the homes of our patients and advocate for them amidst these changes.

Home Health Care New Fairfield-Senior Center Presentation

RVNA’s presentation on Lifeline, the #1 medical alert system offered by RVNA.

Pictured here is Eloise Barron, Director of Community Health & Wellness for RVNA and Aging in Place Specialist doing a presentation at the New Fairfield Senior Center on tips on how to stay safe in your home as well as offering a demonstration of Phillips Lifeline medical alert system.

RVNA offers home health care services in New Fairfield as well as medical and rehabilitation services.  RVNA is your VNA, ask for us by name!

Celebrating 100 years of exceptional home health care.

New Fairfield Home Health Care

A registered nurse is available 24-hours a day for at-home care in New Fairfield area. Nursing care is also available by appointment through visits to the VNA office.

Our team of skilled, New Fairfield home care professionals includes:

  • Primary Care Nurses
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Maternal/Child Health Nurses
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Therapist
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Wound Care
  • Palliative Care
  • IV Therapy

Services are provided by the Multidisciplinary Home Healthcare Team working closely with the patient’s own physician.