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Newtown Maplewood Resident Receives CALA Award



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Paul Epperly of Maplewood at Newtown was among five Maplewood residents across Connecticut awarded the CALA Resident Accomplishment Award for 2019.

The Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) bestows the award annually to outstanding senior residents embodying kindness, selflessness, and inclusiveness.

Jacquie Cookingham of Maplewood at Stony Hill, Katheryn Guston of Danbury, Lois Morasco of Maplewood at Strawberry Hill, Edith Morrison of Maplewood at Orange, and Bette Upson of Maplewood at Darien were also honored at a recent CALA luncheon for displaying outstanding contributions to other residents and the community.

“We are constantly amazed at the contributions our residents make to each other and to the community,” said Gregory D. Smith, president and CEO of Maplewood Senior Living. “We are extremely proud of this year’s recipients and their endeavors of compassion and helpfulness that add value to the community. They are truly inspirational. “

The Connecticut Assisted Living Association’s mission is to promote the growth of Assisted Living in the state, including the development, marketing, and operation of communities. CALA recognizes both residents and senior living communities for demonstrating the highest degree of compassion, respect, integrity, innovation, professionalism, and accountability.

‘I Listen’

Mr Epperly moved to Maplewood Senior Living at Newtown in August of 2018, where he quickly became an ambassador for the community.

The CALA honoree routinely sits in front of the fireplace in the lobby greeting other residents and visitors.

Mr Epperly wears a button that states “I LISTEN” with a drawing of an angel on it. He does this to give people the opportunity to talk about themselves.

According to Mr Smith, Mr Epperly truly cares about making everyone happy.

As evidence of the kindness and generosity of Paul and his family, he purchased flowers for all of the residents in the Maplewood at Newtown community on Valentine’s Day — a rose for the women and a carnation for the men — that were handed out during dinner.

He also bought flowers for nursing, activities, servers, and management because he wanted to be sure that everyone felt remembered on this holiday.

His daughter, Dr Kristen Betts, also bought balloons to decorate the Maplewood at Newtown Dining Room and Pub for the holiday. Mr Smith said the other residents were touched by his kindness and generosity.

Recently, when a fellow Maplewood resident’s spouse passed, Mr Epperly befriended the gentleman, despite not knowing him, to ensure that he was comforted and had support every day.

“Paul coordinated the purchase of a flowering plant and card from the other residents to give to this gentleman whose wife had passed,” Mr Smith said. “The resident had a hard time speaking, and Paul would be seen patting his back.”

Last winter at one evening meal, Mr Epperly stood up and asked that all of the residents in the dining room the community give him a few minutes to talk. He took the time to thank all of the staff including management, nurses, aides, servers, for taking such good care of the residents.

Then he asked the other residents to be kind and also be thankful to the team at the community.

Mr Epperly’s daughter is a clinical professor and recently finished two years of research on the brain, mind, and memory.

Dr Betts has given back to the residents and the Maplewood community by sharing her research in a six-week series at Maplewood at Newtown. Topics included: Creating an Action Plan for a Healthy Brain, Increasing Focus & Memory, and Embracing Each Day as a Brain Changer.

Paul Epperly of Maplewood at Newtown, pictured with his daughter, Dr Kristen Betts, was among five Maplewood residents across Connecticut awarded the Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) Resident Accomplishment Award for 2019. CALA bestows the award annually to outstanding senior residents embodying kindness, selflessness, and inclusiveness. —photo courtesy Maplewood At Newtown
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