If life is truly about entertaining every possibility, Carmella Barone, 94, and Eileen Pastore, 91, are ready for excitement on any given day. These two ladies, both residents of Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center in Shelton, Connecticut, share a vibrant spirit, a young-at-heart attitude, and a love of gaming. Since moving to the award-winning healthcare community, neither of them have stopped talking about their dream to experience the night life at Mohegan Sun. Sure, they’ve taken day trips to the casino and enjoyed themselves, but these ladies are hoping for just a bit more. They both know that to really experience the excitement of Mohegan Sun, they need to stay awake a little later. After all, life is a late night out and an even later morning in, right?
We were thrilled to hear about Carmela and Eileen’s recent wish to spend the night at the casino and enlisted the help of our “Dream Team” to see how we could make it happen. Our Journey of Dreams program, which was created to offer residents opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment of individual dreams, was the perfect pathway and the Dream Team got to work! With the help of Recreation Director Mary Barbin and her colleagues, the Dream Team planned the experience of a lifetime for Carmela and Eileen. And what better place to experience a night life unlike any other – but at Mohegan Sun!
Since both women are in their nineties and living life fully through the many challenges of aging, taking an overnight trip to the casino is no easy task. Thankfully, Mary is no stranger to uncovering all the right possibilities. She made plans for a registered nurse to accompany Carmela, Eileen, and herself to the casino and budgeted funds from the Journey of Dreams program to cover the costs for the ladies’ transportation, gaming and other expenses. All that was left was figuring out exactly how they were going to cover the costs of the overnight stay. After friends at the Mohegan Tribe learned about our residents’ dreams, the ladies were also offered a VIP experience, with fine dining and two hotel rooms generously included – making their overnight stay possible!
So, on May 23rd, the group was sent off with photos and fanfare, departed Bishop Wicke and embarked on their trip to the casino. Upon arrival, they checked into their rooms and then enjoyed lunch at Bobby’s Burgers. After a delicious meal, Carmela and Eileen hit the slots. The pair stayed in the casino until 6:30pm, ate dinner at Tuscany Restaurant and then went back to the slot machines again until 10pm. At that point, they went shopping and didn’t go to bed until 12am! The next morning (after sleeping in late in the very comfortable beds), the group was ready for round two. After breakfast, they tried their luck again in the casino until it was time to head back home.
Although Carmella or Eileen didn’t win a million bucks gambling, they still feel as though they hit the jackpot; their dream had come true! Reflecting on their trip, Carmella says, “I thought it was wonderful; good care, beautiful rooms, and a great time. The people were nice. I’d go again!”
Eileen joins in, “The women I was with were wonderful. They made the trip so good! The rooms and the whole hotel and casino were beautiful too! It was fun and I enjoyed the trip.”
A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Mohegan Tribe for helping make Eileen and Carmella’s dream come true. If your loved one lives at a UMH community and has a dream or wish they would like to see fulfilled, talk to us today! Contact your community’s Activities Director to learn more about how we are making dreams come true.
UMH provides assisted and independent living housing and healthcare options in several locations across Connecticut. Among them are Wesley Village (Shelton, CT), Middlewoods of Farmington (Farmington, CT), and Middlewoods of Newington (Newington, CT).
UMH, as it stands today, is proud to carry on a 140- year tradition of caring for people across the continuum; seniors who are independent and those needing assistance, those living with dementia, and those rehabilitating from illness or surgery. To learn more about United Methodist Homes, please visit www.umh.org or contact us at 877.929.5321.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
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