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A History of Our Faith-Based Mission

And so it all began…


The Connecticut General Assembly grants a charter “To provide a home for aged and destitute Protestant women in New Haven giving special attention to such as are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.” Fundraising is initiated for a home.


The Methodist Church Home opens in a house at 111 Elm Street in West Haven, CT.

The management of the home, known as the West Haven Home, is delegated to a Board of Directors composed of women from the 80 Methodist churches within central Connecticut.

A second house at 115 Elm Street is purchased and the two houses are connected by a newly-constructed dining room and an infirmary. The “Family” of residents then numbers fifteen women and five men.

Several miles across the state, The Methodist Home of Danbury, referred to as the Danbury Home, opens in a remodeled wooden house on Main Street. The Board of Managers draws members from every Methodist church in western Connecticut and nearby New York.

The West Haven Home opens the Blackeslee Memorial Dormitory, a brick structure adding rooms for twenty more residents.

The West Haven Home is “singled out for its exceptional lack of institutionalism” by the U.S. Commerce Department, and described in a U.S. Public Health Service report as one of the “homeyist homes” in the state.


The Danbury Home builds a new dormitory known as the Martha Crossman Rhoades Memorial, increasing its capacity to 34 residents.

New state building codes require extensive changes to the West Haven and Danbury Homes.  Bishop Lloyd Wicke appoints a committee to oversee the building of a retirement community within the N.Y. Conference of the United Methodist Church.


The Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center opens in Shelton, providing skilled nursing care for 90 residents.

The Danbury Home closes after 40 years and the remaining residents are transferred to Bishop Wicke. United Methodist Homes is established to plan and manage facilities on the Shelton campus.


Wesley Heights opens with 90 cottages and 92 apartments for retirement living.

Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center opens a new pavilion funded by the West Haven Home, adding 30 beds.  The West Haven Home closes and all residents transfer to either Wesley Heights or Bishop Wicke.

Asbury Ridge, with 162 cottages for retirement living, opens adjacent to Wesley Heights.  Asbury Ridge is transferred to a private corporation in 1986 and renamed The Views of Long Hill.


The Alzheimer’s unit opens at Bishop Wicke.


The Council of Friends of United Methodist Homes is formed as a means for volunteers and churches to enhance the quality of life for residents Wesley Village and other UMH facilities, continuing a tradition of support begun by the United Methodist auxiliaries of the Danbury and West Haven Homes.

United Methodist Homes launches a capital campaign for an assisted living residence.


The Fanny Crosby Memorial Home in Bridgeport gives funds to United Methodist Homes to help build Crosby Commons, an assisted living residence.


United Methodist Homes approves a strategic plan for growth and a statement of Vision, Mission and Values that underscores our foundation of spirituality.

The Shelton campus is named Wesley Village.

Middlewoods of Farmington, an assisted living residence with 74 apartments and affiliated with the University of Connecticut Health Center, opens in Farmington, Connecticut.

United Methodist Homes website goes online.

1999 Crosby Commons, an assisted and independent living residence with 68 apartments, opens at Wesley Village. Crosby Commons is named for poet and Methodist hymn writer Fanny Crosby.

Middlewoods of Newington, an assisted living residence with 54 apartments is acquired in Newington, CT.

UMH combines its values and operating philosophy with the Planetree patient-centered approached to create and pilot the Planetree Continuing Care model on the Wesley Village campus.


Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center celebrates the completion of a new renovation project, bringing relationship-centered care even closer to residents!

Renovations include re-designed nursing stations, updated sitting and dining areas, therapy rooms, furniture, artwork, flooring, ceiling, lighting, technology, and more.


Middlewoods of Newington celebrates the completion of a 2.5 million dollar expansion and renovation project. The renovation project adds nearly 5,000 square feet of new community space including a beautiful country kitchen and grand entertaining room, a spacious fitness and therapy center, expanded offices for UConn physicians, courtyard patios, and new studio suite and one-bedroom apartments.

Common areas of the existing building are also updated with new flooring, lighting, furniture, window treatments, wall paper, paint, décor, and artwork.


Wesley Village introduces a new memory support community, “Lifestyle Transitions”, located in the newly renovated Northwest Wing of our Wesley Heights community. “Lifestyle Transitions” at Wesley Heights offers specialized assisted living in a secure, supportive environment for those with increased care needs or those living with memory loss.

“Lifestyle Transitions” offers affordable pricing, a wander-management system, 24-hour staffing with caregivers trained by the Alzheimer’s Association, on-site physician services, engaging activities, a variety of apartment styles for individuals or couples, education and support services for residents and families, and a specialized design to maximize independence.

Wesley Village receives a grant from the Valley Community Foundation to create and implement the Music and Memory program on the campus. Individuals struggling from dementia and other cognitive and physical impairments now have the opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and caregivers through Music & Memory.

The Music & Memory approach involves training care professionals to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices. These musical favorites can then tap deep memories not lost to dementia, which enable residents to converse, socialize, stay present, and feel like themselves again.

Wesley Village is the first Music & Memory Certified Care Facility in the Valley and one of only a few in the State of Connecticut.


Middlewoods of Farmington is refreshed and renovated! Beautiful, new carpets and flooring grace the hallways and common spaces throughout the three floors of our building. The Country Kitchen is renovated with new flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and appliances.

With the help of a new seating arrangement that is more conducive to conversations, the Living Room has been transformed into a premier gathering area. In the Dining Room, a separate and noise-protected work space was built to improve service for our residents. New flooring and wall-coverings pull the entire space together. The former Tea Room down the hall has been transformed into a Theater Room, with larger and more comfortable seating so residents can enjoy sitting and watching a movie on the new, state of the art flat screen TV.


Wesley Village has officially broken new ground! The Shelton senior living campus is excited to announce the expansion of Lifestyle Transitions, a specialized assisted living and memory support neighborhood, originally opened in January 2015.

The expansion will include 20 new specialized assisted living apartments in three added wings within the Wesley Heights community at Wesley Village. Additional spaces will include a family-style kitchen for baking; a great room for entertainment, exercise, art classes and more; lounges for reading, visiting and relaxing; and an enclosed outdoor courtyard for gardening, walking and fresh air. The design, colors, textures, lighting, and furniture was chosen with the help of senior living design consultants to create both vibrant and soothing spaces that best meets resident needs.