At 94, She Has A Room With A Positive View

Print icon

NEWINGTON – Throughout her 94 years, Marie Milardo has tried to be positive. Sometimes being upbeat was difficult, especially when her husband, Michael, was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, first in World War II and then in the Korean War. She held down the family home in Newington and raised their two sons, David and Mark.

“I had to make a lot of decisions by myself,” said Milardo, a Jefferson House resident.

It was a wonderful neighborhood – children played in everyone’s yards and there were often get-togethers.

Jefferson House resident Marie Milardo decorates her room with her beloved mementos. Milardo, a former resident of Cedar Mountain Commons on the same campus in Newington, transitioned to a higher level of care while maintaining her independence.

“You have to grow the kids before you grow the grass,” she said, laughing.  She was a legal stenographer, then after earning her degree, she became a fifth-grade teacher and later a reading consultant in Newington schools.

“I couldn’t wait to get up and go to class. It was the best job in the world,” she said.

Marie and Michael Milardo imparted important values to their sons, including the honor of serving their country.

“Our family served 66 years in total,” she said proudly as she looked at the American flag on display in her room at Jefferson House. The flag was presented to her following her husband’s death in 1999.

She remained independent, even volunteering for six years at John Wallace Middle School in Newington, where her son, David, was principal.

However, as she got older, she knew an independent or assisted living community would be safest. In July 2010, she moved to Cedar Mountain Commons at 3 John H. Stewart Drive. It wasn’t long before she became known as Cedar Mountain Commons’ “cheerleader,” giving tours, telling many friends about her new home and joining in nearly every activity, especially playing games. “I loved it there; the people were wonderful.”

Earlier this year Milardo had health problems and acknowledged that she needed a higher level of care but did not want a personal health aide. Instead she chose to transition on the same campus to Jefferson House at 1 John H. Stewart Drive, where she could receive skilled nursing while maintaining her independence.

Milardo has made her new room her home, surrounding herself with family photos and things she loves. She is getting involved in activities and making new friends. Se’s hoping to resume playing bridge and connecting with experienced players.

“I’m glad I can still get my feet on the floor and have a good time,” she said.

Jefferson House, a department of Hartford Hospital, offers short-term/outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing and palliative care. For more information about Jefferson House, click here. Cedar Mountain Commons, a department of Hartford Hospital, is a not-for-profit independent and assisted living community. 

What's New

Mulberry Gardens Pageant Showcases Older women’s Lives and Legacies

Words of wisdom, gleaned from years of life experiences, were freely shared and taken to heart at the Ms. Senior Mulberry Gardens Pageant 2019 held June 14 at the independent and assisted living community. “Look on the bright side,” “Do whatever you can possibly do,” “Stay active and exercise,” “Live...

HHC Staff Raise Awareness about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, staff members from Hartford HealthCare’s Center for Healthy Aging set up tables at several hospitals to provide free information about the services they offer to help keep seniors safe.  World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched by the...

Soon-to-Open Healthy Aging at Backus Adds Coordinator

Kristine Johnson, former Eastern Region Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, has been named the Resource Coordinator for the soon-to-open Center for Healthy Aging at Backus Hospital. Prior to her work with the Alzheimer’s Association, Johnson served as a Child Advocate for the Southeastern Connecticut Center for Juvenile Justice...

Lewy Body Dementia: What You Need to Know

By Dr. Barry Gordon When former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner passed away on May 27, his family shared that the near Hall of Fame player famous for a World Series error had been battling Lewy body dementia. Many people are familiar with the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease,...

Three Veterans Receive Wartime Service Medals at Mulberry Gardens

Many people remember their 21st birthdays. However, few individuals celebrate like Marjorie McKennerney did on her 21st in 1944: she enlisted in the U.S. Navy. “We were all very patriotic at that time. We all wanted our country to win the war,” she said, explaining why she felt compelled to...