A Success Story - A Day with Ken and Cindy Dubey - Time to Shop

Time to Shop

A Day with Ken and Cindy Dubey

By John D. Allen, South Region Helpline
Ken and Cindy Dubey and Karen Wasserman
Photo: (L-R) Ken and Cindy Dubey get ready to go on their weekly shopping trip with Karen Wasserman, CEO of Seniors Helping Seniors of Waterford.
WATERFORD---When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping! Ken and Cindy Dubey have had their share of tough times, but they have learned to turn those fair weather days into fun times whenever they visit some of their favorite stores around southeastern Connecticut.
Ken and Cindy met 45 years ago after Ken left Mansfield Training School and moved to Seaside. They began dating while living at Seaside and courted one another for 13 years.  They finally married in a memorable ceremony December 9, 1978 at the Huntington Street Baptist Church in New London.
We accept each other just the way we are,” said Cindy, sitting at the kitchen table in the home of their friend, Karen Wasserman, of Waterford.  “Ken does the cooking and I take care of the finances, housekeeping, laundry and ironing.”
In many ways their lives are mirror images of each other with similar backgrounds and shared experiences. After leaving Mansfield, they both finished long careers – Ken logged in over three decades in the kitchen at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital and Cindy worked many years in housekeeping at Connecticut College. The two now like to spend their days going shopping and meeting friends at the Waterford Senior Center.
With Ken’s love of cooking, they go often to the grocery store just up the street.
“We love to go shopping and love to make home cooked meals,” said Cindy, “Ken learned to cook at Mansfield and does all the cooking at home.”
“I like to make all kinds of meals like spaghetti or ribs in the skillet,” chimed in Ken, and added that he plans the menu and often does not need to bring a shopping list since he knows exactly what is needed. “I first heat the pan and then season the meat. I make mashed potatoes with butter and gravy, corn and string beans.”
The couple is active in the local senior center where they enjoy free rides around town, but now receive additional services through the private organization, Seniors Helping Seniors, which provides several services including transportation for more specialized shopping and doctor appointments. Chief Executive Officer, Karen Wasserman, said that while the Dubeys where at first just two of her clients, the relationship has evolved into a true friendship. She often reminds them of doctor appointments, spends “girl” time with Cindy and has them over during special occasions.
“Kenny doesn’t like to clothes shop so Karen started taking me,” said Cindy. “We like to go to five different stores and Karen really knows her prices. I don’t know what we’d do without our Karen.”

Seniors Helping Seniors in Waterford is part of a national franchise based in Reading, Pennsylvania. The agency is focused on retirees hired to support other senior people in their home and community. The agency provides staff for home care, companionship and home maintenance.

Wasserman, who left a 25 year career as Director of Technical Training for a national insurance company, opened the franchise six years ago. She said that she wanted her new career to have a genuine impact in the community where she lives.

“If I’m going to be working, I want to be able to make a difference,” said Karen, who had invited the couple over for lunch before taking them on a shopping visit to one of their favorite thrift shops to seek out collectible treasures—pictures of lighthouses. “Ken and Cindy are really independent people. They are very mobile and do a lot of walking. I want to make sure they stay independent.”