Exhale 2022 Grantees

In August 2022, Exhale awarded 12 new grants, nine in western New York and three in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Read the full press release here. The following grantees and their projects are part of the Exhale 2022-2025 cohort:

Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York

Virtual Inclusive Technology for Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers (VITAlzWNY)

This project aims to improve caregiver well-being by formalizing and consolidating the delivery of virtual respite, engagement, support, and education free of charge and from any location using iN2L tablets and content. iN2L is the leading provider of person‐centered content to the senior living market. Their tablets are designed with a simple, streamlined interface and are pre-loaded and automatically updated with applications, so users can access tailored content ranging from music, worship, and games to virtual support groups, 24/7 helpline, and educational programs provided through the Alzheimer’s Association’s existing program infrastructure. The iN2L tablets have many features, but the primary purpose is to provide users with a means of connection to the people and services they need, when they need it. During this project, the Association will distribute 80 wifi enabled and 40 cellular enabled tablets (120 total) to caregivers located in each of the eight counties of Western New York. Caregivers will be identified through county Office for the Aging case managers currently working with caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Participating caregivers will receive a tablet and a one‐year subscription for iN2L’s services.

American Cancer Society

Caring for Caregivers

This project will create a central hub of information and resources to guide cancer patient caregivers to respite and support opportunities, while also promoting greater collaboration among local caregiver support organizations and cancer treatment centers throughout greater Rochester, New York. Through creation of a program website and Caregiving 101 curriculum, this project will address one of cancer caregivers’ primary concerns: giving caregivers more time for themselves without requiring them to do additional work to find and plan activities. Project partners include the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Cancer Support Community of Rochester, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Lipson Cancer Institute, Pluta Cancer Center, and Jewish Senior Living. Once demonstrated, this model has potential to spread to cancer centers throughout western New York and beyond through the American Cancer Society.

Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Inc.

Erie County Neighborhoods Dual Caregiver/ Receiver Respite and Mystery Trip Program

This project for caregivers and receivers will offer a variety of sites to access caregiver respite opportunities and life enrichment programs to assist caregivers in prioritizing their well-being, increase stability, and strengthen their use of support service networks in Buffalo and Erie County. Caregivers will be able to drop their loved ones off at collaborating senior centers and churches to engage in social activities. Caregivers will have up to four hours of free time to take a break from caregiving and spend time taking care of personal needs/business. Seasonal Mystery Trips will offer caregivers the opportunity to participate in full- or half-day outings to area attractions while their loved one is cared for at our trusted locations. Project partners are Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers – Westminster Community House, Seneca Babcock Community Association, Inc. at Schiller Park Senior Center, Compeer at Sanders Road Community Center, Erie County Senior Services, Hearts and Hands, and Clinical Health Management Services, Inc.

Catholic Health Continuing Care Foundation

Weekend Respite Program for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

This program will provide respite care on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm at LIFE/PACE Day Center at Villa Maria in Cheektowaga, New York. Having respite available during weekend hours allows caregivers time to complete tasks they may not be able to complete during workday business hours, such as errands, house cleaning, self-care, or relaxation activities. Older adults who are not independently mobile or need help with toileting are welcome to attend. Participants may utilize transportation available through Catholic Health to attend the Weekend Respite Program. During the respite service hours, caregivers will have the opportunity to meet with Catholic Health LIFE/PACE staff on-site, attend a caregiver education session, or leave the facility to have time to themselves. A program coordinator will interface with caregivers to support their loved one’s participation in the program and assist with needs the caregiver may have. Saturday respite will initially be offered once a month during year one of the program, increasing to twice a month in year two. Project partners include Catholic Health LIFE/PACE, Villa Maria College, several local Catholic Health health centers, Hamburg Adult Day Center, Hamburg United Methodist Church, Open Door at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, and C&V Senior Care Specialists (offering on-site education sessions and support for caregivers).

Chelsea Senior Center

Ease the Day: Chelsea Respite Care

Chelsea Senior Center’s Ease the Day initiative will serve as a hub for caregivers and their older adult loved ones in Western Washtenaw County. Local needs are great and varied in scope. Together with our partners, we will work to meet these needs and bridge the gap in respite care opportunities in our rural area. The Chelsea Senior Center will host Ease the Day, an onsite social model of respite care. In-home volunteer-based companion care and in-home respite services will be provided by our partners Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County and Jewish Family Services. Additional support will be provided by local organizations also serving seniors including Silver Maples and the Chelsea Hospital Ministerial Association. Together we will help ease the burden that caregivers face each day. As noted above, project partners include Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, Jewish Family Services, and Silver Maples of Chelsea.

Cradle Beach 

Pathways for Caregivers

This program will offer a four-hour, day respite program for caregivers and their loved ones at Cradle Beach’s campus – a beautiful 66-acre camp-like setting on the shores of Lake Erie in Angola, Erie County, New York. Family caregivers can choose to remain at Cradle Beach’s relaxing campus during respite hours or leave Cradle Beach to have time to themselves. During respite program hours, a caregiver support group will be offered, along with caregiver education and support services. Formal and informal transportation resources will be explored as supports for caregivers to increase access to the Cradle Beach campus. Project partners include Harmonia Collaborative Care and Lisa Rood, Consultant.

Healthy Alternatives through Healing Arts

Healthy Alternatives through Healing Arts Mobile Respite Care Program

This program will offer healing arts mobile respite services to caregivers at a wide range of community settings throughout Buffalo and Erie County, New York. Healing arts services will include opportunities for caregivers to participate in classes or sessions offering yoga, QiGong, acupressure, meditation and mindfulness, Reiki, aromatherapy, and more – all stress reduction strategies designed to help caregivers relax, take a break, and learn how to reduce stress on their own, at any time. Practitioners affiliated with Healthy Alternatives through Healing Arts will bring their services and expertise to community settings, including other Exhale sites providing respite services so that caregivers can easily access the program and participate. Project partners include YMCA Buffalo Niagara, Cradle Beach, Inc., People Inc., and Clinical Healthcare Management Services. In addition, informal partnerships exist with many community centers and other settings where healing arts services can be made available to family caregivers and the public.

Lifespan of Greater Rochester, St. John Fisher University, and NYSCRC

ROC Respite Program

ROC Respite is a program of Lifespan partnered with NYSCRC and St. John Fisher University. Serving a diverse, underserved inner-city neighborhood of southwest Rochester, ROC Respite aims to develop trained student respite service volunteers combined with community volunteers who will provide adult day drop-in respite care to older adults with staff from Lifespan. Through this collaborative model, caregivers can drop off their loved one at one of several community centers while they take a break, address personal needs or business. The project goal is to develop an incubator drop-in respite program for college students and community-based volunteers to engage in all activities related to respite intervention. Additionally, caregiver families will be able to access additional programming through community centers and connect with a plethora of caregiver services from Lifespan. A replicable toolkit will be developed for other colleges and universities to utilize in building their own respite drop-in programming. Project partners include Lifespan of Greater Rochester, NYSCRC, St. John Fisher University, and community organizations in southwest Rochester.

Regents at the University of Michigan-Silver Club

Respite Alternatives (Washtenaw Support Network for Caregivers)

This program will provide caregivers with the following respite opportunities in collaboration with partnering agencies:

Silver Club Group Respite – Caregivers of individuals with dementia can sign their loved one up for a group activity at University of Michigan’s Silver Club. Activities include art, music, fitness, and games in a lively social environment led by Silver Club staff trained in 4 dementia care.

In-Home Professional Respite Care – Jewish Family Services has a relationship with HomeWatch Caregivers to provide in-home care for older adults while family caregivers spend time taking a break or attending to errands or personal business.

Volunteer Respite Program – Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County offers a volunteer respite program that pairs families with respite visits at home.

In addition to these respite offerings, partnering agencies will design and offer 8-10 events per year for family caregivers. These will include free caregiver outings to local museums, sporting events, and nature settings (transportation will be provided); educational programs; caregiver resource fairs; and social and networking opportunities such as luncheons and happy hours for caregivers. Other services available to support caregiver respite will include in-home chore support (a handyman service), a volunteer caregiver program (to provide care and coverage while the caregiver takes a break), and care consultations for caregivers to support caring for older adults or lining up caregiving support from other sources in the community. As noted above, project partners include the University of Michigan Silver Club, Jewish Family Services, and Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County.

St. John’s Home Foundation

Dementia Resource Center

This program will offer caregivers relief and support in several ways, including opportunities for adult day care drop off respite services, a spa and fitness facility, a pool, beauty salon services, and a resource library. At the Resource Center, caregivers will have access to a care manager and resource center coordinator who can help schedule activities, training programs for caregivers on caring for persons with dementia, opportunities to engage a loved one in an activity that both may be missing such as concerts, games, spiritual services, and other supportive programming and events for caregivers. St. John’s will partner with Lifespan of Greater Rochester for program and staffing support, as well as caregiver recruitment and outreach. The Dementia Resource Center will open in a new facility on the St. John’s Home campus in 2023. Caregivers and their older adult loved ones from throughout greater Rochester will be invited/welcome to visit the St. John’s Dementia Resource Center on a drop-in basis. Project partners include St. John’s Home and Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc.

United Way of Orleans County

Caregivers Revitalize – Orleans and Genesee Counties

This program will provide caregiver respite services initially at two locations at either end of Orleans County. Later, in year two or three, the program will expand into Genesee County. In Orleans County, three-hour drop off adult day care respite services will be available at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee (at Main Street Thrift Store in Albion, NY) and at Orleans County YMCA in Medina, NY. In year three, the program will expand to offer respite 5 also at Eastern Orleans Community Center in Holley, NY. Through this program, caregivers in Orleans County (and later in Genesee County) will be offered a place where they can safely drop off their loved one and utilize a period of three hours for personal time to take a break, relax, work out at the YMCA, conduct errands or personal business. Participating caregivers will be offered respite time/opportunities, community interaction, and wellness opportunities. The program will employ a certified nursing assistant as Respite Coordinator. Transportation vouchers will be available to caregivers and their loved ones to expand access to respite in these rural counties. Project partners include United Way of Orleans County, Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, and Orleans County YMCA.

YMCA Buffalo Niagara

EnCourage, Benefit for Both

This program is a companion-based, non-medical adult day respite program for older adults with early-moderate dementia and their caregivers. The Y’s Care Recipient Respite program will be offered one day per month in year one, from 10:30am to 2:30pm at the Southtowns Family YMCA. In years two and three, a second day per month will be added. Caregivers who’s loved ones participate in the Care Recipient Respite program will be able to stay onsite and use the YMCA fitness facilities or participate in caregiver-focused programming at the Y during the hours that their loved one is busy with the program. During this time, opportunities for caregivers will include access to the YMCA Wellness Center, indoor track, group exercise classes, indoor aquatics center, open gymnasium, as well as social activities such as card games, board games, and facilitated caregiver support conversations. Educational activities and caregiver support will also be available, such as case management consultations with staff from Erie County Dept. of Senior Services and Alzheimer’s Association of WNY. If caregivers prefer, they can leave the Y during respite hours to have time to do errands, take care of personal business, relax on their own, etc. Transportation support will be available (arranged by partner agency, Hearts and Hands). Childcare is also available at the Y for caregivers who might need it. YMCA’s partners include Elder Transition Consulting, Hearts and Hands, 716 Fresh LLC, Lisa Rood (Consultant), Erie County Dept. of Senior Services, Alzheimer’s Association of WNY, and Harmonia Collaborative.

Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels

Care on Wheels Program

This program will provide in-home caregiver respite, chore support, home modifications, and clinical occupational therapy (for older adult care recipients) through partnership with Seniors Helping Seniors, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, and Disability Made Easy. Seniors Helping Seniors is a paid in-home care provider offering in-home respite care services, chore support, meal preparation, shopping support, personal care assistance, light housekeeping, pet care, medical appointment assistance, medication reminders and safety checks. Seniors Helping Seniors provides family support services for dementia and Alzheimer’s care, respite care, and overnight visits. Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County and Disability Made Easy both offer chore support to older adults/their families in greater Ypsilanti. 6 Meals on Wheels has an Occupational Therapist and Community Health worker on staff who will also support this program. Meals on Wheels will reach out to its large database of meal recipients to market Care on Wheels. Caregiver participation and tracking will occur through an intake program for caregivers and older adults that includes a Quality Aging Matrix assessment to determine program eligibility and impact on participating family caregivers and older adults. Project partners include Seniors Helping Seniors, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, and Disability Made Easy.