During Phase 1 of the program pilot (October 2019 to May 2020), more than 50 organizations serving family caregivers and older adults participated in a facilitated Creative Problem-Solving training and process designed to generate new collaborative partnerships and set the stage for bringing ideas and solutions for increased respite options to fruition. Upon training completion, organizations were invited to apply for grant funding in Phase 2.

Phase 2 of the program began in July 2020 with projects emerging from Phase 1. The following projects have been selected to participate in Phase 2, which includes project implementation and participation in a facilitated Learning Community to share best practices and continue to implement Creative Problem-Solving during project implementation. The following three projects were funded in Phase 2:

WNY E-Respite: Finding Relief Through Technology

Cattaraugus County-based Healthy Community Alliance will lead a caregiver respite pilot that focuses on how digital technology can be used to help caregivers remotely achieve a sense of relief (respite), learn self-care techniques, and solve new problems in caregiving. The project’s geographic scope will include Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties at a minimum and will explore broader Western New York and statewide partnerships for potential expansion. Partners in the project include Cattaraugus and Wyoming County Area Agencies on Aging, Directions in Independent Living, Total Senior Care PACE, Homecare and Hospice, Interfaith Caregivers Inc., and the Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative.

Intergenerational Enrichment and Educational Respite Program

Allegany County-based Ardent Solutions, Inc. will lead a project that focuses on intergenerational engagement and the full range of ways in which young people and older adults interact, support, and provide care for one another. Ardent will partner with Genesee Valley Central School District and the Allegany County Office for the Aging to develop a program where caregivers, older adults, and youth collectively access Genesee Valley Central School District assets and interact through social and educational forums.

Memory Café Design and Expansion

Southern Erie County-based West Falls Center for the Arts (WFCFA) will expand their unique approach to an internationally recognized joint enrichment model, the Memory Café, to provide music, socialization, support, and education to caregivers and their loved ones. The project aims to expand their existing model for older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia and their caregivers, while also developing a new model designed for isolated older adults that will pair them up with volunteer caregivers in the community. The project organizers are looking to expand into other counties in Western New York and will build critical partnerships with art- and performance-based partners such as theatres, museums, and aging services organizations such as Area Agencies on Aging, while also designing a replicable model for potential statewide expansion.

Key Program Documents