aging in place

Canopy of Neighbors

Thomas Hayduk wasn’t sure what he was going to do upon being released from the hospital.

 

Following a serious car accident in 2016, the 72-year-old Buffalo resident could no longer drive and was, as he puts it, in need of socialization.

 

Now a car comes right to Hayduk’s home and drives him to places like the local community center for low-impact pool exercises. He also gets taken out for coffee, lunch and movies with other older adults.

“It’s been golden,” he said. 

 

Hayduk is one of approximately 200 Buffalo seniors enrolled in Canopy of Neighbors. The nonprofit deploys volunteers to drive older adults to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store and even social outings with other adults enrolled in the program. Volunteers may even help put away groceries or fix the television.

 


Erie County Department of Senior Services

From mental health issues to fiscal benefits, it's usually better for seniors to stay in their homes instead of going to nursing facilities.  A program called EISEP looks to help by paying a modest wage to individuals who can assist seniors with certain in-home needs.

Jay Moran/WBFO

While "aging in place" is an appealing option over life in a nursing facility, Assemblymember Monica Wallace believes there  is a lack of infrastructure to properly support that hopeful trend.  "Perhaps, they can't drive anymore and let's admit it, in Buffalo you really need a car to get around," Wallace offered as an example. A member of the Assembly Committee on Aging, Wallace says life at home for many seniors is difficult without appropriate support.