Could a Buffalo area support service for the elderly be replicated in Rochester?

Deanna Dewberry
Updated: December 21, 2020 05:52 PM
Created: December 18, 2020 06:50 PM

Editor's Note: This story was produced through the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations and universities dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. The group is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester has a greater percentage of residents over the age of 65 than any city in New York state.

And for months, I, along with journalists from nine other media organizations across Western New York have been looking for caregiving solutions. It's aptly called Solutions Journalism.

I found a workable solution an hour west on I-90 in Buffalo. It's a non-profit called Canopy of Neighbors.

Members of Canopy pay dues to join and get a wealth of support services, from transportation needs to help addressing health concerns and rich social events.

The thinking is the elderly are better able to remain home longer if they just have the right support.

Because it's largely supported by community donations, it's truly a partnership.

"To be embraced by a community who is giving and receiving creating critical relationships in times of need, imagine formalizing a relationship like that," Executive Director Sasha Yerkovich said. "That's what canopy has done."

So the big question: Could Canopy be replicated in Rochester?

That's one of the questions I explore in my three-month investigation.

On Monday, you can see it on News10NBC at 5:30 p.m. and read it in the Democrat and Chronicle.


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