City of Montpelier, VT

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Project Title
Rural Elder Assistance for Care and Health (REACH)

Project Summary
The City of Montpelier will lead a collaborative grassroots effort building on the community's awareness of Time Banking to create the REACH (Rural Elder Assistance for Care & Health) Care Bank: a network of people and organizations coordinating multiple avenues of mutual support. REACH Care Bank is a new social enterprise that will foster health, wellness, and resiliency for elders, caregivers, people of all abilities and vulnerable populations who need expanded services to build livable communities for elders of all income levels and facilitate aging-in-place by engaging the community at large in the exchange of services and time.

Goals and Objectives
The goal is to create a whole community support system for elders in Central Vermont to provide innovative, reliable, and affordable personal health and wellness opportunities/services. Objectives are to: 1) develop REACH social enterprise infrastructure enabling stakeholders, community members, elders, caregivers, and people with disabilities to build networks of giving/receiving; 2) establish innovative REACH Care Bank model to expand delivery of basic and assisted services by rewarding community-based contributions; 3) integrate paid and community-based services; 4) create affordable access to preventive care for elders; 5) evaluate impacts of REACH; 6) disseminate results and lessons learned.

Outcomes and Products
The expected outcomes are to: 1) increase vulnerable elders' ability to stay in their communities; 2) expand services for elders, especially low-income rural elders, foster behaviors that sustain health, independence, and interconnection; 3) increase ratios of community based and paid services; 4) improve social, physical and mental wellbeing for elders and caregivers; 5) improve community resilience, economic empowerment and livability; 6) demonstrate viability of the REACH Care Bank model for aging. Products will include: 1) replicable social enterprise model to support aging-in-place and promote preventive elder care; 2) community-based directories of REACH Care Bank services; 3) customized Community Weaver software.