By Jennifer Parker

According to the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, “Many people want the same things as they get older: to stay in their own homes, to maintain independence for as long as possible, and to turn to family and friends for help when needed.” This trend of staying at home as you age, is called “aging in place.”

While families want to comply with their loved ones’ wishes, they are also concerned about their safety, as they manage their daily activities while living independently. In fact, an article in the October 2023 issue of the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), states that more than 60% of caregivers say that their level of stress and worry increased as a result of caregiving.

To respond to this ongoing need and concern, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) and collaborative community have partners introduced Exhale, a respite program that provides both seniors and caregivers with the opportunity to enjoy fun and relaxing activities in a safe environment. While most caregivers provide loving care in assisting their loved ones, such care often requires a care plan. The Exhale program provides a healing solution for everyone involved.

“Assisting community caregivers and their loved ones is another way that BFNC is helping community members overcome life’s obstacles,” says Chandra Redfern, Chief Executive Officer of BFNC.

The BFNC Hope Center Director, Daysi Ball, suggests that caregivers who are interested in the program reach out to BFNC by calling 852-5065, ext. 132 to learn more about activities available to older adults and caregivers.

BFNC staff are also accepting referrals to the Gathering Place Senior Respite program, which is part of the Exhale Program. Gathering Place locations include the BFNC Life Center at Westminster Community House, and the Seneca Babcock Community Association at Schiller Park Senior Center.

BFNC has a history of working to help serve the needs of older adults and caregivers as part of its 2022 Aging Mastery Program (AMP), a lifestyle workshop series that provides adults, caregivers, and the community explore pathways that foster a positive outlook about life. AMP program participants were introduced to resources and planning experts who assisted them in creating individualized plans that would help prepare them for life as they grow older.

Redfern reminds residents that BFNC provides many services that assist community residents. Residents interested in learning about BFNC community resources and programs, can visit, and BFNC’s social media pages at Facebook, Instagram, and linked in.

Jennifer Parker is Director of Communications Officer for Buffalo Federation Neighborhood Centers.