Comfort and Support Team (CAST)
CAST stands for Comfort And Support Team. We are an interdisciplinary team providing proactive, holistic, person-centered care to support successful aging in place to individuals in Arc Residential homes.
We developed CAST to ensure the health, safety, and personal choice of individuals throughout the aging process. Through successful implementation of this model, we are able to care for aging individuals in familiar and preferred environments, while avoiding costly medical services such as unnecessary hospital visits, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing level of care.
The three main objectives of CAST are to:
Ensure the longevity of independent living through optimized health and quality of life.
Decrease the use of emergency medical services through proactive clinical supports.
Provide staff and care givers with training which focuses on their own competence, confidence and emotional well-being.
The CAST model has been successfully utilized within The Arc’s certified residential setting. Processes that led to the development of CAST have helped numerous people to avoid hospitalizations, improve health and safety, and successfully age at home. Through use of the interdisciplinary team, CAST professionals successfully allowed for an elder with cerebral palsy, dementia, and recurrent aspiration pneumonia to age in place, supported by familiar clinicians and appropriately trained direct support professionals, rather than face a series of preventable hospitalizations.
Our model begins with the implementation of CAST Dragonfly. It is a comprehensive social support group for aging adults that allows us to assess needs and identify an individual’s wishes about end of life care before age-related challenges occur.
CAST Dragonfly was created to meet a basic need that all people have, which is to talk about their wishes related to end of life care and death. While it is important to have these conversations and document wishes, most people never end up doing so due to fear, taboos, and discomfort.
Over eight weeks of 60-90 minute sessions, participants and facilitators are able to learn and document things about individuals’ life experiences that otherwise may not ever be known. After completing CAST Dragonfly, individuals come away with a valuable resource to share with friends, family and staff. This helps to guide others in meeting their preferences for person-centered end of life care.
Participants have expressed their enjoyment throughout the process, as well as the importance of having the opportunity to voice their needs, concerns, and desires to others. Family and staff have also noted that this process has been invaluable in serving a person in a holistic manner toward end of life.
Phone: (585) 658-2828 ext. 2367