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What We Do

We partner with communities to create sustainable change from within.

Research shows that communities that leverage the assets of ALL their members are among the strongest and happiest.

We’ll help you tackle your most urgent challenges by engaging everyone – businesses, nonprofits, governments, and citizens of all ages – in imagining and implementing solutions. Amazing things happen when communities tap into the expertise and creativity that’s been hidden or unrecognized within them.

Consider these examples...

City of Brookfield Workforce Development Project

Sometimes, two problems are better than one; with creative thinking, we can use each to solve the other.

Using a variety of facilitation methods, we led a diverse group in a Jam Session to reach a consensus about what most needed to be done in the city of Brookfield, Illinois. Aging and employment issues emerged as primary themes, and the group wondered if pairing the concerns could help solve both of them. After speaking with older residents about whether they considered themselves to be employable, and local businesses about whether they were interested in employing older adults, the group outlined a practical plan to return older residents to the business and nonprofit sectors.

Brookfield Zoo projects

Who could guess that a renowned zoo and a facility for seniors would have so much to offer each other? We made this discovery when we brought the unlikely pair to the discussion table.

It all began with a simple observation: A Cantata staffer noticed that many older residents needed a ramp to access part of the campus.

Her seemingly simple remark launched a landslide of unprecedented community collaboration. The Brookfield Zoo worked with Cantata to create a beautiful pollinating Best Life Garden (complete with ramp, of course). And during the course of the project, team members learned that that the Zoo needed housing for its international interns ... and Cantata needed to fill a number of empty residence units. Today, the two organizations are finding exciting ways to leverage their resources and create more and better opportunities for everyone.

Innovations for older adults

By serving as a “living lab,” the Cantata community pioneers countless advancements that address the needs of older adults everywhere.

For instance: Among rehabilitation patients, hospital readmission rates tend to be quite high. After thoughtfully discussing patients’ needs and preferences, Cantata staff piloted the Transition Management Project. This program has reduced hospital readmission rates among our rehab patients by an astonishing 50 percent. With input from patients, families, caregivers, and physicians, we’ve discovered the “secret sauce” combination of supportive follow-up phone calls, personal visits, and technological tools that best help clients manage their recovery at home.

Another initiative was born when Cantata staff recognized that many older local residents needed help at home but didn’t necessarily require skilled nursing or specialized medical care. Cantata At Home gives these older adults the option to pay only for the tasks they need, such as meal preparation or laundry assistance, without following the traditional half- or full-day caregiver model, which is far more expensive. The new program lowers their costs by more than 18 percent – and makes it more feasible to remain in their homes. By listening to clients and tailoring services to their needs, we have been able to pass substantial cost savings to them.

Get the idea?

You can make a huge difference in your community. Call or email today and we’ll help you figure out how to get started – and how we can help.

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