Comfort And Support Team (CAST)

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About Us

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 homes and apartments.


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.


Services Provided

  • Arc Residential
    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.


  • Community Supports
    Outside of the residential setting, CAST has provided successful transitional support and services to an adult with dementia living at home with aging caregivers.  This experience was powerful to the individual and family, but the ability to consistently fund and provide these services is limited.


CAST Dragonfly

CAST Dragonfly

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.



Order CAST Dragonfly

CAST Dragonfly MaterialsThe CAST Dragonfly Full Set includes everything that you need to conduct an 8-week journey with the people you serve. You’ll learn things about individuals and their life experiences that you would have never known. Materials include:

  • 10 Individual Workbooks
  • 3 Instructor Manuals
  • 1 Session Planner
  • 1 Set Conversation Cards

Additional Workbooks, Manuals, Planners, and Conversation Cards are also available separately.
Please contact the CAST Team to order.

Video: CAST Dragonfly Interview Reel


CAST Dragonfly Authors & Contributors


Cathy ShafferCathy Shaffer, RN – Creator & Author, The Dragonfly Project

Cathy Shaffer raised her family in Western New York and has been an RN for longer than she can even remember.  She found her niche with The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming and worked with the agency for 13 years before moving to the Southern Tier to live closer to some of her grandchildren.  She found while working with people with developmental challenges, that many of them had stories they wanted to share but no one was asking, and she also saw that end of life evens the playing field with commonalities and concerns that humankind share regardless of our abilities.


With that in her heart, she worked on developing a curriculum for The Dragonfly Project to create an atmosphere of freedom for people to share their inner spaces and for those spaces to be honored.  She is a published author and musician, a lover of life, her smile wrinkles, her old upright piano, gardening, smiling, and breathing.


Dan Gallagher

Daniel Gallagher, MSW – Author, CAST Dragonfly

Daniel Gallagher joined The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming in 2010, where he worked as a Social Worker and Behavior Intervention Specialist before being promoted in 2016 to his current role as Coordinator of Clinical Services.  Under Daniel’s leadership, the Clinical Services team provides a multidisciplinary approach to health care for adults, including Nutrition Services, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Psychological Services, Nursing, Social Work, and Speech-Language Pathology.  Daniel has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Binghamton University, and additional certifications or specialized training in areas such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Ukeru/Trauma Informed Care, and Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention-Revised (SCIP-R).  Outside of work, he enjoys golf, fishing, hiking, and spending time with his wife and two wonderful little girls.  Daniel and his family live in Scottsville, NY.


Krystin Petzoldt

Krystin Petzoldt, M.S., CCC-SLP/L – Author, CAST Dragonfly

Krystin Petzoldt was inspired to become a Speech Pathologist by her great aunt, who received speech therapy to re-learn how to speak via electrolarynx after her battle with throat cancer.  Krystin’s passion for elder care was born in middle school, when she volunteered at a nursing home.  Krystin joined The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming in 2011, where she provides functional and meaningful speech language therapy for adults with developmental disabilities in variety of settings.  She has a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nazareth College, is New York State Licensed, and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech and Hearing Association.  In her spare time, Krystin enjoys traveling, yoga, and hiking, where her goal is to climb the 46 highest peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.  Krystin lives in Fairport, NY.


Sara JamesSara James, M.S., OTR/L – Contributor, CAST Dragonfly

Sara James’ interest in working with people with disabilities developed at an early age, when she would spend time with individuals at a group home where her grandmother worked.  A native of Wayland, NY, Sara came to The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming as an Occupational Therapist in 2013, with goals to enhance individuals’ independence and facilitate their quality of life to the highest degree.  Sara is a New York State Licensed and National Board Certified Occupational Therapist, and holds a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Keuka College.  She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and serves as an instructor to her Arc peers for several state- and agency-mandated trainings.  Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, including softball, kayaking, geocaching, and coaching.


Caitlin HorrocksCaitlin Horrocks, LCAT ATR-BC – Artist

Behavior Intervention Specialist Caitlin Horrocks is a member of the CAST team and designer of the CAST Dragonfly logo, which she created in watercolor and ink on cold press paper.  Caitlin has worked at The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming since 2015.  She is a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and a Registered Art Therapist, Board Certified.  In her spare time, Caitlin is experimenting with Origami as part of larger mixed media pieces.  She resides in Canandaigua, NY.



CAST at Your Agency

CAST offers consultation services for other Arc chapters and other agencies with missions similar to our own.  Let us help you create a plan to meet the needs of residents to age in place and ideally pass in their own home, if that is their choice.  The CAST model has proven successful in providing high quality, cost effective services and person centered care to both the individual and the caregiver through end of life.  Contact us to learn more.



Professional Conferences & Presentations

CAST professionals have been invited to various state and national forums to discuss their innovative, holistic, and person centered services.  Venues at which we have appeared include:


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Contact Us

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.  Email is usually best, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

585-658-2828 ext. 367