Share The Care™ Two Year Initiative in SW Ontario
Paul Cavanagh, former Director of the South West End-of-Life Care Network.
Share The Care™ (STC) received a huge boost when the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) funded a two-year knowledge transfer campaign in Ontario, Canada from 2009 to 2011. The campaign resulted in over 100 information sessions and numerous training workshops. Even more importantly, it created a network of 40 local champions and 5 STC stations across the region.
The idea wasn’t just to spread the word about STC for two years, it was to create a well of knowledge and experience that people could draw on in subsequent years.
Although the campaign was orchestrated through the South West End-of-Life Care Network, it involved a wide variety of organizations, including churches, libraries, employee assistance programs, primary care teams, seniors services, home care, hospices, local Alzheimer Societies, as well as other community support services. It was led by campaign coordinator, Eugene Dufour.
Five different community organizations stepped up to host STC Stations across the region. SouthWesthealthline.ca (a website with over one million hits a year that offers a consumer-oriented database of health and social services in the South West) created a mini-site called the Caregiver Exchange (www.caregiverexchange.ca) that features caregiving advice and resources, including information about regional STC resources.
A summative evaluation at the end of the campaign revealed that 4,100 people attended information sessions and almost 7,000 information packages were distributed at various presentations, health fairs, and conferences. It’s estimated that 63 caregiving groups were formed, although the number could be higher. Most were created to support people at the end of their lives.
Perhaps the most telling result from the campaign evaluation was that care recipients and their families were very appreciative of the support they received. On the flip side, group participants were very satisfied with their experience and said they would get involved again. “Participating in a caregiving group was a gift for us,” said one group participant.
South West Ontario Share The Care Stations
- Serenity House Hospice (Elgin County)
- Grey-Bruce Geriatric Education Cooperative (Grey-Bruce Counties)
- Mitchell and Area Community Outreach (Huron-Perth Counties)
- Hospice of London (London and Middlesex County)
- VON Sakura House Residential Hospice (Oxford County)
About South West Ontario
South West Ontario is located in the Great Lakes Basin, north of Lake Erie and east of Lake Huron. It consists of several small cities and one regional centre of about 370,000 people surrounded by large tracts of farmland. It takes about four hours to drive from its southernmost point on the shore of Lake Erie to its northernmost point on the tip of the Bruce peninsula.
Share The Care™ Stations Program, Wisconsin.
Sponsored by the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR)
Claire Culbertson, National Family Caregiver Support Program, Special Projects Coordinator
Share The Care™ (STC) Stations are being developed in Wisconsin to meet the growing need for caregivers. Claire Culbertson, NFCSP, Special Projects Coordinator, was hired in 2011 by GWAAR to train self-identified caregiver coordinators in Wisconsin counties (located in Aging & Disability Resource Centers and local Aging Units) and other agencies involved with local/regional caregiver coalitions in the STC model. To launch the project, Sheila Warnock was invited to provide a day-long training to interested coordinators and agency representatives.
Utilizing the statewide network of professionals that serve family caregivers, a train-the-trainer approach is used to introduce the STC model to establish STC Stations. There are currently 15 STC Stations in Wisconsin. Several additional counties are scheduled to have a training in the coming months.
To reach any STC Station please contact:
Share The Care Project Coordinator
Attn: Joan Litwitz
1414 MacArthur Road, Suite A
Madison, WI 53714
WI STC Stations
|Ashland County||Brown County||Dane County|
|Outreach Inc-Madison County||Eau Claire County||LaCrosse County|
|Marinette County||Monroe County||Outagamie County“|
|Ozaukee County||Price County||Rock County|
|Walworth County]||Waupaca County||Wolf River Region|
One of the first STC Stations, launched in 2012, had the opportunity to record a radio public service announcement that played regularly. Several other counties have also been able to record similar PSAs.
(click below to play)
There has also been interest in establishing STC Stations specifically for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities (Madison has a STC within the LGBT community center). STC works well in this community as the model offers a sustainable way of organizing their support network, which includes “families of choice.”
Claire facilitates quarterly conference calls to support existing STC Stations that highlight such topics as outreach and promotion; overcoming barriers to accepting help; and most recently a speaker from the State Office on Aging (Dementia Specialist) who spoke about the State’s new Dementia Redesign, utilizing STC as a complement to the Memory Care Connections Program, a six-week evidenced-based program designed to assist and support caregivers of those with dementia.
With the help of Station Managers, STC groups have been forming and the model has been featured in several local newspapers.
The PDF of The Post Crescent, Appleton-Fox Cities, Wi. “Share The Care an organized way to lend assistance” by Jean Long Manteufel.
Another group was formed (after coaching from a Station) to assist a husband and wife caring for his 77-year-old father with a special problem. This STC group worked closely to support the couple with their day-to-day needs so they could focus on the father’s care and his hoarding problem.
The Story From: Karey Weyenberg about her hoarding father-in-law
Another Station Manager, Dana Nelson, submitted a story featured on the STC Website entitled: “We’re Working Our Way Into Sally’s Heart – through Her Dogs.” Dana had this to say: “This is why I do what I do. I know Share The Care™ works!”
The story about Sally’s Dogs
Individual communities (and in this case an island) have their own challenges and ways of applying the STC model. The following example demonstrates how STC can be applied using volunteers to fill in the gaps as STC blends beautifully with the local customs and culture for those living far from family on the mainland.
Lori Miller – Executive Director of Kauai Hospice
Deborah Duda, STC Program Coordinator, Kauai, Hawaii
About Kauai Share The Care™ (STC)
Deborah Duda, Lead STC Coordinator
Deborah is also the author of Coming Home, A Practical and Compassionate Guide to Caring for a Dying Loved One .
Kauai STC – an island-wide volunteer, grassroots movement- is dedicated to making life easier for our caregivers. Because of the inspired visions of Sheila Warnock and Lori Miller, Kauai Hospice Executive director, we are a project of Kauai Hospice, although not limited to families facing terminal illness.
How does it work? After Sheila came to Kauai and inspired and trained 55 volunteers, we divided Kauai into six regions, each with a volunteer regional coordinator, and an overall coordinator, Deborah Duda. She receives referrals and coordinates with compassionate social workers island wide and groups such as Office of Elderly Affairs, Ho’ola Lahui Hawaii, RSVP, Habitat for Humanity, and private home health agencies.
Then, regional coordinators meet with families to access their needs and help them to organize their resources – family, friends, coworkers, and faith community members – into caring teams. For caregivers without sufficient family and friends, STC volunteers from their area, if available, fill in to form hanai – extended – families.
Besides helping individual families, The STC program focuses on community development, on increasing our resident’s sense of belonging – being cared about and cared for.
Deborah gives numerous presentations on the STC model and how it has been adapted to island life and styles to local social service agencies and support groups – Rotary and Lions Clubs, AARP, and Alzheimer’s, ALS, dialysis, and Parkinson’s support groups. Habitat for Humanity supports us by donating needed supplies such as grab bars, ceiling fans, and furniture for our families.
A STC volunteer, who is also a hospice volunteer, helped organize a three building senior apartment complex with 300 residents into caring teams. On hearing that the elevators in each building had to be replaced, the coordinator was concerned. During the month long installation period, second and third floor residents would only be able to exit using a steep flight of stairs. For many elderly and disabled residents that was impossible. The coordinator organized services such a running errands, food shopping, picking up the mail, and walking dogs. The first elevator was replaced with a lot of camaraderie and tenants’ needs met. Two more to go!!
In conclusion, Kauai STC is a widely recognized and valued island service. The mayor and county council have both issued proclamations of appreciation.
Media support has also been outstanding. Numerous articles have appeared in three local newspapers and in magazines such as Elder Resources and we have used, an open mike by our local public radio station, whenever we want to reach out to the community.
Sheila Warnock planted some very strong seeds on Kauai and we are flourishing!