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ShareTheCaregiving: a program of the National Center for Civic Innovation

STC In Communities


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S.W. Ontario

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.

STC training room SW ONTARIO

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.

Eugene DuFour - Sheila Warnock - Paul Cavanagh

Eugene DuFour – Sheila Warnock – Paul Cavanagh

Five different community organizations stepped up to host STC Stations across the region. (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 ( 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.

STC Mitchell Training

STC Mitchell Training

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.

SW Ontario Counties



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.


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STC Stations, Wisconsin


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


Claire did a poster session on this project at the March 2012 ASA Conference in Wash., DC

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.

GWaar logo

To reach any STC Station please contact:
Joan Litwitz,
Share The Care Project Coordinator

Tel: 608-228-0713

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


Photo from the STC Station training at the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin

STC Station training at the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin

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.

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Click on the jpg below to view it enlarged.Post-Crescent-article-6-1-13 (Click to read it as a PDF)

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

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RE: Share the Care

This was a challenging year for me and my family.  My 77 year old “hermit like”  father-in-law had been contacted by the city to clean up the inside and outside of his home due to a neighbor complaining about his hoarding.  We had no choice to send him up north to live with his daughter while we sorted through 30 years of junk that he considered treasures.  It took five months to just empty the house which allowed us to see the true condition.  We planned to renovate the home so my mother-in-law could move back in and care for my father-in-law in a clean, healthy environment.  The truth was, this was going to be a bigger job than we’d expected.  The foundation on two walls was in very poor condition and allowed rain to get into the basement.  The wiring, windows, roof, plumbing, furnace and water heater were original from when the house was built in 1954 which made them inefficient and dangerous.  It now became mine and my husband’s job to get the house back in livable condition.

In July it was necessary for him to come back to Milwaukee to be near his doctor.  Because the house was under construction there was no choice but to have him and my mother-in-law move in with us.  We went to work during the day and then work at the house until 9-10 pm.  We also did this on the weekends which left little time for us to attend to the things that needed to get done at our home.  Little things like buy bread or milk, make a meal, or mow the lawn took a backseat.  But it’s the little things that pile up and cause stress.

Dar and Ruth pulled together our closest family and friends.  They discussed each person’s strength and came up with a two week calendar of small jobs each could do to take something off mine and my husband’s personal “to do list”.  There were four complete meals that were dropped off at my home.  After a 14 hour day, instead of having to make a meal, all I had to do was pop it in the oven.  Overdue gardening was all taken care of so we didn’t have to do it.  Twice someone came over and vacuumed for us.  A friend who is a masseuse came over and gave me a massage and another gave me and my mother-in-law a pedicure.  It took us a day or so to realize that a pile of tree branches that we cut down a week prior were gone.  A family member made that phone call to the city for a pickup.  These were all simple daily tasks that don’t seem like much unless you already have too much to do.  Share The Care™ allowed us to get through much easier.  This is an amazing program. When we are absorbed in taking care of someone who needs us we tend to forget to take care of ourselves.  That’s where the program comes in.  I thank Dar and Ruth for the Share The Care™ Program.



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

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By Dana Nelson

I have started a mini-Share The Care group.  Part of what drew me to STC originally was that it was such a natural fit for who I am.   I say it is a mini-group because the group is comprised of people with a special interest – we didn’t open it up and reach out to others for a couple of different reasons the main one being the care recipient wasn’t really open to help in the first place.  So we kinda “forced” ourselves on her.  Here is how it went down:

Those of us in this group are all connected through dogs.  We all train and show dogs with the same breeder/trainer.  We all vary in age and how long we have known Sally.  I have known her for 8 years.  She is my mother’s age but she is one of my dearest friends.

My friend Sally has Rheumatoid Arthritis.  She is in her late 60s.  Over the past 7 years the RA has become very bad causing her to retire early and to give up some of the things she loves.  But she won’t give up everything she should for her health sake and she doesn’t always use the best judgment – for example her bones break easily so she should be careful when she walks – but she doesn’t want the disease to control her so she walks in the woods instead of on the paved driveway!

She has fallen at least three times and twice broken bones. This most recent surgery (she has had nearly every joint in her body replaced) was a wrist fusion.  She had this surgery in March, but it wouldn’t heal and she developed a bone infection so they ended up having to fuse her wrist.

She is not going to be able to continue to care for herself and her husband. Although he is helpful, he isn’t used to caring for Sally who is a former nurse and very stubborn. She feels that she can take care of herself and that she should also continue to cook, and clean for her husband.  We all knew that we just HAD to start showing up at her house to help out around the house and with meals.

So I started a group on Facebook exclusive to just our little dog-show group.  On Facebook you can have a “secret” group where others can’t see your posts and you can be exclusive as to who is in the group.  It worked perfectly.  We found that it was the best way to communicate.  We had people stop over every day – one day they would bring a meal and the other day they would help with something.  Sally never really caught on until about day 3 or 4 that we were intentionally doing this.  By then she realized that she needed some help and was pretty accepting.

We continued this every day for three weeks and now people are routinely stopping in every other day.  We also connect with her everyday via the phone.   On Tuesday I spoke to her and found out that she just had an X-ray and it revealed small compression fractures on her spine.  So it has become clear that we will be continuing our every other day scenario for a while.

The neat thing about this group is that we KNOW that she is more concerned about her dogs and so we are approaching the help from that perspective – we stop over to see how “THEY” are doing and while we are there we bathe them for her and gosh, we might as well vacuum too 🙂  At this point, she would still not be accepting of support from a large STC group with people (including family) from her other world.   It truly blesses us to bless her with things that we are happy to do to help.

I am so glad that our county here in Wisconsin has such a great STC attitude. I only wish more people who need it would use it and accept it.

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STC Program, Kauai, Hawaii

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.

Map of Kauai HI

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.

Deborah-with-Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho

Deborah-with-Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho

DEBORAH, SHEILA, LORIMedia 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!


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