Care for Caregivers

Over the last several years, Winter Center has partnered with Fredrikson Center and the East Central Area Agency on Aging to continue efforts to support caregivers locally.

CaregiversChapel2016 (11)

 Initially with a Caregiver Summit and in subsequent years, partners offered an annual gathering- The Caregiver’s Chapel.  Included below are highlights from the events.

Caregiver’s Chapel and Art from the Heart

 We celebrated the BIG hearts of caregivers in February with Art with Heart—artworks by local seniors and caregivers and also with artful cookie decorating!      Dr. Richard Menninger, Andrew B. Martin Professor of Religion, Ottawa University, inspired all in attendance with his “Walking in the Dark” message.  Care Giver Chapel is being brought to you in partnership between Ottawa University’s Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality and East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging’s Care Giver Program and Winter Center for Restorative Justice. Heartfelt thanks to OU theology student and violinist, Melanie Murphy.  

CaregiversChapel2016 (5)

Art with Heart by caregivers and seniors

Art with Heart Caregivers Chapel

Art with Heart Caregivers Chapel

Art with Heart Caregivers Chapel

Art with Heart Caregivers Chapel

Caregiver’s Chapel Gathering Activity:

Along with the Chapel event, caregivers took part in the “Warmth for Winter” activity below and also delighted in the sweetness of cold in winter with an Ice Cream social following the Chapel!

Warmth in Winter: Caregiver Parperwhite Planting Activity

Warmth for Winter:

Planting  Paperwhites to enjoy inside!

To offer you a bit of color and warmth in the winter months to come, we will create a vase planting of a paperwhite bulb.  These are the quiet hope of fall that is planted now to bring us a bit of light and beauty in the season to come.





There are three steps-

the pebble base,                     What keeps you steady?   a prayer of strength

the nesting of the bulb,         What gives you comfort?   a prayer for comfort

the pebble blanket.                What gives you warmth?    a prayer for warmth

Before you begin, call to mind three things-

a steady strength, a comfort in trial, warmth.

With each step, place that intention.

May these blossom even in the cold- the sweet flowers of prayer.


  1. Pour pebbles into the vase to create a base about 2 inches thick
  2. Place your bulb into the vase—POINTY GOING UP—give it a little squish into the pebble base.
  3. Gently pour more pebbles around the bulb—about half way up the edge of the bulb
  4. Take it home and see the additional instructions handout.
  5. ENJOY! Caregiver’s

Caregivers Press Release (2013)

Celebrate  National Care Giver’s Month

Seniors  and  Care Givers  Participate  in  Event Ottawa, Kansas –

A few statistics which amplify the need for celebrating Care Givers:

  • 7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. 1 
  • At $450 billion in 2011, the value of informal caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care, more than total Medicaid spending in 2009, as much as Wal-Mart sales ($408 billion), and nearly exceeding total expenditures for the Medicaid program in 2009 ($509 billion). 2
  • On average, caregivers spend 4 hours per week providing care. Those who live with their care recipient spend 39.3 hours per week caring for that person. 3 
  • Caregivers regardless of employment status, report that positive activities in their daily life is reduced by 27.2% as a result of caregiving responsibilities, and the effect on their personal life is 3 times more than the effect on employment. 4

East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging and Ottawa University’s Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality initiate a new event.  The two partners bring together community and care givers to convene an event which will include local musicians, care giver participation and Dr. Richard Menninger to speak on Renewing Strength for Care Givers.  Care giver quilters will display their quilts.   Youth and community volunteers with the Winter Center for Restorative Justice have prepared take-home care packages for the care givers including a kitchen window potted plant, knitted caps, hot chocolate and baked goods.

Event: Celebrating National Care Giver’s Month: Care Giver’s Chapel

  • Day/Date: Saturday, November 9th, 2013
  • Times: 9:00 am: Light Refreshments; 9:45 am: Renewing Our Strength
  • Speaker: Dr. Richard Menninger
  • Location: Fredrikson Chapel, Ottawa University

# # #

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving over 9,000 students through its residential campus in Ottawa, Kansas, and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix, Chandler and Surprise, Arizona; Brookfield and Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Jeffersonville, Indiana; as well as multiple international instructional sites and online. For more information, visit

The East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging will serve as the single, highly accessible, point of entry for older Kansans living in Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Linn, Miami and Osage Counties, that are seeking help in maintaining their health, independence and dignity. In pursuit of healthy lifestyles and dignified self-sufficiency for the aging population, the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging will corrdinate and provide varied programs and services, paid by federal, state, and local dollars, as well as client contributions and co-pays, and other grant/contract sources. For more information, visit .

Winter Center is a tax-exempt non-profit public charity whose services and programs provide outreach within rural communities and distressed urban communities.   Our focuses include food programs, youth leadership and mentoring programs, services for seniors and the frail, education and employment programs, community empowerment and restorative mentoring.  Winter Center is also a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO).  Winter Center is an owner, developer and advocate of affordable housing.

Sources on following page.

 1 [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.] – Updated: November 2012

 2 [Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update, The Economic Value of Family Caregiving. AARP Public Policy Institute.]Updated: November 2012

 3 [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S: National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, D.C.]Updated: November 2012

4 [Coughlin, J., (2010). Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management, Vol. 2; Issue 1]Updated: November 2012

For more statistical information visit: Family Caregiver Alliance; Fact Sheet: Selected Caregiver Statistics;

2012 Caregiver’s Summit (Check out the videos on this one 🙂

Winter Center had the privilege of partnering with the Fredrikson Center and East Area Agency on Aging to convene a small summit for caregivers and also educational leaders within our service area.

By way of this strong partnership, the Caregiver’s Summit brought together community members from all levels including hospital and nursing home senior staff, county service providers, individuals caring personally for their loved ones at home, professional care providers, health therapists serving caregivers and local businesses with the desire to better serve and support caregivers and their loved ones.  The educational leaders conference offered teachers of all disciplines and ranges the opportunity to receive and give insights and practical resources.  Both venues presented dynamic communication bridging the divides that can stymie true progress and limit the sense of value on both sides of the divide (professional caregivers vs. “loved one” caregivers; administration vs. staff; industry vs. academic).  Additionally, the gatherings have legacy through the communication and networking tools that remain in effect via web and follow up resources.  Winter Center coordinated donations for care-packages for the caregivers and provided facilitators for the event’s Tai Chi for Stress Relief breakout session.