Still Waters logo image 
 Find us on Facebook

February, 2014



The New Year (which is now 9% behind us) is typically an opportunity to look ahead and plan for the future.  But it can also be a reflective time when people and events in the past bubble up to the surface, revisiting memories, and, perhaps, some "I wonder what ever happened to..." musings.


During 2013, Still Waters provided care for 54 individuals.  A handful passed through our doors quickly, but most were with us long enough to make a lasting impression on staff and volunteers.  During that same 12 month time span, we also said good-bye to 29 guests.  Invariably, those good byes ranged from sweet and happy - Colleen and her daughter moved to Florida to be close to family - to abrupt and sad - Fred went into a sudden decline from which he wasn't expect to recover; Mary passed away just hours after going home for the weekend.  But, in many cases, family members and our staff decided that the guest was in need of a higher level of care.


Each good-bye takes a toll on our staff and volunteers.  They are a caring, devoted bunch and truly see their work as ministry.  Often, I will be asked, "Do you ever hear from ___?"  Or, "Do you know what ever happened to ___?"  In most cases, I have to answer, "Sorry, I don't know." 


In reality, once a guest no longer attends the Center, no matter how much we connected with their family, once it's over, well, it's over.  In this business, people move on.  I get it.  I always remind myself that the families we serve are working very hard and struggling every day to care for their loved ones.  Once a decision has been made (through planning or by a sudden turn of events), there is no room for sentimental attachment to the people or places that are now in the past. 


I often think about my own experience as a caregiver more than 20 years ago.  My mother lived in what was one of the very earliest Assisted Living facilities back in my Illinois hometown.  I was the only child, living 200 miles away, with two young children, and a full-time job.  As her dementia and health problems progressed, I often used the facility administrator, Alan, as my confidant.  He was always ready to offer support, validation, and listen to me express the frustration, guilt, and resentment that my mom's situation generated.  He was a wonderful resource and friend.  But once my mother moved to a nursing home here in Indianapolis, I never talked to Alan again.  I moved on. 


Alan and his staff loved my mom.  They cared for her and about her, enjoying all the quirks of her personality that drove me crazy.  At the time, I thought Alan and his staff were super-heroes.  Now I realize that they were simply caring, competent professionals.  It's much easier to have that calm demeanor when you are trained to care for older adults with dementia and chronic health conditions, and when it's not YOUR mother.  But, as "outsiders" we need to understand our role and be able to let go when our guests and their families move on.  I like to think that I honor Alan best by being a competent, caring professional here at Still Waters.



Kathy Pellman, Executive Director

        Still Waters Visioning Survey Results
                           Point to Growth


205 Still Waters "friends" completed the Community Visioning Survey in December.  This was a tremendous response rate and a great show of interest in the Center's future.  Two findings stood out beyond all others.  51% of the respondents said it was "Very Important" for Still Waters to expand its current capacity.  Additionally, 37% said it was "Somewhat Important" for growth to occur.  And, 57% said it was "Very Important" for Still Waters to keep a religious affiliation, with 27% indicating that continued religious affiliation was "Somewhat Important."


With these results in mind, the Still Waters Visioning Team adopted a position advocating growth.  Within that vision of growth, the next step is to explore how growth might best take place.  This includes target population, services and activities, relationship to CUMC, and facilities.  The survey was designed to gather information and opinions from a wide range of people.  It was also distributed to all CUMC members and the statewide association of Adult Day Centers.  Because so many people taking the survey had a limited understanding of adult day services, questions about potential growth areas for Still Waters were put in the context of data from national adult day services studies.  The survey respondents also indicated they were in favor of the additional specialized professional staff (an RN and Social Worker) and in expanded services (transportation).  On the question of HOW Still Waters should grow, the most frequently mentioned model was "Grow by expanding in its current location" (44%).


The next milestone in the Visioning Process is a "World Café" to be held on Feb 10.  Individuals who have an insider's knowledge and understanding of the Center have been invited to participate in this 2 1/2-hour event.  These include family members of current and past guests, Still Waters' and church employees, donors, volunteers, church lay leaders, and senior services professionals.  According to Community Solutions consultants Lisa Osterman and Lena Hackett, who will lead the World Café, this is an opportunity for a diverse set of stakeholders to have a group dialogue.  World Cafes allow groups to listen together for patterns and insights that lead to shared collective discoveries. 

For a complete report of the Survey results, click here.


Christmas Party & Art Show


On December 23, Still Waters families and guests were treated to the annual Caregiver and Guest Appreciation Day.  As a thank-you to our families, there was no charge for care on this day and all were invited to attend for all or part of the day.  18 Still Waters guests were on hand, joined by family and friends throughout the day.


In the morning, we were treated to a performance by Greentree  Assisted Living's chime choir.  Later, we enjoyed

David Duncan on the piano

our favorite Christmas music performed by David Duncan on piano.  A delicious holiday buffet was provided by Chef Suzanne.  In the afternoon, everyone visited the Still Waters' Art Show where

Handmade Wreaths

family and friends could see some of the beautiful and meaningful items made throughout the fall months.  These included painted and decorated masks, a community Christmas Tree, alcohol ink tiles, and a set of 4 murals created by small groups.  Art Therapist Jessica Buescher was on hand to chat and describe how the program benefits our guests.

Art Work on display


The staff of Still Waters would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the gift cards, notes, candy, cookies, and others acts of kindness you extended to us this holiday season.  We were very blessed to receive so many thoughtful gifts.


 2013 Financials Are Positive


Year-end reports show that Still Waters had a very strong year financially.  Income from operations (fees for service at the Center) exceeded budget by 29%, while expenses came in at only 15% over budget.  These figures reflect the fact that Still Waters exceeded its expected daily census for the majority of the year.  As a result, Still Waters was able to "give back" $10,000 to the operating fund of Castleton United Methodist Church.


The Still Waters Scholarship fund distributed $17,365 in 2013 to financially needy guests and their families.  The scholarships helped offset the cost of care at Still Waters by up to 50%.  A portion of Still Waters 2013 net income has been transferred to the Scholarship Fund in order to help keep it going.  In addition, donations were received for two special projects - Scholarships and a Dishwasher for the Still Waters kitchen.  The Still Waters Scholarship fund began on Jan 1, 2014 with a balance of $8,000 and the Dishwasher fund had enough to purchase and install the new appliance. 


Thanks to all 2013 Still Waters donors.  The 2013 Annual Report with more information and highlights of the year will be available later this month.


Christmas Activities Emphasize the Joy of Giving


Some of our best Still Waters' activities this holiday season were those that allowed our guests to be gift givers instead of gift receivers.  The Lima Bean Auction was a delight to behold.  Each guest was given 25 dried lima beans (money) and an auction paddle which they held up when making a bid. Thanks to a generous donation from Ashleih at GreatCare, we had several dozen items to auction.  We have done this activity before and it's very interesting to see what items appeal to each guest.  This time, we invited guests to bid on one or two items as Christmas gifts for a loved one.  

Lima Bean Auction Bidding
With joy and pride, men bought scented candles or calendars for their wives and ladies bought ties or tools for their husbands.  Most everyone could think of at least one person to "shop" for.  Afterwards, our Gift Wrap volunteers wrapped the gifts so they could be taken home and opened as a surprise on Christmas.  Think about what it would mean to receive a gift from your spouse who has dementia, who can no longer shop, drive, or handle money.  Think about what it would mean to be able to give a gift to your son or daughter who you are dependent on for all of your care.


The Still Waters staff received a special gift from our guests one day as well.  Jan Schreibman, Music Therapist, worked with them to compose a special "12 Days of Still Waters" song which they rehearsed and performed for us.  Each "day" represented  something special they identified with the Center, including 12 wonderful staff, 10 laughing guests, 5 Euchre games, 4 crazy socks, and "Good food and a lot of laughter!"  Isn't that much better than Lords a Leaping or a Partridge in a Pear Tree?  Thank you Still Waters' musicians for a wonderful Christmas gift.


In This Issue
Survey Points to Growth
Christmas Party & Art Show
2013 Financials
Upcoming Events
Meet "Cream"
Upcoming Events
Feb 10 Still Waters Visioning Process World Cafe 4-6:30pm
CUMC Fellowship Hall

Feb 24 Still Waters Vision Team meeting 4-6:00 pm
Conference Room

March 17 Art Therapy Program for Caregivers begins.  This 6-week program is open to caregivers and family members of Still Waters' guests 5-7:00 pm 
April 7 First Monday at
Alibi's Grill resumes. Join your friends and family at Alibi's Grill and mention Still Waters. The Center will get 25% of your food bill. 3 pm to Close 

Meet "Cream"


Still Waters latest "staff" addition is an 11-year-old peach-faced lovebird named "Cream".  He has adjusted well to being a part of
 the family, singing and chirping along to music and greeting visitors.


"Cream" is a gift from a CUMC family whose travel schedule no longer permits them to keep him as a pet.



        Due to a break in the sprinkler line in the Ministries Center near Still Waters entrance, there has been on-going restoration and repair work since mid-January.  

     The water break caused ceiling to collapse in 2 offices and hallways adjacent to Still Waters.  Water then flowed under walls, flooding parts of the Center.  No other damage to Still Waters occurred, but the repair work has led to some power and computer interruptions.  

     Thanks for your patience while the church works to get everything back to normal.



Christmas Tree made by our guests and donated to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association!

Lima Bean Auction



Decorating the tree



Christmas centerpieces