SPRINGFIELD — Jackie Potts, of Springfield, knows the pain of watching both parents live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Her father, Edward Fowle, developed dementia from other health issues in 2016 and died in June of 2018. Her mother, Donna Fowle, currently lives at the Springfield Masonic Home with dementia.
“One thing that really helped me is the community support,” Potts said. As a caregiver, she attended an Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley support group to help her better understand the disease and provide better care.
Today, she is a volunteer Alzheimer’s support group facilitator working to help others on their care journey. One piece of advice she offers: remember to take care of yourself as you care for your loved one.
On May 4, The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter will host a free virtual Community Forum from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for Springfield and Clark County residents to hear about caregiving, diagnosis, treatment and resource needs. At the event, participants will hear a brief overview on Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss.
Rebecca Hall, program director for the Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association, said it is a great opportunity to learn about the brain disease and the free resources the Chapter offers.
“Alzheimer’s can be a lonely disease because most family caregivers shoulder all the care needs alone. With the education and support we provide, we can make that care journey better so that family members can provide the best care possible,” Hall said.
Pre-registration is required for the event. To register, call 937-291-3332. After registering, a Zoom link will be emailed to those who register so they can join the event.
The Community Forum is being co-sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging and United Senior Services. The Alzheimer’s Association works closely with both agencies.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers free education programs, support groups and individualized care consultations that help families plan care for their loved one. In addition, the Association has a 24/7 Helpline, at 800-272-3900, that people can call day or night to get answers to questions. Also, it has a community resource finder at https://www.communityresourcefinder.org/ where families can enter their zip code and find local community, medical and legal resources they may need.