Clark County residents focus of Alzheimer’s Association forum

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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 2018. Her mother, Donna Fowle, 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.

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Tuesday, the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter hosts a free virtual community forum from 5:30-7 p.m. for Springfield/Clark County residents to hear about caregiving, diagnosis, treatment and resource needs. 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. A Zoom link will be emailed to those who register so they can join the event.

The forum is being co-sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging and United Senior Services. The Alzheimer’s Association works closely with both.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers free education programs, support groups and individualized care consultations that help families plan care. In addition, the association has a 24/7 helpline, 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.

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Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan, speak and/or walk. In the Miami Valley there are 30,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and 100,000 family and friends who act as caregivers.

Because of the pandemic, all of the Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association support groups are virtual. There are four telephone support groups to choose from and six videoconference support groups. Most meet once a month, several support groups meet twice a month. To register for a support group or to make an appointment for a virtual care consultation, call 937-291-3332.

The Alzheimer’s Association continually does outreach. Organizations, businesses and faith communities in Springfield and Clark County interested in hosting an education program can call the association to schedule a program.

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Potts said, “It is great to know someone is always there, whether through a helpline or Facebook page or the support groups.”

About Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. Visit www.alz.org or call our 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

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