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Jim Adams, Community Educator, Support Group Co-Facilitator, Chetek

“It’s such a rewarding experience to be able to help someone.”

Jim has been volunteering as a Community Educator and Support Group Co-Facilitator for two years. He has a personal connection to dementia, as he lost his wife Diane in 2014 to lewy body dementia. He wrote a book entitled Other Me’s, where he details their family journey during the last two years of Diane’s life.  “I needed to turn something bad into something good,” says Jim. “That’s when I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.”   

Jim has been an educator all his life. He taught multiple subjects – math, physics, astronomy, robotics – in his 24 years as a high school teacher in Chitek. His background was as an aerospace engineer and he worked at NASA in Houston for several years. 

As a Community Educator, Jim does monthly classes on key topics including: 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Effective Communication Strategies. “I really enjoy volunteering as a Community Educator,” says Jim. “When you go to talk to people about dementia, and they know that you’ve been through it, it’s reassuring to them. I can answer a lot of their questions and I know that I’m helping someone.”

Jim also Co-Facilitates two Support Groups: one for caregivers and their loved one with dementia and the other just for caregivers. “It’s such a rewarding experience to be able to help someone who is dealing with a disease that no one can do anything about,” says Jim.

Jim encourages others to volunteer. “Everyone should just do it,” says Jim. “Families appreciate it so much, even if you’re able to help in a small way. I feel so much appreciation when I volunteer and I highly recommend it.”