Anita M. Potts, BA, CCM
When Anita graduated from college, she had no idea that she not only would become a caregiver for family, but would engage in a career that would involve becoming an advocate for many adults with disabilities, mental illness, developmental disabilities and seniors. Anita returned to college at 36 years old and graduated from Carthage College earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Anita also received a Certificate in Case Management from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. Anita enjoyed internships with community programs that included Meals on Wheels, and Daybreak adult dementia day program which allowed her to ease into becoming a Case Manager for Lutheran Social Services providing services and support to adults for the Community Options Program. Six years later, the Wisconsin State funded Community Options Program became the now known Family Care Program and is provided by the Community Care Organization where Anita was employed for 7 years. During Anita’s employment at both Lutheran Social Services and Community Care, Anita enjoyed being on the Board of Directors for the Daybreak program and volunteered for Meals on Wheels delivering meals to homebound seniors for 9 years.
Anita also was a Case Manager with Kenosha Area Family & Aging Services and provided information related to community services and support for adults 65 and over via the federal funded Community Living Program.
Anita initiated and for the past 6 years has been a certified co-leader for Powerful Tools for Caregivers in Kenosha County. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week program for adults where caregivers develop a wealth of self-care tools to reduce personal stress; change negative self-talk; communicate their needs to family members and healthcare or service providers; communicate more effectively in challenging situations; recognize the messages in their emotions, deal with difficult feelings; and make tough caregiving decisions.
Even though Anita is retired, she continues to be active in the Kenosha community as a co-leader for the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program; Community Outreach Specialist for Right At Home –a home care agency, in which she provides presentations to adults with information pertinent to aging seniors and caregivers; and is certified from the Arthritis Foundation as an exercise instructor teaching water exercise at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex, exercise instructor for seniors whom reside at Beech Pointe Senior Apartment Complex, and aerobic/exercise sub-instructor at the Kenosha Senior Center.
Enjoying working with seniors, Anita also worked at Kenosha Estates Nursing Home (previously Beverly Healthcare) as an Admissions Coordinator. Always interested in healthcare, Anita worked at Victory Hospital (now Vista Healthcare) in Waukegan as an Administrative Assistant/Physician Referral Coordinator.
Anita continues to advocate for seniors at various community health fairs throughout Kenosha and has personally cared for many family members through- out the years.
Ashley Bardwell is a Long Term Care Specialist at the Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center. She has received certifications in Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Alliance of Information & Referral for Aging and Crisis Intervention.
She is currently the Wisconsin Alliance of Information & Referral Systems Board Vice President and Affiliate Representative for the National Alliance of Information & Referral Systems.
Ashley received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Conflict Analysis & Resolution Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Her professional experience includes working as a Physical Therapy Technician at the Balance & Wellness Center and a Marketing Assistant for Sports Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists.
Ashley is a lifelong resident of Kenosha and is expecting her first child in the New Year.