The Oasis is a group that provides a meeting place for adults with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Based out of First Baptist Church of Lewisville, this ministry welcomes participants and volunteers from all
over the community.
The Oasis was started by Bronwen Zilmer who went through her own dementia journey. Her dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2005 at age 58, and Bronwen and her brother were his primary caregivers. Losing mom to cancer six months after the father was diagnosed, Bronwen learned so much from being a caregiver. “While it was an honor to care for our amazing dad, it was also the hardest thing I had ever done. After dad passed away in 2010, I started a caregiver support group,” she shared. “Through this group, I realized the need for more caregiver day out programs, and once my kids were
in elementary school, I was able to start
The Oasis in 2015!”
Every week, The Oasis meetings combine socialization, physical movement, music, and other memory-stimulating activities in a safe and comfortable environment. The program also provides short-term relief for caregivers. “We have been so fortunate to be able to provide The Oasis program free of charge to our families,” Bronwen shared.
The group currently has 30 participants in the program and 30 volunteers that help. The bond shared within the group is what makes Bronwen feel proud of what she does. There are many heart-touching stories of friendship among participants. “I thank God every day for The Oasis program. I love that it has created a community for families living with this challenging disease. I’m also motivated by the amazing group of volunteers I work with,” she mentioned.