Support Group History
The Watertown Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group ( Now called: The Watertown Area Memory Support Group) started up in 1998. Deanna Bullis and Connie Lake created and implemented the idea of a support group for caregivers. They were both caregivers. They approached Loren Diekman with their idea and he generously offered The Fireside Room in Jenkins Living Center as a place to meet. He also offered cookies and coffee for each meeting. They decided to meet once a month, on Wednesdays at 7pm. The meetings began informally, with all caregivers welcome. Information was spread to the community via the newspaper, radio psa, and Jenkins quarterly newsletters. A mailing list was developed when caregivers signed up and Jenkins mailed out postcards. For several years, the group met to support each other. Then, the group asked for some type of information/education to be talked about at each meeting followed by a typical "support type" portion of the meeting. Each meeting began with the reminder that it was a safe space to share for caregivers and what was said there, always stayed there.The Alzheimer's Council decided to fund speakers for that purpose and also to purchase videos/DVDs to use at the meetings. Every 6 months, the group decided on topics that they would like to hear about/learn about and the group facilitator would find a speaker or video/DVD on that topic. Printed brochures were created and sent to businesses, churches and other entities in Watertown and surrounding communities.
The group grew and medical professionals were added to care for the loved ones of the caregivers who attended the Support Group. WAMCAN ( Watertown Area Memory Care & Aging Network) continues to support the Watertown Memory Care Support Group financially through the funds raised from The Watertown Memory Walk. The Watertown Area Memory Support continues to meet in 2023. All meetings are now at The Watertown Event Center ( 1901 9th Ave. SW) on the first Wednesdays of each month at 7pm.