Coffee and Caregivers – providing support and encouragement

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Making the decision to reach out for help – for many it’s a tough choice to make.

But when you’re considering sending a loved one to a long term facility, it’s a mental weight that can be crippling.

It’s something Ted Dougherty has a tough time doing. The love of his life Mary, who he has been married to for 51 years, has dementia and alzheimer’s.

“How the person that you’ve known for years changes. I couldn’t understand it,” Ted described. “I just couldn’t get my brain around it. Why she would be that way”

A toxic duo that’s made this provider and partner make a life altering choice.

“Well I just admitted my wife, to a long term facility, signature (healthcare), about 2 or 3 months ago,” Ted continued. “It was so difficult, so difficult.”

A choice he’s struggled with. But now, there is a new group in Terre Haute to provide support and encouragement for those in these types of situations.

“We’ve started an informal support group… Called ‘Coffee and Caregivers, and it is a duel focus group’,” explained Robin Heng, Coffee and Caregivers.

Heng works at Signature Health, and understands how difficult it is for people like Ted.

“Over 30 percent of our Vigo County population are 65 and older, and greater than 11 percent are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” stated Heng.

The goal of Coffee and Caregivers will be support for anyone who cares for a sick loved one.

“Or if they’ve had to place a loved one in an extended care facility…,” stated Heng. “And they’re feeling guilty about it.”

The group has barely taken off and in fact, News 10 was there for their very first meeting.

But Ted is grateful for any resource.

“If people will take advantage of it, it’ll be a great, great help for them,” said Ted.

When it comes down to it, he knows it’s better to show love. And that’s what he’s done.

Now, having some support will help him continue.

Coffee and Caregivers will be meeting the first Wednesday of every month at Cackleberries in Terre Haute.

For more information on becoming a member, call Signature Healthcare at (812) 238-1555.

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