Behind every organization or creation is a single idea that put things into motion. Herb had that idea. His story is one that honors the love he has for his wife, Lynda, and the friends that they bonded with. Years ago, Herb and Lynda ventured into their retirement years. They moved to a 55+ community, Heritage Isle in Viera, Florida, to be near their children and grandchildren. They got involved in activities right away, and frequented the clubhouse often, as it was a great way to feel a sense of belonging and to make friends. At the clubhouse, a group of residents would gather every morning at the same round table. They’d share a cup of coffee, concerns, upcoming events and jump start their days. There was a strong bond among folks at that round table. A few residents at that table had varying degrees of dementia. It was obvious to some at the table, yet those whose disease progression was more involved were always respected, listened to, and welcomed. They named themselves, “The Round Table Group." As time passed, a few seats at the table changed or became empty. A few residents either passed away from dementia/Alzheimer's, or shifted into a memory care unit.
Herb’s beautiful wife, Lynda, was one of the residents who left an empty seat at the table. She had moved into a memory care unit and Herb’s life would be changed forever. The transition left him feeling lost, and wondering if there were others that were going through the same struggles/ feeling the same emotions that he had. Then, an idea came to him. He called upon a few members of The Round Table Group, including some spouses, and a daughter whose mom sat at that table. He shared his idea of starting a peer support group, to provide community to those with loved ones experiencing dementia/Alzheimer's. Herb requested them to join him on his quest, along with other talented members of the community. He asked them to think bigger, to make a difference, and to give back on behalf of their loved ones. They all agreed and began working as a team building to create this peer support group. He dedicated the peer support group to the empty chairs at the table; Doll, Fes and Ben (who have passed away from this disease) and Lynda (who is currently residing in a memory care facility). This single idea blossomed into a peer support group that honors those we love. A seat at this peer support group table will continue with that simple concept of a sense of belonging, by providing respect, understanding, empathy and comfort to others who are in need of support.
... Doll's Daughter, Sheri