Doncaster charity rallies round man grieving for his wife

A Doncaster charity has rallied round a man who was left housebound after losing his wife of almost 60 years.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 11:11 am

Donmentia is a local charity that support people living with dementia or those who care for those affected.

Ted Portwood, aged 86, from Balby, did n’t leave his house for six weeks after his wife Jan died.

She had suffered from dementia before she passed and was part of the Donmentia group who rallied around Ted at this tough time.

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Ted and Eileen at group.

He said: “ I’ve been coming to the Dementia Forum for nine years now and I honestly don’t think I’d be here without this group.

“I started coming here with my wife, Jan, who had dementia and I wanted to find a place where people knew what we were going through.”

Donmentia was founded by Eileen Harrington in 2013.

The group meets monthly and has guest speakers, doctors, nurses, wellbeing experts, and the charity arranges trips for participants.

Ted said: “Jan and I were made very welcome and it was a real lifeline for us.

“When we first started coming Jan could walk and her dementia hadn’t taken hold of her.

“Over the years she ended up in a wheelchair and eventually we had to have a hoist in the house to help to move her.

“During her last year, I developed ulcers and got cancer of the stomach.

“We went through a lot. I didn’t think I was going to make it and worried about Jan.

“When Jan died, I was heartbroken, we were three months off our 60th wedding anniversary and had always done everything together.”

The group has supported Ted through his grief and he has made many friends there.

“Eileen explained that they were there to support family members too and that I was more than welcome at the group,” he continued.

“I’m 86 years old and recently tried yoga for this first time as Eileen had invited a yoga teacher to the group to teach us some gentle stretching and breathing exercises.

He added: “If it wasn’t for the Dementia Forum I might not have got out and about again.

“It is a fantastic charity.”