Keeping Couples Together in Residential Care
Most of the couples living in care homes today will have vowed in their marriage ceremony to stay together and care for each other as long as they live. However, for many it has been impossible to stay together as man and wife because one partner requires a higher level of care than the other. This has meant that many have been forced to move into separate residential care homes or for one partner to remain at home when the other is admitted to a care home. This is obviously a very sad circumstance, and one that hits the headlines occasionally. Traditionally, homes have found it difficult to care for couples with different needs, and space constraints can mean that they are unable to accommodate couples.
Fortunately, some residential care homes are now making considerable efforts to redress the situation by providing shared rooms for couples. This means that residents can enjoy their lives together in the home, as these stories recently reported in the Metro demonstrate.
Ernest and Catherine Ives
After a happy marriage lasting 64 years, Ernest and Catherine faced possible separation when Ernest’s memory began to deteriorate. Fortunately, they were able to move into accommodation where care could be provided for Ernest in the evenings but Catherine could continue to make breakfast and dinner for the couple. They enjoy many shared activities but also some separate time, and Catherine has peace of mind knowing that they can stay together but with the support they need.
Mary-Jane and Roger Chapman
Mary-Jane and Roger moved into one of the private care homes that can accommodate couples after spending 60 years together living in the house they bought when they got married. Roger, who is 90, had been experiencing mobility problems and is now confined to a wheelchair. Although Mary-Jane did not require the same level of care, she did not want to live alone, and the couple were able to stay together and continue their close relationship.
Margaret and John Carter
When John’s dementia progressed, Margaret and John both moved into a home. Although some people could not understand why Margaret did not leave John in the hospital, she felt that a 55-year marriage could not be abandoned. All the happy years travelling together and making friends all over the world meant that Margaret could not be separated from John, so they have been living together in a residential care home for around a year.
Ray and Faye Slater
Ray and Faye have shared many years together since falling in love in the workplace. They were both married at the time, and disapproval from parents and colleagues meant that they had to move away from the area. Having brought up their two boys, this couple in their eighties moved into the home after Faye experienced a ‘strange turn’ that doctors think may have been related to Alzheimer’s disease.
These couples have all been fortunate enough to be able to remain together when one of them has needed the special care that can only be provided in a residential home.
More and more homes are making the effort to provide shared accommodation for couples, and this can make an amazing difference to their quality of life.