Care-Split Pair Reunited in Home

A council which told a couple they would have to live apart after 68 years of marriage has backed down. Sydney Rowley, 91, of Bollington, Cheshire, and wife Blanche, 90, had not spent a night apart since he returned from fighting in Burma in 1946. But she was taken to a residential home after suffering a stroke and her husband was not allowed to join her. Cheshire County Council said it had reconsidered the decision as the Rowleys were “an exceptional case”.

Mrs Rowley had suffered a stroke and was told she would be admitted to Ingersley Court Residential Care Home because she needed more care.
Her husband was also assessed by health officials but told he was not eligible to join her. Mr Rowley, who has suffered two heart attacks and had prostate cancer, said: “It would break her heart – mine and all – if we were to be split up.”

Cheshire County Council said John Weeks, director of community services, instigated a review of the couple’s case on Wednesday night. Mr Rowley will now be able to move into Ingersley Court with his wife. A delighted Mr Rowley said he wanted to move into the home on Thursday.

Mr Weeks said: “Cases of this sort are extremely complex and difficult. Social workers have an extremely challenging job to do. One thing they have to do is ration public money carefully and only spend it when absolutely necessary.”

“All decisions must be balanced with other factors and I would like to stress this is a challenging task.”

“The conclusion we reached was to balance the factors in a different way and we deemed it would be appropriate for the council to fund a joint place and allow the Rowleys to remain together.”

The Rowleys, who have a 68-year-old daughter, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, are due to celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary in October.