Reunited – The Couple Forced To Live In Separate Homes
A devoted elderly couple who were split up after half a century of married life, have been given the best Christmas present they could possibly have wished for. Geoff and Margaret Jones have been happily reunited after council bosses in Trafford found a way of bringing them back together under the same roof.
And instead of facing the festivities apart, they will be able to enjoy the season of goodwill side by side – as they always have done. The couple faced heartache when they were unable to look after each other because of ill health, and they were moved into separate care homes within the area.
Mr Jones, 80, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, while his wife had different needs.
Niece Christine Hardman who contacted the M.E.N., for help, said: “To keep them apart was so cruel. Margaret doesn’t accept how ill Geoff is, but all she wants to do is to be with him, and hold his hand.”
Now, after tireless work by a social care team, Geoff has been moved into the Kara House home in Sale, where his wife has been resident since last April.
Christine said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. I realise there were difficulties, but we thought surely there must somehow be a way of letting them spend their last years together after all this time.”
Geoff served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and the couple met in the early 1950s whilst working in the same office together.
Christine said: “They fell in love and were absolutely devoted to each other for the rest of their lives. They didn’t have children, but enjoyed life to the full until they had health problems.”
Mr Jones was moved into a home in Altrincham early last year for respite care while his wife was in hospital with a chest infection. But after his condition was assessed, it was decided he would be better off becoming a permanent resident.
Last April, after a stay in Trafford General Hospital, Mrs Jones was told that she was unable to care for herself properly, but was moved to the Kara House home in Sale.
Christine said that the separation upset her aunt who appeared to lose the will to carry on. She said: “It’s a wonderfully happy ending, and we are delighted. The social workers involved have worked tirelessly, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened without the help of the M.E.N.”
Trafford council’s Anne Higgins said the council was delighted that it has now secured a residential care place for Mr Jones so he can be with his wife. He said: “The council is committed to always working with families when they are facing the difficult and distressing situation of finding appropriate long-term residential care for their relatives.
“We understand that these are hard decisions for them to make and social workers always listen to their wishes and concerns and try to best suit care to individual needs. Occasionally we have situations where one person is already in residential care and their partner reaches the stage they too need long-term care, but their differing personal needs mean they cannot join their partner.
“This was the case with Mr and Mrs Jones, which is why initially Mrs Jones had to be placed in a separate care home. We have continued to work with the family, keeping them fully involved and informed over the past few weeks and done everything possible to find a suitable solution so they could be reunited as soon as possible.
“We are pleased that this has been achieved and that we have been able to move Mr Jones into his new home, by his wife’s side. I would like to thank Mr and Mrs Jones’ family for their help and cooperation during what are understandably distressing and worrying times for them and hope that both Mr and Mrs Jones are able to settle quickly and happily into their new environment.”