An elderly couple who have been together for 65 years have spoken of their devastation at being separated because of care funding cuts.
Ralph and Cecelia Martin, who are 89 and 94, from Surrey, England have not been apart, except for hospital visits, for more than six decades. They are known by friends and family to still be as much in love now as they were in their youth, and still constantly hold hands.
However, after a life-long romance, they have now been told they will be permanently separated because funding for Ralph’s care has been reduced. Their story has been highlighted following an announcement that the British government is about to give councils the power to raise council taxes over the next two years to help tackle a crisis in social care.
The couple have been told that Ralph, 89, will have to leave home as a result of funding issues. He suffers from both dementia and Parkinson’s diseas and has been told he has just two days to move out. He will also be expected to pay more than £1,000 a month towards care home costs.
At the moment, the pair still live together, but he will be moving into a care facility as the money is no longer available to provide care for him at home.
The couple’s daughter Patricia Hall said her father was in the Army and worked three jobs every day to bring up their family, while her mother had also worked most of her life. While she accepts that the family was told four weeks ago that her father would have to move, she said they had been sent to look at facilities that they could not afford and now had just two days to find somewhere suitable and affordable.
A spokesperson for Surrey County Council said that it was vital to make sure individuals had the level of care they required. They added that any decision to move someone into a nursing home would be based on care needs.