In a relationship for 70 years and now face being separated due to care homes fees

An elderly couple who have been together for 70 years face being separated over care home fees.

Frank Springett, 91, and Mary Springett, 86, are currently in the same care home in Cedar Lodge Care Home in Wooton Wawen, near Solihull.


Mr Springett now faces being transferred to live in a flat on his own, which will devastate the couple, according their family.

Meanwhile, Mrs Springett will remain the home – which costs £4,000 a month – because she suffers with Alzheimer’s. The couple lived on their own until March this year when their health meant they had to go into care.

Mr Springett has a muscle stiffness condition known as polymyalgia rheumatica and diabetes as well as being totally deaf. Mrs Springett’s Alzheimer’s is said to be severe.

Their two children, Roderick and Joanne Downes, are trying to keep them together at Cedar Lodge – even selling their home to pay the fees that currently amount to a monthly bill of £8,000.

The money the family has is quickly running out and by next April they will have reached the upper savings limit – at this point, Solihull Council will step in and give financial aid.

Mrs Downes said: “To date we have had no funding from Solihull Social Services at all – which we understand because we have money to pay. They have said they’ll pay £500 a week towards my mum’s care – but that the family will need to pay a top-up fee of £475 a week.

“But they won’t pay anything for my dad’s fees because they say he can look after himself. They say he can live in a flat in the community with carers coming into him.”

The couple’s children said the reason their father was in the care home with their mother was because the care package they set up wasn’t working.

“I asked about my parents’ emotional need as that needs to be taken into consideration. It would devastate my mother if my father was not with her, and vice versa.

“They are a couple who have been together 70 years, married for 67 and have never ever spent time apart. I cannot and will not accept that they cannot be together,” said Mrs Downes.

A spokesman for Solihull Council said they were working with Mrs Downes to resolve the situation.

“We understand that couples who have been married a long time often wish to stay together when one of them moves into residential care. We respect their right to do so.

“If people’s care needs or financial circumstances change as time passes, we would reassess their situation. We would be happy to meet in person with the family to explain things further.”

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