A leading charity has welcomed the news that the government is to issue guidance to local authorities restricting them from splitting up married elderly couples when placing them in care.
"For many older people, the experience of giving up their own homes to go into a care home is a difficult and traumatic one," said Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse. "But it can be made intolerable if they are also forced to part from their loved partner. In today's Britain this should not be an option."
Mr FitzGerald said that by issuing the guidance the government had "sent a clear message" that meeting the care needs of older people is more than about simply finding them a care home or care service. "It must include ensuring that their marital status, including civil partnerships, is protected and maintained," he continued. "We have seen too many situations where very old and very frail people, who have lived together for decades, have been parted in the last years of their lives. This is plain wrong."
Action on Elder Abuse is a national charity which aims to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older people.