Britain’s leading family judge has called for an immediate end to splitting up elderly couples when one or both are moved to a care home.
Although such instances are rare – less than one per cent of care home residents are couples – Sir James Munby, president of the High Court’s family division, said no one should ever be uprooted from their home and other family members against their will.
He told told the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services conference of his ‘personal outrage’ at the ‘inhumanity’ of putting older couples who had been together for decades into separate care homes. Most people would prefer to stay with their partner than live somewhere safer, he said.
“We do know that people die of a broken heart,” he said. “I have read of cases where one person died and then the other dies a couple of days later. How long do people last if they are uprooted? A very short time.”