Elderly couples should not be split up says top judge

  • Separating elderly couples against their wishes when one or both move to care homes must end, Britain's most senior family judge has said.

    Sir James Munby said it was "simply inhumanity" that couples who have spent decades together can be separated in their final years, the Times reports.

    In a speech on Tuesday he said such practices could be fatal.

    He urged social workers to apply a "common decency test" and do more to keep couples together.


    On the face of it, I fully agree with the judge, it is inhumane to split couples up into separate homes when they need care and it could easily aid in their decline, I am almost certain of that. The flip side is, at least they get some care. If they do not have the means to pay for their own care, beggars can't be choosers and as the article describes, their care needs may be different and require different homes. And the places may not be available in one care home to accommodate two people at the same time.

    Beyond the headline, the issue is more complex.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • I entirely agree with the judge's sentiments. If they are in separate care homes, given suitable accommodation, there is no reason why they should not be re-united in one home in my opinion. It's simply a matter of moving a resident who has no visitors, ( And there are thousands of those judging by my experience of visiting care homes.) to another home so there is a vacancy for the spouse of one to move in. Some care homes have double rooms which could accommodate married couples.

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