Elderly couple's family win case for them to live in same residential home

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A devoted couple who have been together for 70 years will be allowed to stay in the same residential home following a social media campaign by their family, a council has said.

Relatives of Ray and Jessie Lorrison from South Shields took up their case with South Tyneside Council after they were initially told they would not be allowed to stay in the same care home.

Mr Lorrison, who is 95 and who has Alzheimer's Disease, has been staying at Westoe Grange Care Home, while his 88-year-old wife has been treated in hospital following a fall.

Their family had said it was disgusting that the couple would not be allowed to be together once Mrs Lorrison was well enough to leave hospital. She had been expected to return to the marital home and would receive daily visits from carers.

Their grandson Lee Bates started an online petition urging the council to think again, and by Tuesday lunchtime more than 20,000 people had signed it.

At around that time, the council announced the couple would be allowed to stay in the same care home.

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: "The assessment process has now been completed and the lady will be placed in the same residential home as her husband.  

"Although she is no longer able to live independently we are pleased that at least the couple will be able to stay together."

The council said multi-disciplinary assessments had needed to be completed, involving health and social care services, before a decision could have been made.

Mr Lorrison, who was a cook in the Merchant Navy, and his wife, a shop manager, met in 1946, married in 1950 and went on to have three children.

Mr Bates's online plea said: "My grandfather sits and waits for her everyday - confused, anxious and lonely without the woman who has been by his side for 70 yrs.

"My grandmother misses her husband terribly and still wants to do what she can to care for him - even if its just sitting by his side holding his hand.

"This treatment is inhumane and cruel."