Elderly couple banned from going on holiday because wife has dementia

Ceri Roberts
Elderly couple banned from going on holiday because wife has dementia
Elderly couple banned from going on holiday because wife has dementia

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An elderly couple were banned from going on a planned Mediterranean cruise because social workers feared for their safety.

Norman Davies and Peggy Ross were told by Cardiff Council that they could not go on the trip because Mrs Ross suffers from dementia and was in danger of wandering off or falling overboard.

Undeterred, the could fought the court order and were eventually allowed to set sail from Southampton to enjoy their 16-day break.

The Daily Mail reports that, back in October, the council learned the couple had planned the £3,200 trip and tried to use mental health laws to prevent Mrs Ross from leaving her care home.

The couple, who have been together for 20 years and have been on around 30 cruises, were shocked when council workers obtained a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard authorisation and applied to the Court of Protection for a declaration to say that Mrs Ross, 82, was unable to travel.

Mrs Ross, who admits that she sometimes gets confused, said: "They just didn't want me to go. I do look after myself, and we're usually in the same room together, so he notices if I try to go out. It's not often."

Mr Davies, 81, told ITV Wales: "I'm with her 24/7. The cabin is a self-contained unit and we go down for meals together - she's just never left on her own."

Mrs Ross was admitted to a nursing home in July 2010, suffering from memory loss. Her social worker claimed that she lacked "capacity to make a decision" about the holiday because her "ideas/beliefs are not based in reality."

Mr Davis and his daughter Gaynor Lloyd instructed a solicitor to challenge the order just days before they were due to set sail. Fortunately, the judge ruled that it was in Mrs Ross' best interests to go.

Despite the fears of the local authority, Mr Davies said that the break had in fact improved Mrs Ross's mental alertness.

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: "The council has always had Mrs Ross's best interests at heart and we worked with her to find an alternative holiday where we could be confident that the required level of care which she requires on a daily basis could be provided."

Her care home manager said that nothing stopped her leaving the care home but she was concerned about Mrs Ross being away for 16 days.