Heartbroken Second World War veteran Dennis Lilley has been forced to live apart from his wife after 72 years of married life… because of a social-care assessment.
Dennis, 93, who served in Italy in the Royal Sussex Regiment, had not spent a day away from Gladys, 91, since their wedding in 1949. But he is now living alone, crying every day, after she was placed into a care home for her dementia last month. He was deemed “not to meet the criteria” to join her. Dennis, a former engineer, said: “It is bad being separated like this.
I just can’t understand it. “I have been very lonely. I feel very depressed about it. It would mean everything to be back with Gladys. I miss her. We have been together nearly 75 years.”
Their daughter, Barbara Fresle, 68, a former factory worker, said she has watched her father get worse by the day. And she fears he could come to harm if he remains at the flat. Son-in-law Victor Fresle, 80, a retired prison officer, said: “They are still madly in love with each other and they both cry every day they are apart. He calls us 16 times a day because he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He is depressed.” Gladys has moved into AvonView Care Home in Christchurch, Dorset. According to the family, Dennis’s doctor raised concerns about his health, prompting him to be assessed by a council officer. However, they claim the officer concluded that he was capable of looking after himself. The family believe he too has dementia. Dennis’s MP Sir Christopher Chope has called on Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to “show some humanity”. Councillor Karen Rampton said: “We will continue to monitor and review the situation, as necessary, and will respond accordingly should circumstances change.”
The above is as reported by the Daily Express 8th July 2021.
What can we do? Write or email Sir Christopher Chope MP, and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councillor Karen Rampton, and let them know your thoughts.
The vows they made to each other in 1949 was ‘until death do us part’. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, however, seem to have a different view on that!