14 December 2020
West Hall care home couple reunited after eight months apart
After eight months apart due to the coronavirus pandemic, a devoted couple were treated to a surprise reunion with a candlelit meal at West Hall care home in Surrey.
Carol and Malcolm Harrison have been married for 51 years but, in line with government guidelines, hadn’t seen each other since March – the longest they’ve ever been away from each other.
Carol has dementia and has lived at Anchor Hanover’s West Hall care home in Surrey since February 2018. Due to essential works being done to the boiler in his house, Malcolm had also moved into West Hall for a short-term stay at the beginning of November. Following Anchor Hanover’s safety procedures around the coronavirus pandemic, he spent two weeks in the care home’s ‘settling-in suite’ before being able to see Carol.
Last week, to treat the couple after so long apart, the dedicated care home team and the couple’s daughter, Kaye, organised a surprise romantic meal to give the couple a reunion to remember.
Unaware of the surprise, Malcolm believed he was going to a meeting regarding the care home’s Christmas event planning. At the intimate and candlelit dinner, the menu was specially designed around the couple’s favourite dishes from their lives together, including a Butterscotch tart – a firm family favourite for celebrating anniversaries and birthdays – prawn cocktail and fillet steak.
Dressed to the nines, the couple were overjoyed to be able to embrace and enjoy each other’s company after being separated for so long.
I cannot believe the thought and effort put into this meal. It has been absolutely fantastic and really moved me. To be able to share this time with Carol has been a massive lift and I thank every single one of the staff for making it happen. It gives me great comfort to know that my wife is receiving such excellent care.
Candice O’Neill, Manager at West Hall care home, said:
Carol has assistance at meal times, but by sharing this experience with Malcolm, she has been able to lift a cup to drink by herself and a spoon to feed herself for the first time in a long time. It really shows the power of love and what having your nearest, most special people with you, can do. Malcolm has been a very welcome guest for his short stay at West Hall, and he is always welcome to return to stay with us in the future.
Kaye Patel, daughter of Malcolm and Carol, said:
I was absolutely thrilled with how my father was in himself following his recent reunion with Mum at West Hall Care Home. It really uplifted him to see her after those difficult few months. All the staff at West Hall were amazing in facilitating this and we can't thank them enough.
West Hall care home prides itself on going above and beyond for all of its residents. Interested to hear more about what West Hall could offer you or your loved ones? Head over to our dedicated webpage to find out more.