Court order  separates elderly couple

Ryan Ross
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A recent court order granted by P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell will mean a couple will have to be separated after 60 years of marriage in order for the wife to receive the 24-hour nursing home care she needs.

An 83-year-old P.E.I. woman with Parkinson's disease and signs of dementia will be staying in government care despite her husband's attempts to keep her at home.

That's after the minister of health and wellness sought a protective intervention order for six months to keep the woman in hospital until a spot opens up in her community nursing home.

P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell granted the order, saying he was satisfied the woman was in need of protection and the order was appropriate.

Campbell's Feb. 8 decision didn't name the woman, but did provide details of her circumstances as her husband tried to care for her.

P.E.I.'s adult protection office got involved in the case in October 2015 after a neighbour reported hearing screaming and what sounded like slapping coming from the couple's room.

She entered the room and found the woman on the floor.

The neighbour called the police, and the woman was hospitalized.

No charges were laid, and the husband testified the woman slipped and fell.

He also testified he was capable of taking care of his wife and had been doing so for years, including giving her medications as required, as well as cooking and cleaning.

His plan for care included hiring an LPN to provide any care required.

The couple has been married for 60 years and during a hearing the husband testified they had only ever been apart once many years ago.

The husband said the separation could be deadly to them both.

But, in his decision, Campbell said professionals involved in the case concluded the woman needs 24-hour nursing home care, and the only person opposing the application was her husband.

Campbell said the woman has had several falls in recent months, including at home and while in hospital, and he didn’t consider it her best interest to let her leave hospital without any intervention.

In granting the order for six months, Campbell also required a written update within three months of the order taking effect.

Organizations: Campbell's

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Recent comments

  • Sarah
    February 17, 2016 - 13:21

    Why can't there be a place where they can be kept together? Who wants to get to the end of their life, where they need their spouse more then ever, and have that one person who means the most taken away? It's great that the government wants to "help" but what is it helping to tear people apart?

  • Slow Down
    February 17, 2016 - 08:09

    I think this judge should have made the order that both of these older people be placed in a home at the same time . 60 years is a long time together & they should be kept together , not separated . There are many couples still together in Belfast being cared for . I know men that went there just to be with their mates . It can be done & should be in this case .

  • don
    February 17, 2016 - 06:37

    who can prove P.E.I.'s adult protection knows what they are doing? they learn from a book and that is not real life. i have had dealings with them and they know nothing about caring for the elderly. they need a heart. or better still they need to look after the elderly 24/7 and see what the care giver goes thru. but there day will come when they have to be looked after and they will not agree when they are told they do not know what is best for them..the husband said his wife fell and the court thinks she is better away from her home but yet she has fallen in the hospital so she is better off away from the hospital to as they can not look after her either. let P.E.I.'s adult protection look after her in there home..............