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Calls by one of the UK’s most senior judges to keep couples together when they need to be cared for in old age have been welcomed by a Herefordshire care provider.
Sir James Munby, the president of the family division at the High Court, said separating people against their wishes was 'inhumane' and social workers should do more to keep couples together.
Sir James made his comments in a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, adding that he was “personally outraged” at reports of couples being separated after spending their lives together.
Managers at one of Herefordshire’s largest care companies, Kemble at Home, have heaped praise on Sir James for speaking out.
“His comments were music to our ears,” said Cathy Watkins, head of live-in care at Kemble at Home, based in Hereford.
“Sir James gave a really hard-hitting speech and essentially said that councils should give more priority to the happiness of people in care rather than budgets and procedures.
“We have seen examples of couples being separated, with the husband and wife going into different care homes and it dramatically affects their quality of life.
“We all know that adult social care departments in councils up and down the country are grappling with huge funding cuts so they are in a difficult position.
“But what Sir James was talking about was a change in culture, and we can only hope that his comments are taken on board by the industry.”
Kemble at Home provides care to people within their own homes across Herefordshire, giving couples the opportunity to stay living together at home for as long as possible.
“The advantages of providing care to people in their homes are numerous,” Cathy said. “The main one being that it encourages people to maintain their independence for longer, which is generally better for their physical and mental wellbeing.
“Another major advantage, of course, is that it enables people to stay with their family rather than being taken into a care home, which is what Sir James was speaking so passionately about.
“Helping to maintain independence, giving people the opportunity to improve their quality of life by connecting with social groups and reducing isolation are big priorities for us, so it was great to hear such a respected figure talking in this way.”
For more information about Kemble at Home, visit their website or give their team a call.