To be separated after over 70 years of devoted marriage is a distressing blow. When 96-year-old Kenneth Meredith needed to move into a care home, he left behind the person who had been by his side for that lifetime, his dedicated wife, Betty. Current restrictions made it difficult for the couple to see each other, and so 91-year-old Betty decided to act.
She hatched a plan with the super caring staff at Bourn View Care Home in Bournville, Birmingham, and moved in without telling Kenneth! There have been few secrets between the couple in all the decades, but Betty knew this would bring their life back together, and maintain part of their vows, to have and to hold each other.
Everyone was in on the plan, and Betty’s phone calls to Kenneth were actually from her room in the care home where she was isolating, awaiting a negative Covid-19 test result that meant she could join the home’s ‘bubble’. The amazing staff at the home worked with family members to arrange a surprise and romantic reunion meal for the loved-up pair in the home’s restaurant, complete with red roses, scattered petals and an array of love heart balloons. The moment Kenneth spotted Betty, he sped towards her in delight for an emotional hug. “Have you come to get me?” Kenneth said. “No” replied Betty, “I’ve moved in! It’s you and me, are you happy? All these kind people have done all this for us.”
Bourn View Well-being and Activities Co-ordinator, Rosie Boshell, said, “When I heard Betty was moving in and her family had asked for a video of their reunion, I wanted to make it extra special for them, decorating our restaurant and arranging a romantic meal. It was so emotional and heart-warming to see; everyone was in tears of happiness and joy for them!”