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27th Jun 2017

Elderly Couple Separated Under Nursing Home Scheme Will Be Reunited


An elderly couple who were heartbroken at being separated because of a HSE nursing home scheme are to be reunited.

Michael (89) and Kathleen Devereaux (85) have been married for over 63 years and had planned to move into a nursing home together after Michael’s health deteriorated.

However, after applying through the Fair Deal scheme, the couple were told that Kathleen would not be offered a place as she was independent enough to live at home.

RTE reports that the HSE has today said “arrangements are being made” to ensure that Kathleen will be moved into her husband’s nursing home and that it would happen as soon as possible.

Michael wept as he told his story to Joe Duffy on RTÉ’s Liveline yesterday.

“We’ve been separated for the first time in our lives after 63 long years of marriage.  I can’t sleep at night even. I’m waking at three o’clock, maybe at four o’clock every morning, and what do I do? I pray first of all and then I cry. It’s terrible.”

In a statement this afternoon, the HSE said its “Social Care Division became aware of the circumstances of the Devereux family through radio coverage on RTÉ 1 yesterday.

“Following this, the National Director for Social Care immediately initiated a review of Mrs Devereux’s care needs and the totality of her circumstances.  

“This review has commenced and will be undertaken as quickly as possible in the coming days.  The review will take account of an updated clinical assessment as well as the provisions of the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS).  

“In the meantime, arrangements are being made through the HSE’s transitional care service to facilitate Mrs Devereux’s transfer to her husband’s nursing home as soon as possible.”


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