Update: South Tyneside Council released a statement on Tuesday, announcing the woman will be placed in the same residential home as her partner and the couple will not be split apart.
"The assessment process has now been completed and the lady will be placed in the same residential home as her husband," South Tyneside Council said in a statement. "Although she is no longer able to live independently we are pleased that at least the couple will be able to stay together."
The Council further elaborated on the assessment process administered by the group.
“Multi-disciplinary assessments take into account information from a number of health and social care services including social worker, medical and nursing staff and occupational therapists to understand the level of support required for any individual prior to reaching an outcome. The assessment process is clearly set out in legislation to ensure that we meet an individual’s needs in the best possible way.”
Elderly couple Jessie and Ray Lorrison have been living with each other every single day since they first met in 1949, but now the inseparable pair are forced to live apart after South Tyneside Council stopped them from moving into the same care home.
Ray Lorrison, 95, is living in a care home, while his heartbroken 88-year-old wife stays in the hospital after being told by social services that she does not meet the criteria to join him.
The couple, who got married in 1950, has three children, eight grandchildren, plus three great-grandchildren. They have been together for nearly 70 years up until nine weeks back when Jessie had a fall and had to be rushed to the hospital.
She was initially released from the hospital after being treated and was allowed to live in the care home with her husband, but three days later she had another fall and was diagnosed with sepsis, after which the social services decided to send her back home with a caretaker.
But the family does not approve of the council’s decision. Their daughter, Cheryl Bates, 60, is trying effortlessly to unite her parents.
"It is heartbreaking — and so cruel!” said an angry Bates.
"Why should they be apart after all this time? What gives social services the right to play God?" she asked.
Bates wants her parents to stay together in the little time they both have left to live.
"They haven't even got that much time left together. My dad will be lucky if he gets another six months," she says. "Every day he says, 'Where is your mam?' He's sitting outside his room in a chair waiting for my mam. He won't go to bed; he's sleeping in the chair.”
"I am desperate for them to be reunited so they can spend rest of their days together," she added.
Cheryl’s son, Lee Bates, 41, created an online petition that describes the treatment of the council for his grandparents as cruel and inhumane, the petition that was started in the hope of getting 100 supporters now has more than 8,000 supporters.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said, "The council is not able to comment on individual cases; however any decision on care and support for an individual is based on their own needs and is made in line with the Care Act.”