12 Jan 2024

Ipswich Couple, Married for 67 Years, Reunited for Christmas, thanks to Local Care Service

A man from Ipswich has been reunited with his wife of 67 years, thanks to a local care service, which stepped in to get him home from hospital on Christmas Eve.


Gordon Laing, 93, had been in hospital for three weeks after undergoing a hip replacement, but was unable to be discharged until a care package was put in place to support him at home.

On December 22, Right at Home Ipswich, which cares for older adults and disabled people in the community, was due to close its office for Christmas when it received a phone call from Gordon’s daughter asking for help.

At the eleventh hour, the service launched ‘Operation Home for Christmas’.

Right at Home Ipswich Director, Claire Percy, said: “Gordon required four visits a day, every day, and our dedicated and compassionate Deputy Manager and CareGivers stepped up and volunteered to help. Our team was completely motivated by Gordon’s desire to get home, as he felt that at the age of 93, if he didn’t get home for Christmas, he might not get home at all.”

Claire added: “Shortly after this, we contacted Gordon’s daughter to confirm we could assist and get her dad home for Christmas to be with his wife, Betty. She was over the moon.

“We then assessed Gordon, created an extensive support plan, and started to schedule the visits.”

Gordon’s daughter, Jane, commented: “I was relieved when I received the phone call from Right at Home, telling me dad could go home for Christmas. The CareGivers are providing an amazing service, and they are already making a difference to dad’s wellbeing.”

On Christmas Eve, Right at Home Deputy Care Manager, Catherine Denny, met with Gordon at home and introduced Gordon’s CareGiver, Anna.

Catherine, who took charge of Operation Home for Christmas, said: “When I received the call from Mr Laing’s daughter, I knew I had to do all I could to get him home.  No one should have to be separated from their loved one if it can be avoided, especially at Christmas, and the thought of an elderly couple being apart broke my heart.

“When I saw Mr and Mrs Laing together at their home on Christmas Eve, the happiness on both of their faces was clear for all to see, and it made me feel happy and proud, knowing that we’d been able to make that happen for them.”

Related topics