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Seniors torn apart

Two BC seniors who were forced into separate homes are pleading for a chance to live together again.

Health officials moved Alex Munroe away from his wife June after his health worsened last year.

As a result, the couple celebrated their 64th anniversary on Tuesday with different addresses.

“They tore us apart, absolutely tore us apart,” 80-year-old June told CTV News.

The Munroes currently live several blocks apart in Kelowna, with June at Fernbrae Manor and her 88-year-old husband at Spring Valley Care Home. The homes are close enough for June to visit, but the couple says it’s not the same as living together.

“He phones me and says, ‘I cry myself to sleep just about every night because I miss you.’ That just tears my heart apart,” June said.

“We’ve been together 64 years and sure like to be together the rest of our life,” said Alex. “That’s important, don’t you think?”

Bryan Redford of the Interior Health Authority said officials initially believed the couples would be satisfied at that distance, but are trying to find a better solution.

“That’s what we’re working on,” Redford said, adding that one option has already been discussed.

“It wasn’t acceptable to the family, so now we’re looking at other solutions.”

Redford said a meeting with the Munroe family is being later held this week.

The health authority was criticized in 2006 for separating a Kootenay couple, Al and Fanny Albo, who both died within two weeks of the move.

Officials vowed to make changes, but the Munroes said there’s clearly more work to do.


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