Joe and Lorainne Papp have been married for 62 years, but were in different care facilities for most of the past two years, until Friday morning. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Elderly couple reunited after two years

Forced to live in different seniors care homes in Maple Ridge

An elderly Maple Ridge couple who have been forced to live apart for almost two years were reunited on Friday morning.

“That was so beautiful. They were just beaming,” said Peter Herman, who volunteers at their care home, and has helped to advocate for the couple, both in their 80s.

“It was really hard for them to be separated for that long,” he added.

Joe and Lorraine Papp have been married for 62 years, and were living together at Royal Crescent Gardens assisted living facility in Maple Ridge.

When Joe’s health took a turn for the worse, he was moved to the nearby Holyrood Manor long-term care home.

Lorraine’s housing arrangements were still at Royal Crescent, but she would make the journey every day, to spend a couple of hours with Joe, depending on the HandyDart schedule.

“Miserable,” is how Lorraine describes their time apart. “I came here every day, and I was so played out that I could hardly move.”

Joe said it was a lonely time without his wife. He would play bingo to pass the time, “which is something he hated at one time,” laughed Lorraine.

When Lorraine came back for good on Friday morning, Joe said “It was like heaven.”

“I’ve only been here one day – this my first day. Ask me in a week or two,” joked his wife.

“No, it’s great,” she added.

Lorraine lost some mobility and she needed a wheelchair, and a higher level of care. That helped them get reunited, and their situation was helped by media attention about the senior couple forced to live apart, she said.

“That’s what marriage is about – you want to be together,” said Herman.

The couple’s relationship leaves an impression on others, he added.

“They’re really close – they’re Romeo and Juliette as far as I’m concerned.”

Fraser Health issued a statement about the Papp’s new living arrangements.

“We are very happy that we were able to work with this couple to reunite them in a facility that will allow them to be together, while accommodating both of their care needs,” said spokesperson Jacqueline Blackwell.

“Living apart from someone you have spent your life with is extremely difficult, which is why reuniting couples in long-term care is a priority for us and we work as quickly as possible to do so. Since senior couples may need different levels of care at different times, we work with them to find a facility that can meet their different care needs.”

Just Posted

Cedar Street development raises concerns at council

Mission councillors raise issues with home lot sizes. traffic and other aspects of the proposal

Facebook post leads to woman’s arrest

Mission RCMP have charged a woman after she was caught rummaging through a car

Man steals police car, goes for a slow ride

Mission RCMP have arrested a man after he took a joy ride in a stolen police car

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Most Read