February 18, 2016 8:31 pm
Updated: February 19, 2016 7:54 pm

Nova Scotia family wants veterans care home to allow veteran’s wife to live there

WATCH ABOVE: A Halifax family says their 91-year-old grandfather should be allowed to stay at a veterans care home with his wife. The Second World War vet suffers from Alzheimer’s, and his wife also needs care, but she is not a vet so she can’t stay, even though she would be sleeping in the same bed. Global’s Steve Silva has this story.

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A Bedford, N.S, family has started an online petition to get the rules changed at a care home for veterans so an elderly couple can live there together one day.

Harold Cameron, 91, has Alzheimer’s, and his wife Virginia, 89, is developing dementia.

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“The thought of separating them is just not an option for them,” said Gillian Osborne, the couple’s granddaughter.

Pam Campbell, the couple’s daughter, said both need around-the-clock care.

“At night, dad has started to roam a bit, and the only thing that we can console him with is mum’s voice to say, ‘Harold, come back to bed,'” she said.

The plan is to move the couple to Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building in the future.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) owns and operates the home but follows rules set by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

“In such cases, we work with provincial authorities, veterans and their families to explore all options available for co-location in other nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” read a statement from VAC.

The federal organization provides long-term care funding for eligible Second World War and Korean War veterans at the facility.

“Decisions regarding access to, and funding of, care for other provincial residents, including spouses of Veterans, fall within the purview of the Nova Scotia Health Authority,” the statement continued.

A spokesperson for the NSHA told Global News over the phone that the home is only for veterans because of guidelines set forth by VAC.

Health Minister Leo Glavine said he is prepared to look into the matter.

“I’m at a wonderful place where I can pick up the phone and call the federal minister and, because it’s happening in our province, I certainly am prepared to do that and see if, in fact, a Veterans Affairs issue can be looked into,” he said.

Campbell said the family has no problem with paying for Virginia’s care at the home.

“They will never be separated, no matter what we have to do,” she said.

As of Thursday evening, the petition had collected more than 400 signatures.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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