‘Stay single’ – care home residents share their relationship advice

Sam Russell, PA
·2-min read

Elderly care home residents have shared their relationship advice ahead of Valentine’s Day, with a 103-year-old woman simply advising people to stay single.

Razvan Stanbeca, manager of Care UK’s Colne View in Halstead, Essex, said writing the advice helped residents to reminisce, which is particularly beneficial for those living with dementia.

The pensioners, with the help of staff, wrote their advice on boards to share with others during a session at the home.

One told of the importance of patience, another said you should never go to sleep on an argument, and 103-year-old Margaret Warburton wrote: “Stay single.”

Margaret Warburton, 103, is among the residents at Colne View care home in Halstead, Essex who have been sharing relationship advice. (Care UK/ PA)
Margaret Warburton, 103, is among the residents at Colne View care home in Halstead, Essex who have been sharing relationship advice (Care UK/ PA)

Ms Warburton, who never married, told staff that her reason for staying single was so she could focus on herself and “be number one”.

The London-born centenarian grew up with The Salvation Army, as her parents were both officers, and served as an officer herself for eight years before working in the telegraph office for the Post Office.

She is a classically trained pianist and was a keen swimmer in her younger years, winning several awards and trophies in the sport as a child.

She continued to swim into her 90s.

Ron Hemsley, 88, who was married for 50 years and has three children, said the key to love is patience, and former Clark’s shoes worker Betty Wood, 92, stressed the importance of resolving an argument before going to bed.

Carpenter Cyril Banks, 96, said he fell in love with his neighbour Vera after she asked him to fit some shelves.

Cyril Banks, 96, shares his relationship advice. (Care UK/ PA)
Cyril Banks, 96, shares his relationship advice. (Care UK/ PA)

They went on to marry and he said it was the “best day’s work he’s ever done”.

Former civil servant Sheila Matthews, 86, who married her husband Ronald at 33 and has two children, advised women not to marry too young, as men are “immature”.

Home manager Mr Stanbeca said: “The true course of love never did run smoothly, which is why we could all do with some advice from the older and wiser members of our community.

“Writing our relationship advice provided the perfect activity to reminisce, which can be incredibly beneficial for older people, especially those living with dementia.

“Reflecting on strong memories from the past helps to boost confidence and offers the chance to re-live happy times, which can then prompt conversation.

“We have some fantastic people living here at Colne View, who always have so many fantastic words of wisdom to share.

“We learn a lot from their lifetime of experience each day, which is why their advice is so special – and often gives us all a good giggle too!”