Couple recreate wedding for gran with dementia at care home

1 hour ago

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Hannah and Jay Harris had their wedding outfits dry cleaned for the special visit to Hannah’s grandmother

A woman with dementia who missed her granddaughter’s wedding got to enjoy the celebrations when the couple re-enacted the day at her care home.

Hannah Jobey and Jay Harris tied the knot in Northumberland, but the effects of 86-year-old Liz Jobey’s condition meant she could not be there.

The couple decided to take the wedding to Liz by recreating parts of the happy day especially for her.

Hannah, 29, from Gateshead, said she would “treasure” the memories.

‘Holding my hand’

The primary school teacher donned her wedding outfit and cut a cake alongside her husband at the Eothen care home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, which specialises in caring for people with dementia.

“I always wanted my gran to be part of our wedding and doing it this way she could be involved in a way that meant she felt at home,” Hannah said.

“I really wished she could have been there on the actual day, but in the end I was so pleased we chose to do it this way.

“My gran was so relaxed and happy and that was so important to all of us. She kept holding my hand, not letting go, and looking at my dress.

“It allowed me and my family to create memories that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.”

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Recreating the wedding at the care home meant Liz Jobey was comfortable in familiar surroundings

Hannah and Jay were married at Brinkburn Priory, near Rothbury, in August and waited five months until Hannah’s sister and chief bridesmaid, Esme, was home from college before recreating the celebrations.

‘Absolutely magical’

Liz’s eldest son, Steve, 62, said the decision not to take her to the ceremony had been “incredibly hard”.

“In effect, mam has been unable to get into a car for the best part of two years. She is just not able to get in and gets very distressed. We concluded it wouldn’t be in her best interests.

“We didn’t mention to mum in the interim period that Hannah had got married as we didn’t want to upset or confuse her.

“On the day itself, my sister Ruth went and got her ready and then Hannah and Jay came in dressed to the nines. They told her they’d got married and had come to see her.

“When Hannah came in my mum was absolutely thrilled to bits. It was like a light was switched on.

“Mum grabbed her hand and said ‘You look absolutely beautiful’. It made me so happy we had done it as we had. It was absolutely magical.”

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Hannah said she would treasure the pictures and videos from the day with her grandma