Elsie, 95, and Tony, 75, who are both residents at Care UK’s Broadwater Lodge care home, surprised everyone by announcing their engagement and then agreeing to share it with the nation via a BBC News film.
When a 95-year old widow moved into a care home in Surrey two years ago, she really wasn’t expecting to find herself falling in love again. But that’s exactly what happened when love blossomed at Broadwater Lodge for Elsie Bradbury and her fiancé Tony Frogley.
75-year old Tony moved to the Care UK-run Broadwater Lodge home following a long stay in hospital earlier this year. At first, he preferred to spend his time alone in his room as he didn’t think he would have much in common with the other residents.
Carers working at the home eventually persuaded him to venture out of his room to one of the sunny lounges overlooking a garden where he was introduced to Elsie.
Within a few days the care home team noticed Elsie and Tony deep in conversation and within weeks they had become inseparable. It was only when home manager Angie Bookham noticed them whispering and holding hands that she realised she had a real-life love story unfolding in her home.
Angie said: “Elsie has a wicked sense of humour and I think she was just the tonic Tony needed after he had been poorly for so long. Several times I walked into the lounge and saw them holding hands and giggling like teenagers so I knew they were growing very close.
However it was a bit of a surprise last month when they announced that they had decided to get engaged and asked us to help them choose rings and arrange an engagement party for their family and friends.”
The award-winning Broadwater Lodge care home team were more than happy to help out and have been busy arranging invitations and planning a big party with music and a buffet.
The happy couple have also found themselves in the limelight after the BBC digital team came down to make a heart-warming short film about their romance which has already been viewed nearly 120,000 times on Facebook.
Angie added: “Care UK runs over 100 care homes around the country but we believe I am the first of our managers ever to be asked by two residents to help them organise their engagement party. It’s an honour and a pleasure and everyone is really enjoying the buzz that it has created around the home.”
Broadwater Lodge care home in Surrey recently won Best Dementia Team at the National Dementia Care Awards for the care and support it provides to those residents with dementia. It is home to around 65 older people and also offers a day club for local people to enjoy.