Carers help reunite siblings after 40 years

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CARE staff at Balhousie Clement Park care home in Dundee have been involved in reuniting a brother and sister after 40 years.

In 2011, the sister became resident within the care home. Just prior to this move, her sister had died. Her brotherin-law visited periodically, but decided to move to Fife to be closer to his daughter. 

During a visit with her brother-in-law she revealed that she had a surviving brother, whom she had not seen for approximately 40 years.

She wished she could contact her brother, as she didn’t know what had happened to him.

It was discovered that both siblings had been born and raised in Glasgow. The sister said that following the death of her father, her brother had reacted badly and left the family home, rumour being that he had gone travelling.

He apparently served in the Navy and then had been living on the streets of London, before ending up in a hostel for ex-Navy servicemen. The hostel had contacted the brother-in-law, advising that the resident’s brother wanted to return to Scotland.

At this point, Care Assistant Arlene Gordon became involved and asked management if she could make enquires to learn of the brother’s whereabouts, in the hope of a reunion. Arlene was encouraged to try to locate the gentleman and her efforts were quickly rewarded – after checking the telephone directory, she found him in the first nursing home she called.

Arlene arranged a visit to St Andrews, advising the sister she was going to see her brother-in-law, but instead went to the home where her brother was. The staff provided a private lounge for the meeting.

On advising the lady that she had actually been brought to see her brother, when he entered the room, the sister exclaimed: “That’s not my brother. He has black hair, not grey.” Everyone laughed, saying that maybe 40 years ago his hair had been black.

They sat side by side, holding hands. Arlene said they both looked very alike in appearance.

After the visit, regular meetings were organised, allowing the siblings to become closer. After that, the brother said he wanted to return to Dundee to stay with his sister.

Between both homes and care management, brother and sister were reunited within Clement Park home as residents.

The siblings enjoy spending time together, joining in activities and having meals together. Life is now much more enhanced for both residents.