Bedford care home residents share their love tips on Valentines

Romantic residents at a Bedford care home are spending the week passing on their relationship advice to younger generations. The group at Elstow Manor Care Home on Bedford Road were challenged to provide words from the heart and advice to others – and friendship and tolerance came up tops.
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Married couple Crawford and Julie Lane have lived at Elstow Manor since August 2023, and they have been married for 63 years.

Julia, aged 86, said: "It is about give and take. Don't always expect to have your way. Be able to accept the other's opinion. Trusting God, caring for one another and no quarrelling are also important lessons."

Crawford, aged 87, agreed and added: "It's all about care and working together. Give and take and being balanced."

Evelyn TredgetEvelyn Tredget
Evelyn Tredget

Resident John Skevington, aged 87, said: "It's important to have the same motives, work together and have the same beliefs and faith."

John was married to his wife Mary, and they both grew up in the same Bedfordshire village, Carlton, just a few miles from Elstow Manor.

They were married in 1960 and were together for 63 years.

Shirley Butters, aged 87, has been married to husband Allan for more than 65 years.

John SkevingtonJohn Skevington
John Skevington

She said: "It's best to be thankful for what you have. Nobody is perfect. Don't expect too much, and be nice to each other."

Another couple at Elstow Manor is David Coren, aged 93, and wife Leita.

David said: "Building a solid relationship is about tolerance and understanding their point of view.

"It’s good to have the ability to laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes, so laughing at yourself helps."

Fellow resident Val Hunt, aged 74, believes "togetherness and loving each other" are the most important values.

Ninety-one-year-old Evelyn Tredget said: "Live sensibly, work and live together."

The residents sat down to a beautiful Valentine's tea to discuss the important topic and how people can increase their chances of building a successful relationship over many years.

Resident Jacqui Fryer, aged 82, added her sense of humour to the debate when she said: "Agree to everything your partner says with a smile."

Fellow resident Anne Poole, aged 89, added: "It's important to demonstrate tolerance, fun and caring. If I say anymore, I will cry as it brings back fond memories."

Wellbeing Coach Oliver Waddington said it had been wonderful to hear all the tips about relationships.

He added: "This is all such valuable advice and certainly comes from the heart and years of experience. Thank you to everyone for sharing."

On Valentine's Day, Elstow Manor residents will participate in a love-themed art project from Creative Mojo and the team have booked a guest singer in the evening to serenade residents with love songs.