Liz and Alan | Playing dead for love - Juniper

Liz and Alan | Playing dead for love

“My wedding ring has not come off since the day of my wedding …59 years ago”, says Liz Noakes as she sits down on the couches overlooking the ocean at Juniper Chrystal Halliday Residential Aged Care Home.

Eight months ago, Liz made the hard decision to put her husband into aged care after she was unable to continue to care for him at home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Alan turns 81 this month, and Liz says she is grateful to be sharing another birthday with him.

“Our secret to a happy marriage has been to always give and take. Alan has always been a very loyal family man, and I will love him forever,” Liz says.

Liz and Alan Noakes met when they were both working in the Royal Navy in England, and Liz jokes Alan played dead for love.

“Alan was playing dead in a training exercise, but in true Alan style, he was too cold, so he crawled away and snuck into my office and asked me for a coffee. He got out of playing dead, and we hit it off instantly. Later that night, his friend called me on his behalf and asked me on a date,” Liz says.

Two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson later, Liz says the past 59 years have been the best years of her life.

At the start of their relationship, Liz was living in London and would catch the train on the weekends to meet up with Alan.

“One afternoon, Alan met me at the train station and as soon as he saw me, he swung me around and asked me to marry him.”

“We ended up getting married in England and moved to Australia three times. Perth is home now, and Juniper has become our family,” Liz says.

Liz visits Alan five times a week and says it brings her great joy when she steps through the doors at Chrystal Halliday Residential Aged Care Home.

“Alan now needs very high care, and I am at ease knowing he is in the best place possible. The care he receives is second to none, and the support I receive as his wife is beautiful. Everyone is like one big family. I always have a laugh with the residents, and the staff are always so welcoming,” said Liz.

“My son came to visit from England, and he was blown away by how beautiful Juniper Chrystal Halliday was. He was so happy to see his dad in such a lovely home. We are all so grateful.”