Love is all around for Juniper Carramar couple - Juniper

Love is all around for Juniper Carramar couple

As Carol Belien ascended down the aisle, beaming from ear to ear and glowing in her beautiful white dress, her husband of 53 years Ken Belein couldn’t hold back his tears.

Like a scene plucked straight out of a Hallmark movie, emotions ran high as the couple read out their vows to one another, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

The couple’s fairytale moment had been a long-held wish of Ken’s since he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.

In a bid to reaffirm his love for Carol, Ken staged another proposal to his wife where he asked her to renew their vows.

The couple met through friends more than 53 years ago and wed in an intimate ceremony at the city registry office, followed by celebrations to Kings Park.

Ken, 75, has been a resident at Juniper Carramar Residential Aged Care Home in Morley since October 2021. Carol, 70, joined him at the home several months later in March 2022.

For the vow renewal ceremony, Juniper staff banded together to turn the couple’s dream into a reality.

“It was our dad’s wish to renew his wedding vows to our mum and we put a lot of effort into this to help make it happen,” daughter Trish said.

From planning and setting up the event to sourcing the decorations, the result was more than the couple could have asked for.

Ken and Carol’s daughter Trish was immensely grateful to the Juniper Carramar staff to create a magical event.

“It was our dad’s wish to renew his wedding vows to our mum and we put a lot of effort into this to help make it happen,” Trish said.

“He suffers from schizophrenia and dementia, so it was something he really wanted to do while he is still (cognitively) able to.

“Juniper organised everything, they have been fantastic and gone above and beyond.

Juniper Pastoral Care Coordinator Benny John was honoured to host the vow renewal ceremony, having built a good rapport with the couple during his time at Juniper Carramar.

“When Ken asked me if I could renew their vows, I was so surprised and happy,” he said.

“It’s my first vow renewal and I feel very privileged to be asked to do this for such a beautiful couple.”

Asked what their favourite quality was about one another, neither Ken nor Carol hesitated in their reply.

“My favourite thing about Carol is her eyes,” Ken gleamed.

“My favourite thing about Len is his smile, and the way he would always stick up for me, no matter what,” Carol said, to which Ken added: “It’s my way of expressing how I feel about Carol – in the past, future and present.”

After a tearful but beautiful ceremony, the couple celebrated with guests during a sit down two-course lunch designed and prepared by Juniper’s in-house chefs.

“We are very thankful to Juniper for helping to make our mum and dad’s wish come true,” Trish said.