Thelma says the secret to a long life is a happy marriage


A resident from a Cardiff care home celebrating her birthday under lockdown says the secret to living a long life is a ‘happy childhood’ and a ‘happy marriage’.

Thelma Rowland, who lives at Tŷ Llandaff, a residential, nursing, palliative and respite care home in Conway Road, recently celebrated her 88th birthday at the home after staff surprised her in a room with a delicious birthday cake.

Thelma threw her hands up over her face in surprise as her carers walked in singing happy birthday in emotional scenes which were captured on camera before she blew out the candles.

Thelma receives her birthday cake

Born in Whitchurch, Thelma was married to husband Malcolm for more than 60 years and has two children, Julie and Paul, and several grandchildren.

When asked what is the secret to a long life, she said:

“I think having such a happy childhood and happy marriage is the real secret. My greatest achievement in life was having such a long and happy marriage to Malcolm and being a successful housewife.”

Thelma came to Tŷ Llandaff from hospital at the beginning of the first UK-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak in April and she revealed she could not be happier at the home, which has an average Rating of 4.9 out of 5 on leading UK care home review website,  

Thelma added:

“I love it here and the staff are wonderful. I’m so well looked after and fed so well too. I needed to put on weight and have done so. I would definitely recommend Tŷ Llandaff – it is a wonderful place to stay.”

Tŷ Llandaff Family Liaison Officer Paul James said:

“Thelma has been with us for around seven months now and we absolutely love having her here. She is as bright as a button and I know it was a very moving moment when her carers brought in her birthday cake. She was not expecting it at all and just loved her cake.”

Tŷ Llandaff service manager Lisa Cristina added:

“We are so pleased to help Thelma celebrate her 88th birthday in style. She has made a big impression on all of us since she moved to the home and is an absolute delight.”

For more information about Tŷ Llandaff call Lisa on 02920 600 100, email info@ or visit




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