Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“We mostly talk and drink champagne”: meet the pensioner with a 31-year-old roommate

norma cook.jpg

A “sassy” 89-year-old woman has been taken in by her 31-year-old neighbour after being hospitalised for two months.

Norma Cook, who suffers from leukaemia, moved in with Chris Salvatore after being unable to afford 24-hour care – but there is a happy ending to the story.

The unlikely pair, who have been friends since meeting in their West Hollywood apartment complex five years ago, are both having a ball, and have settled into a happy routine.

“He cooks for me,” Cook told Today. "We always watch the news. We mostly talk and drink Champagne and eat peanuts."

“She just hangs out on my couch and watches TV,” Salvatore added.

norma

Describing Cook as “sassy but friendly”, Salvatore said he made the decision to invite her to live with him because he couldn’t face the thought of her living in a facility.

Following her hospital stay, he set up a GoFundMe page to try and secure money for carers to help look after her when she returned home. However, despite raising $60,000 (approximately £45,500), the funding quickly ran out, so Salvatore stepped in to help.

"She couldn't be happier that I asked," he said. "I was over there visiting most days anyway.”

Cook, who has no children, has lived in the apartment complex for around 30 years, and was adamant that she wanted to “carry out the rest of her days” living there.

When she moved in with Salvatore she also brought her beloved pet cat, named Hermes, along with her.

“He’s a really wonderful guy,” she said of Salvatore.

norma

Salvatore, who works as an actor and singer and is a gay rights activist, said Cook calls him “the grandson she never had”.

norma

He now documents the pair’s adventures on social media using the hashtag #myneighborNorma, and counts himself lucky that he took the chance of knocking on her door five years ago.

"She offered me a glass of Champagne — it's her favorite drink — and we just sat down and talked," he said.

"We connected right away.”

Related

work.jpg

LinkedIn says these are the most promising career paths for 2017

rexfeatures_7552669n.jpg

Cate Blanchett slams Trump's presidency as "absurd and ridiculous"

1984-bestselling-amazon-george-orwell-alternative-facts-trump-conway.jpg

The bestselling novel on Amazon right now is scarily apt

More

The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017