An 88-year-old man has been charged in Melbourne Magistrate’s court with murdering his elderly wife.

The man rested his head in his hands in court, and when asked if he understood what was happening, replied, “No, I’m so sorry but I don’t,” according to a report in the Herald Sun.

The man’s lawyer asked the magistrate if his client could see a doctor once remanded.

The report states an elderly couple sat watching the man throughout the hearing, and as he was being led into custody he offered them a small wave.

Earlier in the week, the body of a 87-year-old woman, believes to be the man’s wife, had been found at Martin Luther Home at The Basin in Melbourne’s east.

The man was arrested at the scene, and detectives were called to investigate the death.

Martin Luther Homes’ management issued a statement to residents, staff and the broader community, with their condolences, and confirmed it is cooperating with police and will help with enquiries.

“The sad passing of a woman who lived in our independent living retirement village today has saddened all our staff, residents and families,” the statement said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends.”

The statement said the nursing home’s management won’t make any further comment

Martin Luther Homes is a not-for-profit nursing home and retirement village aligned with the Lutheran Church.

A neighbour of the home told the ABC he was shocked to learn of the death.

“Nothing ever happens around here, especially next door — it’s just so quiet,” he said.

The man will appear in court again on 22 August.

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