Elderly Canadian couple forced to separate after 62 years

Ottawa, Aug 27 (IANS) A Canadian couple, after spending 62 years of their lives together, are now being forced to separate because they cannot get into the same care home.

Wolf Gottschalk, 83, and his wife Anita, 81, met and fell in love while their families lived in the same apartment complex in Dusseldorf, Germany when they were teenagers, the Daily Mail reported.

The couple got married in 1954. Wolf worked in construction while Anita worked in retail.

After a few months, they decided they wanted a better life for themselves and their future children and immigrated to Surrey, British Columbia.

The couple built a successful life for themselves and were always together as they went on to have a family – a son and two girls.

But after 62 years of being together every single day, the couple have been forced to live separately for the past eight months because there are no spaces at care homes close by that can accommodate the married couple, the Daily Mail said.

Outlining the family’s seemingly impossible situation in a Facebook posting that has gone viral, their granddaughter Ashley Bartyik wrote of her sadness and frustration at the current situation.

“After 62 years together, they’re inseparable. They do everything together,” she wrote.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ashley said that her grandmother had cared for her husband up until January, when doctors told the family he needed to be in a care facility as his condition was worsening.

Wolf is on a waitlist to move into the same nursing home where his wife is being cared for, The Residence at Morgan Heights, but the Fraser Health Authority was unable to say when it might happen.

Ashley said they can’t even share meals together since they aren’t at the same facility.

In one heartbreaking snapshot, she captured a photo of her grandfather sitting alone while looking out of the window, pining for his wife, all the while calling out the nickname for her, his “little mouse”, the Daily Mail noted.

Wolf is in the early stages of dementia and earlier this week was diagnosed with lymphoma. He also suffers from congestive heart failure.



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