The Moment Couple Married 62 Years Forced To Separate
Imagine being with someone for over 60 years, every day - and then having someone tell you that in your elderly years, when you’re supposed to do the ‘growing old’ part together, there’s not enough room for you to be in the same home.
83-year-old Wolf Gottschalk and his wife Anita, 81, met and fell in love in Dusseldorf, Germany when they were just teenagers.
After getting married, they decided to move in order to provide a better life for their future family, so they moved to Surrey, British Columbia.
Settling there, the couple were never separated from each other as they went on to have three children - a son and two girls.
But for the past eight months, the couple have been forced to live separately because there are no spaces at care homes close by that can accommodate two people.
Adding to the worry is their failing health, and the fact that they may not have that much time left together. Granddaughter Ashley Bartyik has taken to Facebook to express her sadness and frustration at the situation.
“After 62 years together, they’re inseparable. They do everything together,’ she wrote. In speaking to the DailyMail.com, Ashley shared 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 nursing home where his wife is cared for, called The Residence at Morgan Heights, but the Fraser Health Authority is unable to say when it will happen.
Every other day Anita is driven 30 minutes up the road to see her husband. Ashley has quit her job to help her mother care for Anita, as the stress from not seeing her husband has affected her tremendously.
'The stress of this has taken control of her and she has a pace maker,' Ashley said. 'She has become almost completely immobile and uses a walker wherever she goes and a wheelchair depending on how far the walk is.'
The Fraser Health Authority says it has been working to get the couple together but says that no care spaces have opened up since Anita moved in. 'We certainly understand how heartbreaking this is for the family.
It's upsetting for us as well,' spokeswoman Tasleem Juma told DailyMail.com. 'The wife went into assisted living in July and we’ve been working hard with the family to get their loved ones reunited since. 'One of the challenges with couple reunification is that they don’t necessarily need the same level of care at the same time.
In this case, the Wolf's care needs are considerably higher than his wife’s. 'He needs residential care while his wife needs assisted living care. This means we need to make sure the facility can accommodate both their needs. They explain that they’re working with the family to help make a permanent reunion possible.
Source: Daily Mail