Do you remember this couple? They were forced to live separately due to a backlog in the healthcare system when it cam to housing for the elderly. Wolf and Anita Gottschalk had been separated when Anita was placed on round-the-clock care, leaving Wolf alone in another facility. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and showing signs for the early stages of dementia. The only spaces open in nearby retirement homes were for singles, so the couple was forced to separate and be placed on a waiting list. The health authority had no idea how long the couple would be separated, but promised to look into it.
Thankfully, the couple didn’t have to wait long! After 8 months of heartbreaking separation, the two were reunited when Wolf was finally able to move in with his wife.
Their reunion has spurred a movement to rearrange other residents to allow other couples this same happiness. The Gottschalk’s family have raised awareness for others who have been separated due to housing space.
The problems arise, says the health authority, when individuals need different levels of care or when the individual’s family have a preference of one facility over another and there just isn’t space. They are working harder to provide more appealing options to these separated couples while they wait for space to become available.
While it isn’t a perfect solution, it is helping other separated couples to cope with their separations and enjoy their last few years in peace.
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