VANCOUVER, Canada (CNN) – A family is anxious to reunite an elderly couple married for 62 years who are now forced to live in two separate care facilities.
The couple is on a wait-list to move into the same care home.
The time is of the essence because the husband has dementia and has been diagnosed with lymphoma.
“I just want to see them together. They’re a pillar of strength in our family,” Granddaughter Ashley Bartyik said.
It started in January when Wolfram Gottschalk was hospitalized and told he couldn’t go home because he required a higher level of care.
“At that point, he was transitioned to Yale Road in North Surrey where he’s been for the past eight months on a waiting list to be moved into a care facility for complex care.”
Then, two months ago, Wolfram’s wife, Anita, moved into a care home in South Surrey.
“At that point, we confirmed he would be moved to there. After much struggle with Fraser Health they confirmed he would be moving to that one. But we’ve since been waiting with nothing happening.”
In the meantime, family members take turns driving Anita to see her husband. Since then, the family received even more bad news.
“We found out he actually has lymphoma cancer. So right now, as we speak, my aunt and my mom are bringing him to a specialist to figure out what stage and what’s happening with it.”
“Fraser Health claims it is working on finding a way to reunite the couple, but says it can be difficult to find suitable accommodation when two people require two different levels of care,” Tanya Fletcher said.
“We are also exploring options other than this particular facility that his wife is at now. Certainly, when the scope is narrowed to one facility, it becomes difficult to place them there because we have to wait for another bed to become available,” Tasleem Juma, a spokeswoman for Fraser Health, said.
Ashley says they hadn’t heard directly from Fraser Health yet.
“It’s very hard to even get in contact with anyone. We’re not given wait lists, we’re not given wait list times. No one can seem to give us an answer, and we’re fed up,” Bartyik said.
No one is perhaps more fed up than Ashley’s grandmother.
“She is just begging anyone that one can help her get her husband back. It’s been very, very difficult for our family.”