With longer lifespans comes longer marriages. What happens when couples who have been married for 50 years or longer need different levels of care in their old age? Follow our link to USA Today to read the complete article. For the complete article, follow our link to CBC News.
‘Life is not the same’: Manitoba couple forced to live apart after 71 years, care home won’t take them both
By Erin Brohman | CBC News
Two Manitoba couples who have been married for decades are calling on government to help keep them together despite health needs forcing them apart.
After 71 years of marriage, Dorothy and Allan Smith have only spent two weeks without each other. That changed in May when Dorothy, 92, was admitted to hospital, then to a long-term care facility in Brandon, after a fall.
“I don’t like it a bit. Don’t like it at all. Because we’ve been together for forever and when one’s not there, something’s missing,” said her husband Allan Smith, 95.
Every day, he drives from the apartment they used to share at Riverheights Terrace to Fairview Personal Care Home, where his wife gets 24-hour care. Dorothy can’t speak much anymore, but she beams when he arrives, and they sit in silence, holding hands.
But the daily drive and separation are taking a toll on his emotional health, and he’d prefer a bed of his own in her building.
“They won’t let me, I’m not sick enough to go over there. I’m too well; I’m too healthy,” he said.
“I miss her not being here. I don’t know that it has to be that way. If someone can explain to me why it has to be that way things might be better. But no one can explain to me why we have to be split. And I don’t think anybody likes it.”
Allan has been his wife’s voice since her stroke nearly ten years ago, and he’s always taken care of her. Without her, he sits alone in his apartment until meals, which are held in a common area at his residence. She waits in her wheelchair at her facility until he arrives.
“Life is not the same. Not by a long shot,” he said. Keeping reading.