The elderly couple forced to live in separate nursing homes is one step closer to being reunited.
Anita and Wolfram Gottschalk, of Surrey, British Columbia, made headlines when a photo showed the married couple of 62 years in tears over being admitted to separate nursing homes. But the pair will now be closer to each other, with Wolfram relocating to a facility closer to his wife’s, the couple’s granddaughter, Ashley Bartyik, tells PEOPLE.
“It has been decided that [my grandfather] will be moved to Rosemary Heights and out of this transitional facility,” Bartyik, 29, says. “He will still be the top of the list in waiting to be under the same roof as my [grandmother], but he is now only a couple blocks away in complex care facility.”
For the last eight months Anita, 81, has lived at Residence at Morgan Heights and 83-year-old Wolfram was placed in the transitional Yale Road center, waiting to be moved. Bartyik says Wolfram’s failing health put him to the bottom of the waiting list.
On Monday, a spokesperson for Fraser Health told PEOPLE that they have been in contact with the family and hope to reunite the couple soon.
WATCH: Couple of 62 Years Share Heartbreaking Farewell as They’re Forced to Live in Separate Nursing Homes
“The challenge in this case is that the husband’s care needs are considerably higher than his wife’s,” the spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
The two see each other every other day for just a few hours, which, Bartyik says, is not enough for the inseparable couple.
“Every time they see each other they burst out into tears,” she previously told PEOPLE. “They’re happy to see each other, but also sad that they’re not with each other all the time.”
The lovebirds’ moving story prompted many to reach out to the health care authority. And Bartyik says she is pleased with the progress.
“This way he is receiving great care while waiting to be with my [grandmother], and in close vicinity making it so much easier for our family,” Bartyik tells PEOPLE.
“We took a huge step in the right direction and thank Fraser Health for the communication and making this option available.”
She adds: “We are that much closer to having them under one roof! Progress!”