These days, when 83-year-old Wolf Gottschalk sees his beloved wife, Anita, his eyes fill with tears.

The Surrey, B.C. couple was forced to move into separate care facilities this year because of Wolf’s deteriorating health. Prior to that, they had been inseparable for more than six decades.

“We want to be able to spend time together and do things together, even if it’s just a walk in the park,” said 81-year-old Anita, her voice breaking. “We don’t have much time left.”

For months, Wolf has been living in a transitional facility while waiting to join Anita in The Residence at Morgan Heights, a long-term care home located about a 40-minute drive away.

Their family tries to bring Anita to visit every other day, but they worry the separation is still taking a toll.

“As soon as he sees my grandmother he starts crying and calling her nickname, Mouse,” said Ashley Bartyik, the couple’s granddaughter. “They have beautiful conversations and it provides a sense of clarity for him.”

That clarity is important because Wolf is suffering through dementia. Though he currently has no trouble remembering his wife and partner of 62 years, the family fears that could change if they remain apart much longer.

And this week, their situation became even more urgent; Wolf was diagnosed with lymphoma on Tuesday.

“His time is limited even more now,” Ashley said. “We’re just terrified about what will happen if this goes on much longer.”

Growing frustrated with what the family describes as a lack of answers from the local health authority, Ashley shared a heart-wrenching picture on Facebook this week of the couple wiping away tears. It has since been shared more than 1,000 times.

“We love the fact that we have free health care but there’s a broken and underfunded system here for our elders that needs to be brought to light,” she said.

“I know that it’s hard to please everybody,” Anita added. “I know they’re trying to do good. I’d just love to have him in my place. That way I can feed him, I can look after him, I can take him out for a walk.”

On Wednesday, the Fraser Health Authority assured it has been working to get the couple together, but said not a single residential care space has opened up at Morgan Heights 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 CTV News in an email.

Finding long-term placement can be challenging when a patient has a specific area or facility where he or she would like to go, Juma added. The fact that Anita and Wolf require different levels of care has also made the placement difficult.

Even so, the health authority said it hopes to have the Gottschalks back together soon.

“We continue to work to reunite this couple and hope to do so in the next few weeks,” Juma said.