Eternal Love


Image courtesy of Ben Schonewille at


As a geriatric specialist, I hear all kinds of stories. A nurse colleague told me this touching love story (I have changed the details to protect anonymity). – Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW.


One time I was speaking to a man who told me the love story about his parents Gerald (82) and Mary (80) who both had dementia. They had been married for almost 60 years.

Gerald’s dementia was more advanced that his wife’s so he was moved into a Personal Care Home. Mary moved into a seniors’ residence, which was attached to the long-term care centre.

Soon after, Mary’s needs progressed to the point where she needed to be moved into the Personal Care Home as well.

Gerald had no memory of his wife, but soon fell in love with his new neighbour, Mary (who was actually his wife.) He spent every waking minute with her.

One day, Mary needed to be rushed to the hospital. Not long after her hospital admission, she died.

After having no luck finding his love again, Gerald gave up. He died 37 days after Mary’s death.

It looks like eternal love is possible after all.



Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and two adult children. She is passionate about all things related to Aging Well. For more information, visit:



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