An Ottawa-area couple who are about to celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary are pleading with Ontario government bureaucrats to let them live together again.

Joan and Ken Burnett have been in separate long-term care homes for more than six months.

“I’m lonesome for him,” Joan said of her husband. “Three people die here and then three people come in, but it’s not Ken.”

Joan Burnett is living in a facility in the couple’s hometown of Kemptville, Ont. Ken was placed in a facility in Ottawa, which is a 45-minute drive away.

The couple’s children say Ken’s health has declined over their parents’ months apart, and that he calls out for his bride in his sleep.

They say the separation is affecting his mental health. He’s been put on medication for insomnia since being placed in the home alone.

Jennifer Schenkel, director of communications for the Champlain Community Care Access Centre, said in a written statement that “private residence location does not influence placement prioritization into regulated Long Term Care beds.”

“I just wish that it could be,” Joan said. “But… it just doesn’t work that way.”

The Burnetts’ story is reminiscent of British Columbia couple Wolf and Anita Gottschalk, who spoke to CTV News last week. The Gottschalk’s, married 62 years, have been forced to live in separate care homes for more than eight months.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Megan Shaw