Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina “Never Let You Go”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 26 May 2009. This photo of an elderly man leading a disabled woman into their living room, won 1st prize in the Daily Life Stories category
A photo of an elderly man leading a disabled woman by the hand into a living room with a large, framed portrait drawing on the wall. Marcos and Monica were married for 65 years and, for much of that time, lived in the same apartment in Buenos Aires. In 2007, aged 84, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Marcos looked after her himself, coping with the emotional and physical stress of being a caregiver. In the later stages of Monica’s illness, Marcos had to feed her, pureeing her meals beforehand as she could not chew. During the last year of her life, Monica was bedridden and Marcos had to change her diapers three times daily and help visiting nurses treat her bedsores – activities that took up most of his day. She could barely recognize him, though cuddles and caresses helped her to connect, even if for a few seconds. But Marcos was determined to care for his wife at home. “Tell me where she is going to be better than here,” he said. “I treat her like a princess, here she has everything.” Monica passed away in July 2011.