Love is a Memory That Never Fades
Ascension Living Nazarethville Place Helps Resident Rewed Wife
April 1, 2022 (DES PLAINES, Illinois) – Ascension Living Nazarethville Place, a skilled nursing facility located at 300 N. River Road in Des Plaines, Illinois, planned the surprise of a lifetime for Anthony (Tony) and Anne Livorsi – a second wedding.
Anthony, a resident at Ascension Living Nazarethville Place, has dementia and does not remember that he has been married to Anne for 55 years. While his memory of their August 20, 1966 wedding day may have faded, his love for her has not.
“Every day Tony sits by the elevator waiting for his beautiful Anne to arrive,” said Deborah Brown, Executive Director, Ascension Living Nazarethville Place. “He shared vivid stories of when they first met, tells us how he wants to marry her, and is overcome with emotion every day she steps off the elevator. His love for her is felt by every member of the Nazarethville Place family. Our team felt like we should do something special.”
A person with dementia goes through physical and emotional changes because of their condition. These changes can affect how they feel and how they show love. While the disease does not change a person’s need for love and affection, it alters many facets of a relationship. As a result, dementia also impacts family members and friends, like Tony’s family.
After 55 years of the couple living together, Anne made the decision to move Tony into Ascension Living Nazarethville Place three months ago so that Tony could receive the care he needs. This allowed her to relinquish her role of caretaker and once again enjoy time with Tony simply as his wife.
“Within days of Tony being here, Anne quickly looked more at peace and at home during her visits,” Brown said. “Bringing that sense of peace to a family is what we are about. Certainly we concentrate on providing safe, compassionate care. We also focus on bringing our residents a sense of belonging and joy. Every member of the team knew that this ceremony would bring Tony joy and would allow Anne to feel like they are part of the Ascension Living Nazarethville Place family.”
The Nazarethville Place team did not tell Anne about the second wedding they were planning. Instead, they approached their daughter, Jeanne Livorsi-Moore, to plan the special ceremony and reception. She helped with the guest list and who would escort her parents down the aisle. The Nazarethville Place team took care of the rest, including a wedding cake, flower girl, officiant (a resident priest), and reception.
“I can’t believe they did this for us,” Anne said. “This truly is a day we will never forget. God bless the Nazarethville family.”
“ It was just an incredible day for my parents and for us,” remarked Livorsi-Moore. “It is not too often that you see a couple so devoted for so many years. It was amazing how even though my father did not remember being married to my mother, he knew he loved her and still looked at her the same as he did when he first met her .... same way he looked at her all their life together. It is so rare today to have a couple experience the love and devotion my parents share/shared for the 55 years of their marriage.”
Anthony and Anne Livorsi enjoy wedding cake after celebrating their second wedding at Ascension Living Nazarethville Place.
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About Ascension Living Nazarethville Place
Ascension Living Nazarethville Place offers a range of care, services and support options including, short-term rehabilitation as well as intermediate, respite and skilled nursing care. For more information about Ascension Living Nazarethville Place, call 847-297-5900 or visit ascensionliving.org/nazarethville.
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2021, Ascension provided $2.3 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 150,000 associates and 40,000 aligned providers. The national health system operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 142 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia, while providing a variety of services including clinical and network services, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.