Love survives transition to adult home

TICONDEROGA - Robert and Mary Carlino married for better, for worse ... forever.

Married 66 years, the couple spent this Valentine's day just like all the others - together.

"We've been married 66 years," Robert, age 92, smiled. "I think it may last."

The couple lived in Brant Lake 65 years, operating Carlino's Brant Lake Market for four decades.

"They loved Brant Lake," said Tina Maltbie, their daughter. "It's their home and they would have never left."

Fate stepped in, however. Mary, age 89, developed Alzheimer's Disease.

"Dad's entire life is about taking care of my mother," Maltbie said. "He's always watched out for her and he always will."

So, when it became necessary to move Mary to an adult care facility, Robert made the only choice he could. He decided to go, too.

The couple moved to the Moses Ludington Adult Home in Ticonderoga in March 2008.

"They're a package deal," Maltbie said. "Where one goes, the other goes."

While the couple is living in an adult care facility, they're like most married couples.

"They argue every day," Maltbie smiled. "At first the staff was a little concerned. I told them not to worry. We're Italians. That's how we communicate."

Mary's memory is failing, but she's clear about one thing - Robert is the love of her life.

"Isn't he a doll?" Mary asked of Robert.

"A living doll," Robert answered.

The Carlinos have three children. Tina and two sons, Anthony, who lives in Lake Placid, and Robert, who lives in Connecticut.

Maltbie is thankful her parents are at the Moses Ludington Adult Home.

"This place is a gift from God,"she said of the Ti facility. "I feel it's a wonderful place. My parents have a life here."

Maltbie praised the staff for planning activities for residents and the community for its support. Community groups often visit the residents and host activities for residents, Maltbie said.

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