Eloise and Ward Hill have been married for nearly seven decades. They live in a memory care facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, as they both have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The couple's children created a guest book for those who visit the couple. It makes it easier for them to remember, said photographer Allison Hess.
An employee at the memory care facility helps Eloise get dressed.
Ward listens to the couple's caretaker, Kathleen, during an outing one afternoon. She believes it is beneficial for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's to get out and see things, to keep their memory sharp and establish normality.
Eloise stares out the windshield of Kathleen's vehicle while on an outing.
Eloise and Ward lift light weights at the memory care facility along with another resident named Joyce. The facility believes that an active body and mind is one way to prolong the side effects of Alzheimer's, Hess said.
Eloise played Christmas carols on the piano for other residents to sing along to. She was able to remember all of the music notes, but just not the number of times she had played each chorus. All of her adult life, Eloise was a piano teacher. At one time, she had more than 60 students visiting her home each week.
The couple's son, John, and his wife pick up Ward and Eloise from the memory care facility every Saturday morning. For years, Ward was a theology professor, and he still never forgets to attend Sabbath.
Increasingly, there are days that Ward does not remember his wife, Hess said. He has moments when he thinks that other women living in the facility are Eloise.
Ward stretches out for a nap one afternoon.
Mementos of the couple's past are displayed in their room. They were married in 1948. Eloise's father made the couple wait to get married until after she graduated from college. The couple first met in 1945 during a handshake, a school-sponsored event in which people line up and greet one another as a way of getting acquainted. During the handshake, Eloise says that she turned to her then roommate and whispered, "That's the man I'm going to marry someday," and pointed to Ward in the crowd.
Even though he may not always remember Eloise, Ward physically relies on her guidance, almost always holding his wife's hand to navigate through his increasingly unfamiliar world.