An elderly Canadian couple is heartbroken after learning that they will be separated for the first time in seven decades a week before Christmas.
Herbert Goodine, 91, was told he must leave the long-term care facility where he lives with his wife Audrey Goodine, 89, and move into a nursing home.
The facility in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, told the couple on Friday he must move that weekend.
Their story has sparked outrage across the country.
“When talking to my parents yesterday I listened to my mother weep and I could hear my father in the background,” their daughter Dianne Phillips wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
“My mother said, ‘Christmas is over for us now and this is the worst Christmas that we will ever have. Why could they not have waited till after the holidays?'”
Mrs Phillips’ post has since been shared 15,000 times.
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Mrs Phillips said she received a call on Friday from the provincial department that oversees long-term care saying that her father, whose health has declined recently, would have to be moved to a home with more advanced care.
She says that when she was not immediately able to make a decision, the department “forced them to make the decision on their own.”
She said her requests to delay the move by one week, so they could spend Christmas together, were denied.
A representative for the long-term care home also responded on Facebook.
“Once a resident is beyond our level and social development has reassessed to determine their level, I have to follow the rules and regulations set by the government.
“In fact, it’s against the law for me to not follow the rules and I could lose my licence. At this point the decision has been made and it is out of my hands.”