A Canadian couple will be spending their first Christmas apart after the couple were put into two separate aged care facilities.

In an emotional post on her Facebook, the couple’s daughter, Dianne, wrote “my parents have been together for a total of 73 years and still sleep in the same bed”.

“I feel people need to know what a flawed system we have in place. Two words describe it: unethical and cruel.”

“When talking to my parents yesterday I listened to my mother weep and I could hear my father in the background.”

“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.”

The couple, Herbert and Audrey Goodine, had been living together in a special care home for the past four years.

But as Herbert’s health was declining, the family were told by local Department of Social Development that he would need to be moved into a nursing home.

Herbert is 91 and Audrey is 89, and have been married for 69 years. They were given three option: two of them involved moving to a facility together more than two hours away from their friends and family, and a third option was for Herbert to move to a closer facility – 30 minutes away – by himself.

Dianne wanted to extend her father’s stay at the special care home where he lived with her mother until after Christmas,

When told that she would have to make the difficult decision that very same Friday, she hesitated, and then the Department went to her parents.

“My request during the day Friday was to simply extend my father’s residency until the end of this week,” she wrote. “However, my repeated request was ignored.”

“Because I was unwilling to make a decision on his new location within a few hours a representative from Social Development and a representative from the Victoria Villa approached my parents and forced them to make the decision on their own.”

That following Monday morning, Herbert was moved to the nursing home in Plaster Rock.

To date, Dianne’s heart-wrenching Facebook post has been shared more than 11,000 times.

Department of Social Development spokesperson explained in a statement to CTVNews  “individuals who require a higher level of care than what can be provided in special care homes are moved to where their needs can be more appropriately met.”

“We certainly understand that this difficult situation has affected this couple and their family”.

“While we are unable to discuss the details of individual cases, we always work with the residents and their families to provide the appropriate level of care for those who require it.”

“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”.

Despite that, all that this family wanted was for their loving parents to spend the holidays together.  

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