Herbert and Audrey Goodine gave each other a peck on the lips and said goodbye Monday, moments before Herbert was driven to a new care residence about 45 minutes away. (DIANNE GOODINE PHILLIPS/FACEBOOK)

Officials separate husband and wife after 73 years

Officials separate an elderly New Brunswick couple after 73 years: I listened to my mother weep

An elderly New Brunswick couple bid a tearful goodbye this week, separated just days before Christmas after 73 years together.

Herbert and Audrey Goodine gave each other a peck on the lips and said goodbye Monday, moments before Herbert was driven to a new care residence about 45 minutes away.

The couple have been married for 69 years, spending the last three years together at the Victoria Villa Special Care Home in Perth-Andover, N.B.

But after a recent assessment of Herbert’s health, officials decided the home could no longer accommodate him because the 91-year-old’s dementia had progressed to a point where he needs a higher level of care.

Dianne Phillips, the couple’s daughter, said she was told last Friday her father would have to move.

By Monday, a van carried him away to another home in Plaster Rock as Audrey stood by the window and watched him go.

“I feel people need to know what a flawed system we have in place. Two words describe it ‘unethical and cruel,’” she said in a Facebook post.

“This should never take place to another human again.”

Phillips is upset the couple was separated a week before Christmas, saying it’s mentally and emotionally difficult for her parents who had, up until now, shared a room and the same bed at the villa.

Phillips said in the post that she understands her father requires a higher level of care, but felt the facility could have arranged for the couple to be separated after the holiday.

“I listened to my mother weep and I could hear my father in the background,” she said. “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.’”

Jennifer Eagan of Victoria Villa told Global News she cannot comment on specific cases due to privacy, but stresses the home is a Level 2 facility for residents who need a little bit of supervision.

Phillips said her father was assessed as being Level 3, while her 89-year-old mother is Level 2.

The couple will be together for Christmas at their daughter’s home in Fredericton.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP seizes illegal drugs, imitation handguns in Colwood

One man and one woman arrested for weapons-related offences

Rickter Scale: Keep safe, keep calm, keep your distance

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Saanich man serving life sentence for double murder granted day parole

Derik Christopher Lord, convicted in 1992, fathered a child in custody

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Most Read