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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read