Couple forced to live apart for first time in 70 years

Herbert Goodine told to leave Canadian care facility housing his wife Audrey due to deteriorating dementia 

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 20 December 2017 14:51
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After 69 years of marriage, Herbert and Audrey Goodine bid a tearful goodbye and gave each other a kiss
After 69 years of marriage, Herbert and Audrey Goodine bid a tearful goodbye and gave each other a kiss

A couple in Canada have been told they will have to live apart for the first time in 70 years.

Herbert Goodine, 91, was informed he must leave the care facility where he lives with his wife Audrey Goodine, 89, and move into a nursing home.

He was told on Friday that he had to leave the facility in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, by Monday, according to the Toronto Star.

After 69 years of marriage, the couple bid a tearful goodbye and gave each other a kiss before Mr Goodine was driven to the nursing home 45 minutes away. Ms Goodine stood by a window and watched him leave.

A recent assessment of Mr Goodine’s health had concluded the Victoria Villa Special Care Home, where the couple had been for the past three years, could no longer adequately care for his deteriorating dementia.

The couple’s daughter, Dianne Phillips, shared a Facebook post of her parents’ plight.

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“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,” she wrote.

She continued: “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?’"

Jennifer Eagan, a spokesperson for Victoria Villa, told Global News she could not comment on specific cases, but stressed the facility was for Level 2 patients.

Patients with Level 2 needs in New Brunswick are judged to need some assistance with mobility. Level 3 patients have physical or mental health conditions that require 24-hour supervision.

Mr Goodine was reassessed as a Level 3 patient a week ago due to his dementia, Ms Phillips confirmed.

The couple will spend Christmas together at their daughter’s home.

The Independent has contacted Victoria Villa for comment.

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