An elderly Canadian couple residing at a long-term care facility was left heartbroken after they were informed they would be separated and would no longer be able to celebrate Christmas together. The incident sparked widespread outrage among people on social media who criticized the care facility for their decision.

Herbert Goodine, 91, who currently lives with his wife Audrey Goodine, 89, in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, was informed Friday he would be shifted to a nursing home.

Goodine's daughter, Dianne Goodine Philips, wrote a lengthy Facebook post detailing her parents’ agony alongside their photograph. Her post read:

This is one Sad Christmas story for Herbert and Audrey Goodine who reside at Victoria Villa Special Care Home in Perth Andover, NB.

I was notified Friday morning (Dec 15) via email and followed a couple hours later by a phone call that my father (91) was going to be removed from the special care home that he is residing at with my mother (89) this weekend. I read this message over several times in disbelief of how can anyone be so cold and cruel to do this a week prior to Christmas. My request during the day Friday was to simply extend my father's residency until the end of this week. 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.

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". This transfer is scheduled to occur tomorrow, as POA, I have NOT yet to be notified of final arrangements

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?" I assured her that I tried everything to keep them together a few more days.

Philips post received more than 15,000 shares at the time of publishing this story.

People across social media expressed their outrage, with some criticizing the care facility and others sharing their own stories.

“This is so sad government should offer more financial help so home care can be provided that can take care of their personal needs together,” Louise Croft wrote in a comment on Philips’ post.

Meanwhile, a representative for the care facility responded to Philips’ post 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 license. At this point the decision has been made and it is out of my hands,” the representative wrote, BBC reported.