A Co Antrim nursing home is to close its doors, leaving 36 families searching for new places for their loved ones.
Staff and relatives of residents of Ravenhill Private Nursing Home in Greenisland were called to a meeting at the facility tonight, when the devastating news was announced.
The home, which overlooks Belfast Lough, is registered with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) to provide care to 38 people.
It is currently home to 36 elderly people, 33 of whom were placed there by the Northern Trust. It is understood the trust hopes to find alternative accommodation for the 33 residents within a month, but it is not known when the owners plan to close the home.
It is also not known when the trust was informed of the decision to shut the home, but staff and relatives of residents were left devastated by the development.
A spokeswoman from the Northern Trust said: "The trust can confirm that it has been advised by the owners of the imminent closure of Ravenhill Private Nursing Home in Greenisland, Co Antrim. There are currently 36 residents in the home, of which 33 are Northern Trust service users.
"The trust will be working closely with residents, family members and home staff to facilitate the transfer of these residents to appropriate alternative accommodation."
Management of the home, which had a shareholders' fund of £230,000 at the end of 2018, according to accounts filed at Companies House, did not respond to a request for comment.
However, the home's website gives details on the efforts it makes to ensure residents are safe, comfortable and happy in their environment.
"At Ravenhill we understand that the decision to place an elderly relative in a care home can be very difficult, causing much anxiety and worry for all the family," it says.
"With that in mind, our philosophy is to provide the highest standard of professional care in a suitably adapted environment they can call their own, so that you can put your mind at ease.
"We have a carefully selected, dedicated team of staff, comprising registered nurses with many combined years of experience in elderly care and clinical expertise, and fully trained care staff, many with NVQ qualifications in care of the elderly.
"We aim to preserve independence, privacy, dignity and the right of choice they deserve at perhaps the most vulnerable time of their lives."