Lonely great-grandmother tells family she “wants to die” after 8 months in isolation
A lonely great-grandmother has broken her family’s heart when she admitted she “just wants to die” after spending eight months isolated in a care home during the pandemic.
Relatives told reporters that their beloved, sweet grandma Doreen Tilly was “full of life” when she celebrated her 100th birthday at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.
However, after months away from loved ones, the great-grandmother, who lives in a home in Scotland, has made a heartbreaking admission that she doesn’t want to live any longer.
Doreen’s family told the Daily Record they are “devastated” at her deterioration since March.
Sonia Dixon, 37, said: “The difference in my nan is just devastating to see.
“Before, she was full of life and thrived on regular visits from her family.
“While she has outlived her own two children, she has eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren, almost all of whom live in the area.”
The UK Government has said it will review its approach to visiting people in care homes when England’s second national lockdown comes to an end.
However Sonia said the government’s response is not enough and the enforced separation has been too much for her great-grandmother.
“I can’t bear for this to go on any longer,” she said.
“I’m watching her fade away with the loneliness – she has told me she just wants to die during the outdoor visits that I have been allowed.
“She has become really down and has been prescribed antidepressants for the first time in her life at 100 years old.
“People in care homes should have legal rights to see their families properly and I’d support any move to make it happen.”
Retired pub manager Doreen is a resident at care firm HC-One’s Woodside Court Care Home in Fife.
Sonia, a mum-of-one, said the family was offered “very limited indoor visits” for one person – or more outdoor visits for additional people.
“In the end, we had to go with the outdoor socially distanced visits so Nan could see all of her family,” she said.
“For someone who is 100, surely it should be up to them how much they see family members.
“The home say they are just following the rules but, between them and the Scottish Government, they need to get this sorted out.”
Doreen’s plea to reunite with her family follows just weeks after another Fife care home resident, 104-year-old Mary Fowler, was recorded begging to see loved ones again.
Mary, who lives in the Balfarg Care Home, has only seen her children briefly through a window since March.
In her message, she said: “It’s cutting me to bits.
“I must see my kids, because time is getting on for me.
“I must see my children and make things like they used to be.
“Please help me. Help me. Please, please help.”
In October, Scotland relaxed the rules of visiting residents.
Indoor visits are no longer limited to 30 minutes and can instead last up to four hours.
Visitors were also allowed to hold hands with residents as long as they followed COVID rules.
Six visitors from two households, including children, were able to attend outdoor visits which can last up to one hour.
However, new five-tier rules came into force in Scotland last Monday.
Where Doreen lives, residents aren’t allowed to meet anyone who isn’t in their household indoors inside a home.
Bosses at care company HC-One said: “Our caring colleagues know every resident in our homes and many relatives.
“They understand how important visiting is and how difficult it is for all those who have missed out on precious moments over recent months.
“While this is a challenging time for everyone, we must all work together to protect residents.
“With safety at the forefront of everything we do, a very difficult balancing act needs to be achieved which considers the health and wellbeing of all residents and the threat of coronavirus.”
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