Joyful reunion for Great-Grandma Jean

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After three months in lockdown, a 95-year-old care home resident from Somerset has been reunited with her loving family.

As part of a special ‘drive-through’ event organised for residents at Avalon in Bridgwater, pensioner Jean who has dementia was able to meet up with son Allan Jeffery and grandson, Andrew.

“After three months it was lovely to have the chance to see my mum, ‘Grandma Jean’, in person again,” said Allan who lives in Bridgwater.

“It was good to have a chat and joke about the family and to see Jean smile and laugh with us, as we shared some family tales and photos of the new baby great-grandson.

“She enjoyed looking at the photos in a family album on the laptop and showed her determination to try and win on a scratch card.”

Residents at Avalon, a 55-bed nursing home for people with dementia run by Camelot Care, have been unable to see their families since the lockdown began on March 23.

To support them, Avalon manager Sarah Patten and deputy manager Jess Hawker, organised a drive-through where Jean and her fellow residents could greet visitors from a safe distance.

A gazebo was set up in the car park where residents and families could have lunch together.

“Our residents were getting really affected at not being able to see their families for so long,” said Sarah.

“It is very hard for them to understand why they are no longer getting visitors when many of them were used to seeing the relatives on a regular basis.

“We spent a lot of time looking at how we could resolve this and came up with the idea of a drive-through and are delighted it all went really well.

“It was an emotional day for all concerned but was a real success and hope it is something we can do again in the near future.”

Extra staff were on duty to ensure social distancing measures were maintained at all times. Each guest slot lasted up to an hour with the area wiped down and disinfected afterwards.

Avalon is run by Camelot Care which runs other homes in Bridgwater and Plymouth.

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