Family takes 100-year-old home after lockdown ‘deterioration’

Doreen Tilly's family said she could be seen crying for help at her window.

A 100-year-old great-grandmother has been taken home to live with her family after “deteriorating” in care during lockdown.

Doreen Tilly, born in 1920, lived Woodside Court Care Home in Glenrothes for more than five years, before a seven-month battle finally saw her reunited with relatives.

Ms Tilly’s great-granddaughter, Sonia Dixon, said Doreen could be seen crying and screaming for help from her window during lockdown.

Ms Dixon said: “You know, just to see that and not be able to run up and say ‘you’re ok’ was awful, awful.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of her living that last part of her life without us.”

Ms Dixon was a carer at Woodside Court until just before lockdown and when she saw the decline in her great-grandmother’s wellbeing, she decided to take action.

Despite having a large family who all live locally, coronavirus restrictions left Doreen cut-off from them with little stimulation, Ms Dixon said.

When she celebrated her 100th birthday in May last year, the family said she was full of life, but now she has gone downhill with a doctor prescribing anti-depressants for the the first time in her life.

Ms Dixon said it was because of a lack of contact with her family, who she used to see every day.

She told STV: “She’s got a huge family and that is her life now, she loves her family. So just to give her that back, even if it is a short time, at least it’s with us, it’s with the people that she loves.”

It took Ms Dixon seven months to finally have her nan “released” to be looked after by her, her mum and other carers who visit four times a day.

She said: “I’ve been so angry about it. You know they’re talking about ‘we need to protect them’ but they haven’t. I’m not saying it’s their fault but this is a virus and it’s going to travel on staff.

“To have a loved one that you cared for every day ripped away, for their own benefit apparently… But it never benefitted my nan, she was in beside Covid anyway.

“We’ve already lost lots of them. We can’t have that happen anymore, it needs to happen quick. These people don’t have time, they don’t have months to wait for decisions to be made.”

Ms Dixon said when they brought her great-grandmother out of the home she was upset and confused, but when she realised what was happening she immediately perked up.

Ms Tilly was a pub manager for ten years before her retirement.

“She’s wanting to go down to the pub,” Ms Dixon said. “She might not get that right now…”

HC-One, which owns the care home, was contacted for comment.

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