Tears of Joy for Great Grandmother Bette as She Greets Daughter at East Dunbartonshire Care Home

Emotions ran high at one Milngavie care home today when residents were able to touch their loved ones for the first time in over a year.

Milngavie Manor Care Home on Craigton Road in Milngavie opened its doors to families as the Government eased lockdown restrictions. New guidelines introduced today give care home residents a chance to meet separately with two nominated people twice a week without the need to be socially distanced or meet in a special COVID-secure room.

Resident and great grandmother Elizabeth Ellson, otherwise known as Betty, celebrated the day by seeing her daughter Elaine Jackson.

Bette, 96, said: “I have been really looking forward to seeing Elaine, it was a wonderful surprise.”

Elaine, of Blanefield said: “The staff in Milngavie Manor have been our family and have kept us up to date about her day-to-day health as well as having FaceTime calls for which we are extremely grateful for.

“But we have looked forward to March 8 when my brother Stuart and I will be able to come into the care home to see mum in the flesh.

“I look forward to this easing of lockdown when all the family will be able to visit in the fullness of time but for now, I am so pleased that my brother and I are getting this long-waited opportunity to visit mum again.”

Bette, was born in Knightswood, Glasgow, and met her husband Arthur, a sailor, when she was working locally as a secretary in Barr and Stroud and his Royal Navy ship was docked in Greenock.

A chance meeting at a dance in Glasgow led to romance and a lifetime of adventures. The couple travelled the world together as well as enjoying touring in their caravan.

Although the couple lived in London for a while they settled in Glasgow after their children Elaine and Stuart were born. They lived in Renfrew, Bearsden and later in nearby Blanefield.

Sadly, Arthur died four years ago – two days short of the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary.

Bette has four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren who she calls her ‘vitamin pills.’

Milngavie Manor Care Home Manager Catherine Galbraith said: “We are delighted that visits can go ahead in this way. It is clear that having physical contact with a loved one is so important.

“And whilst our staff do everything possible to offer comfort to our residents, the bond between family members is irreplaceable.

“This day has brought great joy to us all and most particularly to our families who have waited for this moment for so long.

“However, we cannot forget that we are caring for some of society’s most vulnerable and even with the vaccine we continue to operate strict infection control measures in the interests of all our residents, our staff and the wider community.”

Government guidance stipulates that care home residents can have up to two indoor visits per week, with up to two designated visitors with one person visiting at a time.

Milngavie Manor continues to operate strict infection control measures including COVID-19 testing for visitors before they are allowed inside, with all visitors required to wear adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).