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Huge relief for families allowed to visit loved ones

AN Omagh grandmother was ‘smiling from ear to ear’ as she was reunited with her granddaughter after almost four months apart.

Anna O’Sullivan is a resident at Meadowbank Care Home in Omagh, and due to the Covid-19 restrictions, she had not seen her family since the end of March.

On Tuesday afternoon, Anna had an emotional reunion with her granddaughter Emma O’Sullivan, who visited the home with flowers for her grandmother.

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Speaking to the Ulster Herald, Emma said, “I was just delighted to see her.

“It had been almost four months since I last was able to visit her.

“We used to come here a couple times a week so it was a big shock not being allowed to see her during lockdown.

“I am so glad everyone in the home has kept well throughout the pandemic and it is just brilliant to see her again.

“She had a big massive smile on her face and said ‘hello love’ when she saw me and it melted my heart.

“It has been a long time since I have seen a smile like that on my granny’s face – she was smiling from ear to ear,” said Emma

While in the home, visitors must wear masks, PPE and follow the strict safety precautions put in place.

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Emma explained that the visit was ‘different’ from usual.

“I had my mask and gloves on, and got my temperature taken,” said Emma.

“I sanitised my hands and sat away from granny in the room and just chatted to her for about 20 minutes.

“It was just brilliant to see her face again.”

During lockdown, Emma had been keeping in contact with her grandmother over the phone, and she praised the staff at Meadowbank for their hard work during the lockdown.

She said, “The home has been brilliant – we couldn’t fault them.

“The staff were lovely, and they did everything they could to keep residents safe so we are very appreciative,” said Emma.

Visitors to any care home must rigorously follow public health hygiene advice – washing hands before and after visits, using hand sanitiser gel and maintain social distancing.

Manager of Meadowbank Care Home Clare Lafferty said it is fantastic to be able to welcome visitors safely back into the home.

Ms Lafferty said, “The residents and families are delighted. It is different from normal because we have restrictions in place, but the residents are loving it and it is great for everyone.

“It was emotional when the residents see their loved ones because it has been so long – around 12 or 14 weeks.

“We closed down early to protect the residents but families have been very good the whole way through and they were very understanding.

“It is a wee step closer to normality and we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors back in,” concluded Clare.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW