A 100-year-old great-great grandmother asked to be taken to the pub after being allowed to leave a Covid-19 affected Fife care home.
Relatives of Doreen Tilly campaigned to have her brought home after the centenarian said she would rather die than live the rest of her days in isolation at Woodside Court Care Home in Glenrothes.
And the former landlady’s first request after being welcomed home by great-granddaughter Sonia, 37, was to nip out for a drink. However, she will have to wait until after lockdown.
“She asked if were going to go to the Otters Head, which is the local pub, so she’s starting to settle in,” said Sonia.
In her younger years Doreen travelled the country running various pubs. She now has eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren, three of whom she has yet to meet, and another one on the way.
Having lived through a wave of the Spanish flu pandemic, Doreen endured a coronavirus outbreak at Woodside Court while her family were struggling to organise a home care package.
Meanwhile, she was becoming withdrawn at the lack of contact with loved ones.
“We don’t know how long she’s got,” said Sonia.
“We didn’t want her to live the last part of her life alone, isolated from family. So we did what we had to do to make sure my nan had her family back.
“She was literally begging us. We would go for a visit and she would say ‘please just get me out of here’. She was so miserable, she’d stopped eating and drinking.
“At one point she said she would rather take her chances and die than live isolated for the rest of her life.”
Sonia described organising a care package for Doreen to allow her to return home as a “nightmare”.
“It’s taken us about seven months,” she said.
“We were trying to get carers sourced through the normal channels. That wasn’t working. We were waiting and waiting so we ended up taking another option.
“I had to put an advert out for experienced carers, and build my own team.
“In among that there was Covid in the home.”
Sonia added that Fife Council’s social work department and Self Directed Support Options (Fife) had helped the family secure a funded care package for Doreen.
“They’ve been amazing. They’ve guided us through the whole thing,” she said.