'Magical moment' as Gwen holds great-granddaughter for first time

Gwen Smith, 84, meeting her great-granddaughter Lacey.

Gwen Smith, 84, meeting her great-granddaughter Lacey. - Credit: Chilton Meadows Bupa Care Home

An 84-year-old care home resident has been able to give her newborn great-granddaughter a cuddle for the first time following the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Gwen Smith, from Ipswich, became a great-grandmother for the second time this year, as baby Lacey became the newest addition to the family on March 18.

However, due to the coronavirus restrictions Gwen has been unable to hold or even meet her youngest relative.

Now that baby Lacey is nearly three months old, she finally had the chance to meet her great-grandmother, who lives at Chilton Meadows Bupa Care Home in Stowmarket.

Gwen Smith, 84, meeting her great-granddaughter Lacey.

Gwen Smith, 84, meeting her great-granddaughter Lacey. - Credit:  Chilton Meadows Bupa Care Home

Gwen said: “I loved being able to hold her, she is a gorgeous little one. I am so happy for my granddaughter.”

“I now look at the photo of me holding Lacey every day, as my carers have kindly printed a copy off and put it on my wall.”

Gwen grew up and lived in Ipswich for most of her life. She and her husband, Michael, had two children, Michael and Susan. She is now a proud mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of two.

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The home organised a ‘pod visit’ for Gwen’s granddaughter, Laura, to come and see her in a safe environment, but she was only recently allowed to meet and cuddle Lacey.

Staff have carefully been welcoming family back for visiting since April, implementing safety measures and creating special visiting areas, with Perspex screens and PPE to maximise protection for residents. 

Tania Thompson, home manager, said: “It was such an honour to be a part of the meeting. It was truly a magical moment watching Gwen hold her baby great-granddaughter for the first time, it was an emotional day for the family and all the carers at Chilton Meadows.

“We make every effort to help our residents enjoy family occasions and I am pleased to say that we can safely welcome visitors back to the home.”

Boris Johnson announced on Monday that care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays as part of an easing of visiting restrictions.

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