Oct 12, 2021

Tears flow as families launch surprise aged care visits on NSW ‘Freedom Day’

Tears flow as families launch surprise aged care visits on NSW ‘Freedom Day’

Despite having no indication of any upcoming visits from family members, residents at the home took the time to speak with cameras from Channel 9 program, A Current Affair, and recount just how hard the last four months of lockdown has been.

“It’s been very hard,” expressed resident, Margaret.

Residents' Pat and Miriam discuss the isolation of lockdown
Resident's Margaret and Miriam discuss the hardships of being isolated from family during lockdown.

Fellow resident Patricia echoed those sentiments when thinking about how much she has missed her family during lockdown.

“It makes you feel a bit teary at times,” said Patricia.

As the unsuspecting residents talked to cameras about the difficulty of lockdown, their family members secretly waited downstairs to deliver a much-needed boost of happiness.

family visitors
Family visitors waiting to surprise their loved ones.'

As an A Current Affair camera moved downstairs, excited family members spoke about the difficulties of being unable to see their loved ones during lockdown.

“You just never know how much longer you have left, so to be away from them at this stage of their life for such a long period is really difficult,” said one family visitor.

“My mum’s memory is going, so I think that we’ve seen her forget us over the last few months, which is really sad.” 

With the formalities out of the way, residents made their way into the lounge area of the aged care home for what they believed to be nothing more than another day of lockdown.

unsuspecting residents make their way into the lounge area
Unsuspecting residents make their way to the lounge area.

However, as overjoyed family visitors began streaming through the door, the smiles on residents’ faces indicated that this day was indeed a special one.

“It’s so great to see you mum,” said resident Miriam’s son Scott as he wrapped his arms around his ecstatic mum.

resident Margaret enjoys hugs and kisses from family
Resident, Margaret, receives hugs and kisses from her daughters

As tearful disbelief began to sweep across the room, a resident named Pam who had not yet had any visitors, felt as though her chances of receiving a hug from family were dwindling.

Thankfully, Pam’s sadness quickly went from shock to happiness as her son burst through the door and wrapped his arms around his teary-eyed mother.

Resident Pam spots her son
The moment that resident Pam spots her son coming towards her.
Pam and her son embrace
Pam and her son share a tearful embrace after spending four months apart.

“I thought I was left out because everyone else was in here, and I thought, ‘Ohh, what about me?’” shared Pam.

“That was wonderful,” said Pam’s son, when describing the feeling of being reunited with his mother.

“What a great day.”

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  1. Where’s the media coverage about the estimated 40% of older people in nursing homes who don’t get visitors at all ever? They seem to have dropped off the radar. Never got visitors prior to covid and not getting any now. How about some solutions for that? Covid was always going to die down but other issues don’t go away.

    1. A very valid point Emma. Now some of the restrictions have eased, one hopes there will be an increase in recruitment for volunteers to visit these forgotten people. I volunteer here in South Australia, and it DOES make a difference!

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