A 100-year-old great-grandmother has finally been reunited with her family at home, after fearing she would die before seeing them again.

Doreen Tilly, who made the decision to move into a home following a fall five years ago, begged to be allowed home after months of isolation and worsening mental health over the past year.

“The visitation process was very distressing for all of us”, her great-grandaughter Sonia Dixon told The Herald. “She would cry and ask to be removed, saying ‘please get me out of here! Ill die before I see my family again! Can you go and get a car and just take me out? I’ll sleep anywhere!’”

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Doreen’s mental health soon declined rapidly during the care home’s lockdown, leading to her being prescribed anti-depressants, despite “never taking more than a paracetamol in her life”, Ms Dixon, 38, explained. “This was solely due to being kept apart from the people she loved.”

She added: “When Covid-19 started ravaging the care homes despite the relatives being banned, we quickly realised that she is just as at risk in the care home as she is at home with us - except with us she doesn't face complete isolation from loved ones.

The Herald: Sonia Dixon and her great-grandmother Doreen Tilly spent all day "blethering"Sonia Dixon and her great-grandmother Doreen Tilly spent all day "blethering"

“We knew every day was precious and we didn't have the ridiculous amount of time the government is taking to resolve the issue so the only way was to muck in as a family and bring  her home with us.”

Ms Dixon, a full-time student from Glenrothes, previously worked in her local supermarket to support herself financially alongside her studies, but has now given this up to look after her nan.

And the family has worked closely with the social work department, SDS Options Fife and occupational therapists to ensure they have the correct equipment and a team of experienced carers who can assist her with personal care.

Finally, after months of fighting for the basic right to even visit her nan in the care home, Ms Dixon was able to welcome her home yesterday - and with much to catch up on, the pair “blethered” all day long.

Ms Dixon said: “It feels amazing to have my nan back. It’s been a long, drawn-out process to the point my nan didn't believe us that we were going to get her out.”

And the family’s hopes were almost dashed at the last minute, when another case of Covid-19 was connected to the home and a risk assessment had to be carried out before Doreen could be safely discharged.

The Herald: Doreen spent her 100th birthday in the care homeDoreen spent her 100th birthday in the care home

Only when Doreen was sitting in her grand-daughter's living room could the family truly breathe a sigh of relief, after a lockdown experience that has been “horrendous”.

“It hasn’t been easy”, Ms Dixon added. “Not because we couldn't go on holiday or out to socialise”, Ms Dixon clarified, “but because my nan was cut off completely, and suffering.”

However, just because Sonia Dixon and her family have now succeeded in their goal of getting their beloved nan home safe and sound, that doesn’t mean they’ll stop campaigning alongside other relatives of care home residents who are still suffering and kept apart from loved ones.

“They have all supported me throughout this and their relatives need them”, Ms Dixon explained. “Our care home residents deserve better than this.”

“One day it could be your mother in this position, or even yourself, so I will campaign until our government protects them, and us, from ever having to deal with  this again.”