Elderly woman with dementia thought family abandoned her during crisis

Family enjoy an emotional reunion with their mother, 79, with dementia who thought they’d abandoned her and moved to Australia when they couldn’t visit her care home due to Covid-19

  • Veronica Lees, from Swansea, reunited with mother Iona Rees,79 , this weekend
  • Was unable to see mother with dementia for months as care home locked down 
  • Appeared on GMB today  where she told mum thought family had moved away  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The family of an elderly woman have enjoyed an emotional reunion, after she thought they’d abandoned her when they couldn’t visit her care home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Veronica Lees, from Swansea, was reunited with her mother Iona, 79, this weekend when her care home began allowing visitors to see their loved ones from a safe distance. 

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, Veronica explained she and her siblings would normally visit their mother every day, but were ‘terrified’ she may forget who they are during the pandemic. 

Thankfully, Iona did recognise them, but when they were reunited, she thought her children had moved away to Australia without telling her because they hadn’t been coming into the care home. 

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Veronica Lees (pictured right), from Swansea, was reunited with her mother Iona (pictured), 79, this weekend as her mum’s care home began allowing visitors to see their loved ones from a safe distance 

Veronica explained she and her siblings would normally visit their mother everyday before the coronavirus pandemic 

Veronica said: ‘Because she has dementia and we’re so used to seeing her every day we were afraid she was going to forget us. 

‘Usually all the family take turns seeing her and we were terrified she was going to forget us. 

‘When we saw her we weren’t expecting the reaction, because she thought we’d gone to Australia and left her behind. So she was a little bit sulky with us, but it was lovely to see us.’ 

She went on to insist that her mother’s reaction was ‘heartbreaking’ for her entire family, and that they haven’t stopped worrying about their mum throughout the coronavirus outbreak. 

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, Veronica explained she was ‘terrified’ her mother may forget who they are during the pandemic

Veronica told hosts Ben Shepherd and Susanna Reid (both pictured) it was ‘very emotional’ to be reunited with Iona 

Veronica said: ‘[Mum must be thinking] Why haven’t they come in to see me? Why haven’t they seen me? We’ve been able to WhatsApp the last couple of weeks, but we haven’t been able to go in. 

‘We used to do her hair and her make-up and we haven’t been able to do that. The whole family has been very worried about her.’ 

Veronica said it was ‘very emotional’ to be reunited with Iona, but admitted she immediately wanted to hug her mother when she saw her. 

She said: ‘We were both very emotional and excited because we couldn’t believe it was happening. 

Veronica admitted she immediately wanted to hug her mother when she saw her, Iona is pictured as the family were reunited

Veronica , pictured is pictured as the family were reunited, told Iona’s care home had been ‘amazing’ throughout the crisis

‘It’s been so many months and there she was. We just wanted to run up and grab her but we couldn’t, we had to just look and wave from a distance.’ 

She went on to say that Iona’s care home had been ‘amazing’ throughout the crisis, managing to keep the home free from the virus and keeping the family updated as Iona battled a chest infection.  

‘They’ve been amazing, said Veronica, ‘They kept us informed of how she is. We were terrified when she had a chest infection and they kept us informed. 

‘We wanted to grab her and take her home but we don’t have the facilities, so they’ve been amazing.’ 

She added: ‘They closed down before the lockdown and it was the right decision for them to do , so we accepted it and went with it.’ 

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