Woman, 92, sees son for first time in months in emotional care home pod reunion


A 92-year-old woman has had an emotional reunion after finally been able to see her son, thanks to a pod at her care home.

Freda Maddison had not seen her son Stephen since February.

She is a resident at Eothen Homes in Wallsend, North Tyneside, but due to the coronavirus pandemic visits were stopped.

On Friday, they were able to meet again, thanks to a special visiting booth set up at the home.

Freda was brought into the lounge and sat outside the booth, while her son arrived through a separate door and sat inside the pod.

They were able to speak to each other through a screen and at one point both of them touched the screen together and appeared to cherish the moment.

Freda, who has Alzheimer’s and has been at the care home for nearly a year, said it was “absolutely wonderful” to see her son.

“Like a lost treasure come to life,” she added.

She said it felt a bit strange seeing him inside the booth but added: “It’s better than nothing.”

Stephen, 56, of High Heaton, said: “It was very good. Her eyesight is failing sometimes so she had to get a bit closer so she could see who it was.

“It was nice being able to sit close to my mam.

“There was a screen in front – but if you put your hand on the screen, you can feel the warmth.

“She could feel the warmth of my hand and I could feel the warmth of hers. It’s not as good as a hug but better than a phone call.

“It’s a good move from the home to do this. I think it’ll be very good for the residents and their families. It’s very safe.”

Christine Henderson, manager of the care home, said: “In September, new restrictions were brought in and we could not have visitors. We kept life as normal as possible and carried on.

“But now that the rules have changed, we can allow visitors again. We set up this booth so that residents could see their family in a safe way.”