Special moment as Chorley mum and daughter put care home visitor pod to use for first time

An elated daughter has been able to visit her mum in a care home without wearing a mask for the first time since March.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 3:45 pm

Lorraine Sullivan officially opened the visitor pod at Jasmin Court in Botany Brow, Chorley, with her mum June on Tuesday.

She said: "It was fantastic. She was so happy and I was so happy."

The floor-to-ceiling pod, with an integrated microphone system, was paid for by community fundraising, after Lorraine launched an online appeal.

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A smiling June talking to Lorraine

June, 87, had only seen her daughter twice since March before Tuesday, and in that time, has broken her hip, wrist and had an epileptic fit.

Lorraine says her mum’s dementia and Alzheimer's conditions have also greatly deteriorated over the past nine months.

When the Government announced visits could be made using the pods, Lorraine launched a Go Fund Me page called Help Me See My Mum, and within 53 minutes, she’d hit her £250 target.

In total, £710 was raised and Chorley building company provided the labour free of charge.

Lorraine and June pictured before March

Money not spent on the pod will go towards activities for residents.

>>>Read about the community response to Lorraine's plea here

Lorraine said: "It makes such a difference not having to wear a mask.

"People with dementia really struggle when you're wearing a mask because they can't see your face properly, they can't see your lips moving and they can't read your expressions.

Lorraine cutting the tinsel to enter the pod with her mum June, 87

"The ideal thing would be being able to give mum a hug, but of course you can't do that. But we were able to put our hands on the screen together and we were talking clearly - I wasn't having to shout through the screen."

The care home has also been sharing pictures of other residents and their families using the pod on its Facebook page.

Lorraine said: "It's heartwarming to see, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and the home have done such a good job decorating it."

June on her wedding day with late husband Johnny Sullivan, a champion boxer
June and Lorraine communicate in the pod