Care home resident celebrates ‘wonderful’ 100th birthday in lockdown

Bessie celebrates her 100th birthday in lockdown. PHOTO: Church Farm Residential Home

Bessie celebrates her 100th birthday in lockdown. PHOTO: Church Farm Residential Home - Credit: Archant

There were lots of people singing happy birthday at one Great Yarmouth care home - but they were not washing their hands.

Bessie reads her signed card from the Queen. PHOTO: Church Farm Residential Home

Bessie reads her signed card from the Queen. PHOTO: Church Farm Residential Home - Credit: Archant

Instead, they were celebrating the 100th birthday of Bessie Broughton, who partied with fellow residents and staff amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Broughton, from Ormesby St Margaret, only came to the care home in January after deciding that she did not want to live by herself anymore, but one member of staff said she was “one of the happiest people there”.

The manager, Anne Morley, said that Ms Broughton has been “a really positive addition” to the home.

She added: “She understands perfectly why her family can’t come and visit and take her out for her 100th birthday, but she’s very grateful that she could still celebrate in style.

“She was supposed to have a party with her family this weekend, but with social distancing guidelines in place we’ve had to call all that off.

“But we’ve got cake, candles and balloons, and she’s received so many cards from everyone.

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“We have 35 residents here and lots of them took part in wishing her a happy birthday on her very special day.

“She’s absolutely over the moon with her signed card from the Queen and her cheque from the Co-p thanking her for her years of service there as a former employee.”

The 100-year-old said: “I feel wonderful because of all of the attention.

“I enjoyed my rice pudding which was made especially for me as it’s my favourite. The support, cards and phone calls have been fantastic.”

Across the county, care home residents have been supported by workers, volunteers and children.

Youngsters have been brightening the spirits of residents by sending in colourful pictures , and others have been sending photo messages to isolated grandparents.

Ms Morley said: “Being in lockdown is certainly a strange way to spend your 100th birthday, but Bessie is more than happy and feels perfectly pampered.”