THERE were emotional scenes as the first indoor visits allowed care home residents and their loved ones to have a precious hug.

It has been nearly a year since Liz Macleod held her father's hand but yesterday she and dad Percy Mann were properly reunited.

Thanks to changes to care home visiting introduced on Monday by the Scottish Government, a carefully limited number of visitors can now meet family and friends indoors.

At Whitecraigs care home visits started up yesterday and Liz was one of the first through the door to see 103-year-old Percy.

"It was lovely to see him," Liz said, "He was so pleased to see me. He sat up and he was so animated when he was talking.

"Sometimes I went to see him and he wasn't always aware of what was happening because it was outside and it was cold and uncomfortable but today he was in his own environment and he was chatting away - it was great, really fabulous to see him.

"It was nice to give him a cuddle and hold his hand and get that contact.

"It was like I was visiting him a year past, like it was back to normal."

Whitecraigs, part of the Renaissance Care group, has stringent measures in place to protect residents.

The Glasgow Times stayed outside the home but staff took these emotional photos of Percy and Liz being reunited.

New government guidance allows two named visitors per resident and each is allowed to visit for one hour each every week.

It is a significant drop in family time for Percy, whose two daughters used to visit him for two hours every day before the pandemic.

But he was absolutely delighted to see his daughter yesterday.

Percy Mann and Liz Macleod

Percy Mann and Liz Macleod

Liz added: "I saw a change in him, especially when I was visiting him outside because he used to get a visit every day between me and my sister - he missed that, we missed that.

"But today he was back to his old self."

Visitors are asked to arrive 35 minutes early for their visiting slot and take a lateral flow test at the door of the care home.

They then wait in their car for the test results, a process Liz described as "absolutely fine and well worth it".

Masks are worn and staff supervise hand washing while there is enhanced cleaning throughout the building.

Yesterday was also emotional for staff, who have created an especially strong bond with residents over the past year as they acted as friends, family and carers.

Annmarie Porter, general manager at Renaissance Care’s Whitecraigs care home, said: “This marks a very special moment for our residents, their families and the staff here at Whitecraigs.

"This has been what we have all been driving towards since the day we went into to lockdown, just short of a year ago.

"The importance of physical touch and face-to-face conversation cannot be underestimated for our residents.

"Sensory experiences are fantastic for their mental wellbeing, nothing can beat familiar smiles and voices, or a hug from a child or spouse.

"We really are all an extended family and the buzz around the home has been fantastic today.

"Just knowing what it means to the residents to be able to see their loved ones has lifted the mood of everyone tenfold, it gives us all hope that we are on the right path to getting back to normal."

Percy, along with other residents, has been double vaccinated for Covid-19 - but has survived catching coronavirus last year.

Liz describes her dad, who will be 104 in August, as "superman" after he made it through not only covid but also a serious fall last year.

Liz MacLeod pictured outside Whitecraigs care home in Thornliebank Picture: Colin Mearns

Liz MacLeod pictured outside Whitecraigs care home in Thornliebank Picture: Colin Mearns

She said: "The fact he had coronavirus and recovered from it was amazing.

"He also fell and broke his hip and had an operation.

"When we got the call that he had fallen and broken his hip and was going in to hospital we were really worried, at that age. But he's recovered fine.

"He's made of sturdy stuff. He's Superman."

Percy, a former police officer, has lived in Whitecraigs for three years and is a firm favourite with the staff, taking part in Halloween dressing up and even becoming a TikTok star.

Home across the care group and beyond are delighted that indoor visits can resume with face-to-face contact giving a huge boost to health and wellbeing.

Louise Barnett, managing director at Renaissance Care, said: “Our residents, relatives and staff are all really excited about the return of indoor visits.

"This is a big step for our homes and it is bound to be an emotional reunion for many families.

"However, even just the prospect of our residents reconnecting with their family and friends in person has lifted spirits across each of our homes and it is crucial that we maintain these visits going forward.

"The safety of our residents, relatives and staff is our priority and we continue to work with Health Protection Scotland and follow Scottish Government guidelines to facilitate the return of indoor visits.

"We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back indoors – this will have a massive impact on those within our care."