George Bowie has opened up about being able to visit his brother at a care home for the first time in over a year.
The DJ was finally able to see little brother Alan at his care home in Paisley after coronavirus visiting restrictions were eased.
Despite remaining upbeat on his radio shows, George described not being able to see his brother, who has cerebral palsy, for over a year as ‘really tough’.
He told Glasgow Live: “Obviously Alan doesn’t know what’s going on so it’s not like I could phone him and say ‘I can’t see you because of covid but as soon as it’s over I’ll be there’. He doesn’t know any better. He just thought that we’d all disappeared.
“It’s been difficult, we’ve tried FaceTime calls and things, he sees the faces coming up but he doesn’t really know what’s going on. My mum was allowed to go and stand outside with him last summer but when it got to winter it wasn’t possible. My mum’s in her 80s and it’s not fair on her and my wee brother to be standing out in the freezing cold.
“He can’t really communicate much, he likes to sit on my knee and for me to rub his back. He can’t speak or comprehend what you’re talking about so that’s our way of communicating with each other.
Alan, 50, has been looked after at the Mcfarlane Trust home for around 20 years but would go home on weekends to be looked after by George’s mum. Covid restrictions have meant that he’s been in the home for a whole year without leaving.
George adds: “He’s never been able to walk or talk but I like to go take him out and my mum will take him home at the weekends but he chokes quite a lot so she worries about being on her own. She’s totally stressed out.
“It’s been such a hard time for her, she’s been going up and standing outside the window. Alan would get up but, he can stand up but can’t really walk if he’s not holding someone’s hand. He would expect her to be taking him out or taking him home so that was the real hard thing because she couldn’t explain to him why.
“I worried about him, thinking that he might be all gaunt and drawn but he looked fine. He was delighted to see us both. He was fine and bubbly and looked really healthy. They do a great job there.
“The radio has been like therapy for me, it’s got me through it all.”
We reported how care home residents would be able to have indoor visits from relatives, friends and carers from early March.
The Scottish Government announced that ‘meaningful contact’ would be able to resume as coronavirus deaths in care homes have fallen.
Care providers will be supporting residents to have up to two designated visitors each and one visit a week for each visitor.
The First Minister said this week that the government would be looking at further relaxing restrictions in the next month.