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‘Thrilled’ centenarian celebrates 100th birthday with family via FaceTime

Joan Blacker received calls from three generations of her family, including 17 great-grandchildren.

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Joan Blacker used FaceTime to speak to her family (Huntington and Langham Estate)

Joan Blacker used FaceTime to speak to her family (Huntington and Langham Estate)

Joan Blacker used FaceTime to speak to her family (Huntington and Langham Estate)

A care home resident was “thrilled” to celebrate her 100th birthday with family despite the UK coronavirus lockdown – thanks to video calls.

Joan Blacker, who lives at Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey, received calls through Apple’s FaceTime throughout her big day on March 31.

Helped by staff at the care home, the centenarian heard from members of her wide family, which includes three sons, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

The centenarian has 17 grandchildren (Huntington & Langham Estate)

“On the one hand, it’s a great shame that Mrs Blacker happened to turn 100 during an unprecedented health crisis,” said Charlie Hoare, the care home’s director.

“However, thanks to technology, all was by no means lost!

“Using FaceTime, we were able to connect Mrs Blacker with her family throughout the day, helping her to feel suitably special despite the current restrictions in place.

“Mrs Blacker was thrilled with the experience and so were we.”

Along with the video calls, Mrs Blacker also received dozens of cards, gifts and flowers.

To keep up the spirits of its residents during the UK lockdown, the care home has also appealed to children to send in artwork, garnering dozens of responses.

PA