Birmingham care home residents share their heartwarming stories of friendship

While many adults struggle to make new friends, it can increase your sense of belonging and purpose.

Friendship has no age limits and elderly residents at a care home in Birmingham have truly experienced that. They continue to make new friends who enrich their lives. The last couple of years have made it more important for people of all ages to keep their friends closer than ever.

The residents of Lottie’s Bourn View Care Home in Birmingham shared their wisdom on friendship when they marked this year’s International Day of Friendship.

The average age of the residents here is 80 and they have been supportive towards each other through loss, leisure, and making the best of their twilight years. Louvain Stride, 88, and Florence Priest, 86, became fast friends since moving in a year ago and have not left each other’s side. They take part in activities together and revealed that they are grateful to have met one another and have a special friendship.

Louvain and Florence share their advice

Carol Hodgetts, 64, Ann Barlow, 65, and 85-year-old Valerie Evans became a trio since Carol moved to the care home two years ago after being diagnosed with dementia. She formed a close friendship with fellow resident Ann and do everything together. They even help each other if they need to brush their hair, locate forgotten glasses, or even have food around their mouth.

Valerie, who is deaf, is helped by Carol and Ann with day-to-day activities. They make sure they go to lunch and supper together. Valerie has said that having Carol and Ann by her side has helped her enormously, sharing how grateful she is to have her friends around her.

Ann, Valerie and Carol

When asked about the friendship advice they would give others, they all mentioned loyalty, stating how important it is to look out for and support your friends.

Pauline Bird, 90, had some advice for the younger generations about friendship. She said it’s important to gossip about your partner with your best friends. Meanwhile, 80-year-old Jacqueline McDougall, said it’s important “to be patient with one another” in your younger years.

Lottie’s Co-Founder and Care Expert Will Donnelly said friendship has become more important than ever before over the last few years. “Having strong relationships with your friends can reduce any feelings of loneliness and anxiety, as well as keeping you motivated to achieve your goals. There’s something so special about hearing about these new friendships in our care homes, alongside the valuable life lessons for the younger generations.

“You’re never too old to form new friendships, and this is something that’s so apparent when you visit a care home. New friends can increase your sense of belonging, boost your happiness and improve your self-confidence.”

While many adults struggle to make new friends, it can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, according to the Mayo Clinic. It also reduces stress and boosts happiness, self-confidence, and self-worth.

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