A pair of long-time friends who lost touch and ended up residing in the same Dartford care home without recognising one another, have had their friendship rekindled ahead of International Day of Friendship tomorrow (30th July) – thanks to an old photograph.
95-year-old Karen Lodge and 83-year-old Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Jenkins, both residents at Nellsar’s Sonya Lodge Residential Care Centre on High Road, were reintroduced to each other for the first time since June 2018, after Karen came across an old photo of her dear friend that reignited her memories of their church-going outings.
Having only arrived at Sonya Lodge earlier this year, Betty didn’t recognise her old friend who has been at the home since 2018. That all that changed, however, when Karen and Holly Cooper, Resident Liaison at Sonya Lodge, stumbled across a treasured photograph of Karen and Betty on her interactiveMe profile. interactiveMe is an online therapy tool the
family-run care home use for residents to help encourage reminiscence and communication
through a collection of their own stories, favourite photos, music, audio and text.
The image, showing the pair on a church outing with friends, brought memories back to previous trips to parks and the seaside as members of St. Michael & All Angels Church, which is next door to Sonya Lodge. With the friendship now rekindled, Betty and Karen are once again enjoying weekly church services together via Zoom every Sunday. The pair spend their days chatting over cups of tea and taking part in arts and crafts activities at the residential care home.
Speaking about the reunion, Betty said: “It was such a shock! It’s been so nice to a see a familiar face and rekindle our friendship. I’m so grateful our paths have crossed again at Sonya Lodge.”
Holly said: “It was so touching to see Betty and Karen brought together after so many years. It was a really powerful and heartfelt moment that I was so fortunate to be a part of.
“It hasn’t taken long for both Betty and Karen to catch up on lost time. The bond they share with each other is infectious and it has brought smiles to the faces of their relatives and staff.”