What is the Meaning of Friendship? | How Four Residents Supported Each Other Throughout Lockdown

11 August, 2021  ·  Less than a minute read

What does friendship mean to you?

Four residents from our Surbiton Care Home learned the true meaning of friendship throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and have built strong, long-lasting relationships with each other.


This week, we’re delving into the story of how their friendship came to be:

What is the meaning of friendship?
↑ Beryl and Susan Have Become Firm Friends

The Importance of Building Friendships

Throughout the pandemic, our care home was closed to visitors in line with the Government restrictions, which meant that our residents were unable to see their family and friends for several months. It was a difficult time, and many people had to find creative ways to stay positive until in-person visits could happen again.

Four of our lovely residents - Beryl Boseley (81), Gay Vaughan (88), Susan Heath (76) and Audrey Roberts (96) - looked internally for support, and struck up heart-warming friendships with each other.

What started as a simple “hello” has since blossomed into a four-way comradeship, proving that friendships can be forged at any age, anytime, anywhere.

Sharing a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, the group can often be found feeding the birds and squirrels in the gardens of our home. Utilising our outdoor space, they also like sitting in the garden to chat, drink tea and enjoy each other’s company.
Audrey and Susan
↑ Forging Friendships: Audrey and Susan

Supporting One Another

The ladies have been supporting each other throughout the difficult times as well as the good; Beryl, Susan and Audrey recently consoled Gay as she grieved the loss of Michael, her husband of 68 years. Understanding the magnitude of the loss, the other ladies were with Gay every step of the way, offering hot drinks, kind words and shoulders to cry on.

Discussing the group's newly-established bond, Heidi Bradbury, our activity coordinator here at Surbiton Care Home, said: "It's been inspiring to watch the beautiful friendship between four of our lovely residents develop. Lockdown could potentially have been a lonely experience but, together, they have demonstrated that kindness, compassion and support are glowing beacons of hope during dark times. It is wonderful to see something so positive come out of the pandemic."

With many studies highlighting the positive benefits of friendship on social, emotional and physical well-being, the benefits of having a strong circle of friends for the elderly are undeniable.
What is the meaning of friendship?
↑ Audrey and Beryl Enjoying a Drink Together

What is the Meaning of Friendship?

When asked the question, ‘what is the meaning of friendship?’ Audrey responded, “The most important aspect of friendship is being able to talk to someone. Just knowing that someone is there and is prepared to listen makes the world of difference.”

Gay echoed similar sentiments, saying, “Friendship gives you comfort. You can share confidence and have companionship. The other women’s friendships meant so much to me when my husband passed away a few weeks ago. I don’t think I could have done it without them.”

Discussing what makes a good friend, Susan answered, “A good friend is someone who puts you first, even above themselves. They are selfless and want only the best for you – which is how I feel about these ladies.”

Nodding her agreement, Beryl added, “I think a good friend is someone who you can sit in comfortable silence with, without having to say a single thing. I consider all three of these ladies some of my dearest friends and believe their friendship to be the very best outcome of the pandemic.”
Audrey and Gay
↑ Gay and Audrey Spending Time Together in the Sun
We’re delighted that, through this difficult time, our residents found comfort and friendship in one another and we look forward to seeing them continuing to support one another, even as we venture back to some normality within our care home.

For another heartwarming story about our residents, why not read our previous blog about Fred and Monica’s vow renewal?

Alternatively, please contact a member of our team for more information about care services.

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