Father and daughter reunited at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home.

16 June 2024 News

Reconnecting with loved ones can be a joyous experience, but even more so when it’s a complete surprise. We spoke to father and daughter, Leslie and Jean, about their unexpected reunion at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home, and how they’re celebrating their first Father’s Day together in the home.

Leslie and Jean, father and daughter residents at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home

Jean, originally from Middleton, joined our dementia-friendly care home in 2023, unknowing that her father was living on the floor below. With the pair losing touch over the years, it came as complete surprise to everyone when they were finally reunited.

“It was a shock to us all” said Sarah Golden-Hill, Home Manager at Nesfield Lodge. “Jean walked into the living room, pointed at Leslie and said ‘that’s my dad!’. When Leslie looked up and realised who was standing in front of him, he had the biggest smile on his face.”

The emotional reunion of the duo was welcomed by all, especially Leslie, who is now enjoying quality time with his daughter. “I love living with Jean; I get to see her every day and watch her grow up. She’s an amazing woman, and I’m proud to call her my daughter.”

Jean instantly recognised her father when she visited the communal lounge. “He was sat watching TV in the corner of the room – I couldn’t believe it! It feels like we’ve been given a second chance at a relationship after losing touch for so long. I love spending time with him.”

Both living with dementia, supporting Jean and Leslie’s relationship is a key part of their individualised care plans. “As a dementia-friendly care home, we’re always looking for ways to support residents in building or retaining relationships with loved ones, and in Jean and Leslie’s case, their person-centred care plans have a particular focus on family time” said Sarah.

“We’re surprising the pair with a Father’s Day get together, so they can spend quality time with each other and reminisce over shared memories.”

Jean giving her dad a Father's Day Card at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home

At 97 years young, Leslie told us how excited he is for Father’s Day. “This will be our first Father's Day together in a long time. I feel so lucky that I can enjoy this time with my daughter. Jean gave me a Father’s Day card and wrote a lovely note in it, which I’ll cherish forever.”

Jean, who joined the Leeds care home almost a year ago, told us one of her favourite memories of her father. “As a child, my dad used to build a makeshift wheelbarrow from orange boxes, and take me blackberry picking in the nearby fields. We’d eat most of the blackberries before we got home!”

Now reunited, Leslie and Jean are making up for lost time by catching up almost every day, thanks to the team at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home. “We always make sure they get to spend quality time together” said Paige, Activity Co-Ordinator. “Jean often visits her dad to tell him what she’s been up to, and they’ll catch-up over a cup of coffee in Leslie’s room.” 

Whether you believe in fate or not, Leslie and Jean’s heartwarming story serves as a powerful reminder to never give up on being reunited with loved ones – you never know who you’ll bump into in a care home!  

Are you looking for a dementia-friendly care home in Leeds? Part of the award-winning Orchard Care Homes group, Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home offers residential dementia care and short-term respite care. Click the link below to find out more, or call 0113 277 6880 to speak to the team.