Father and daughter reunited at Belle Isle dementia care home

A father and daughter who lost touch with each other for many years had the surprise of their lives … when they found they were living at the same care home!

And with Father’s Day taking place on Sunday (16 June 2024) the pair are making up for lost time and building up the wonderful connection they now have.

Leslie Brooke, 96, and Jean Pickergill, 71, both from Middleton, are now living at Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home in Belle Isle, Leeds. Leslie became a resident in 2022, while Jean moved in July of 2023. She was totally unaware that her father was already living one floor below her!

Nesfield Lodge is part of the Orchard Care Homes group, which has 23 care homes in the north and Midlands with a focus on specialist dementia care. Orchard is always keen to maintain family links and encourages visits both in person and online.

The incredible reunion happened when Jean, passing through the dining room, recognised her father. She told the carers: “The man in the corner is my dad,” and when Leslie saw her, he immediately knew she was his daughter. It was an emotional moment for everyone involved.

Sarah Golden-Hill, Home Manager at Nesfield Lodge, said:

“It was a shock to us all. 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.”

After many years apart, Leslie and Jean are now cherishing their time together. Leslie said:

“I love living with Jean; I get to see her every day and watch her grow. She’s an amazing woman, and I’m proud to call her my daughter.”

Jean was equally thrilled. She said:

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw him sitting in the lounge. It feels like we’ve been given a second chance at our relationship. I love spending time with him.”

With their dementia diagnoses, Jean and Leslie’s relationship is a central part of their individual care plans at the home. Sarah explained:

“As a dementia-friendly care home, we support residents in building or retaining relationships with loved ones. For Jean and Leslie, their care plans focus particularly on quality family time.”

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 mentioned one of her favourite memories of her father from the past. She said:

“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 the most of their time together, thanks to the dedicated team at Nesfield Lodge. Paige Foster, Activity Coordinator, shared,

“We always ensure they spend quality time together. Jean often visits her dad to catch up over a cup of coffee in Leslie’s room.”

Nesfield Lodge offers residential dementia care and short-term respite care. All rooms are en-suite with the opportunity to personalise to individual tastes and needs.

For more information on Orchard Care Homes please call 01423 859859. Last year Orchard Care Homes was named winner of the LaingBuisson Award for Excellence in Large Residential Care. It has also achieved a five-star food rating at every home across its portfolio.


This post is based on a press release issued by Orchard Care Homes


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One Reply to “Father and daughter reunited at Belle Isle dementia care home”

  1. Ho wow how lovley is this story amazing hope you have a good few years together happy Father’s Day Lesley ❤️❤️

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