SCARBOROUGH – A dear friend is hard to find, and more than 60 years ago, two women found a friend in one another. Now, the women are reunited under the same roof at Scarborough Terrace Assisted Living in Scarborough, eating together, laughing together, and enjoying the true benefits of a long-lasting friendship.

Pauline Garner, a 86-year-old Scarborough Terrace Assisted Living resident, is overjoyed that her friend, 91-year-old Eleanor Irving, is spending a month in respite care at Scarborough Terrace. The community allows seniors to stay short-term, for a week or more. Irving’s caregiver is on vacation, and she is taking advantage of the opportunity to see her friend full-time.

“She is like the sister I never had,” said Irving. “We were in the hospital at the same time delivering our youngest children, we volunteered together at Maine Medical Center for more than 20 years, and since we don’t drive anymore, it’s harder to see each other. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to eat all of our meals together, talk, laugh, and reminisce about old times.”

Last year, Irving stayed at Scarborough Terrace for nearly three months. This year, for one month, she is calling the assisted-living community home. Both women have shared the joy of welcoming children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren into the world. They have traveled together, and raised their kids together. They have also leaned on each other during times of pain when they lost their husbands. The women now enjoy sitting together, talking and being in each other’s company.

“It is wonderful to have her here with me. She makes me feel younger, like I’ve gone back in time,” said Garner. “I am glad we met, and I feel fortunate that I’ve had her all these years. She is my dearest friend.”

The staff at Scarborough Terrace finds satisfaction in providing the respite care service. It brings them joy to see the women together again.

“You can’t help but smile when you see the ladies spending time together,” said Elizabeth Simonds, marketing manager with Scarborough Terrace Assisted Living. “They have so much fun together, and their smiles are infectious. We are happy that we can give Eleanor a place to stay, and we can help the ladies catch up on old times.”

Eleanor Irving, left, and Pauline Garner together again at Scarborough Terrace Assisted Living.    

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