Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 30 Jun, 2023

Friday

The stroke rehab ward at The Hospital called me at mid-day to say that Mum had left the ward with her discharge meds and was in the “Departure Lounge” waiting for her transport.

I’d already tried calling the Epping Forest Home. Their reception phone disconnected after half a dozen rings. I emailed them too. No response there either.

I fought my way round the M25 and made it to the home by mid-afternoon. It looked very nice even though the side that faces the road is a building site. The problem was that mum hadn’t yet arrived. There is a 3pm cut-off for receiving patients on a Friday because after that time they can’t register them with the GP or get a top-up for any shortage of meds.

By 5pm the home had already got my seal of approval. They’d just made me a lovely cup of tea. And it came with biscuits. I hadn’t had a biscuit in 18 months. Still no sign of Mum though.

Mum arrived at 17:20 and was transferred to bed. She was knackered. As Youngest Sister said, she was glad she has arrived safely and that it was nice that she saw a familiar face when she got there.

By 6pm, Mum was settled in her room. It was the most lucid and fluent she’d been since leaving the general medical ward at The Hospital. She was with it enough for me to be able to successfully orient her and she seemed to know where she was as it wasn’t that far from where she and Dad got married and not far either from Mum and Dad’s first flat together. The nursing team with us were both delighted and relieved that Mum was aware of where she was. She must have been tired though because she turned down food. If she’d been in Discharge since 12 then she’d missed lunch at The Hospital.

There was lots of information to send out. Where and where not to park, how to get in and out of the building, where Mum’s room was, the option to take on the phone system to get to the team looking after Mum and so on. And visiting times of course. They made interesting reading. Visits were encouraged and they said they could be at any time. Having said that they preferred that we didn’t visit at meal times which are 08:30-09:00, 12:30-13:30 and 17:00-18:30. We should try to avoid doctor’s rounds too. Doctor’s rounds are done during the morning.

There was a form for the DNR policy. The DNR policy we all agreed before only applied within the hospital so there was a new form to fill in. I was too tired to take it in at first reading but it did seem to lean towards patients with a proper power of attorney in place. I’ll give it a proper read in the morning.

I could apply for access to Mum’s medical records online – another form to fill in

I had to sign giving consent to take Mum’s photo so it could be stored on her patient profile – presumably so they could be sure they were giving the right person the right treatment

I had to give consent – with reasons – for them to use bedrails!

There was a booklet to fill in called All About Me. Personal and family details, activities, TV/radio, dietary preferences, personal care preferences, clothing preferences, when the preferred bedtime is, window open or closed. I was going to need help with that

I also learned that the email address on the home’s website wasn’t to be trusted. While I was waiting for mum I heard the lady on reception tell two of the nursing team that no-one’s had access to it for years. 

Author’s Note

My Mum is in a nursing home in a small village in the Thames Valley. The photo is not of the home. I used an AI image generator to give the reader some idea of the home she’s in.

All, some or maybe even none (you’ll never know!) of the names have been changed to protect privacy and hide real identities. If you think you recognise someone then let me know and I’ll edit the post or remove it entirely

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