Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 4 Jul, 2023

Tuesday

This was a bit of a weird visit. Mum was more talkative but made less sense. She was also less clear about where she was, didn’t appreciate that she was in a private room and said some very odd things.

I completed her “About Me” booklet and that was with Claudia the Activities Lead. Claudia said that mum had been quite uncooperative today. She couldn’t get anything useful from her. Claudia asked about the type of chair mum used in hospital. The one in her room wasn’t suitable and they didn’t have enough of the orthopaedic recliners. She suggested speaking to reception.

I spoke with Greta on reception and got details on how to set up funds for sundries like hairdresser and chiropodist etc. Greta was also going to speak to their maintenance man to see if he could locate a suitable chair. Mum would be stuck without one and would have to remain in bed.

Just before 9 in the evening I got a call from mum’s new GP. She also said mum had been uncooperative this morning. She wanted some details about mum’s lifestyle before admission and I also gave her a run-down on events in hospital as the discharge notes she had from The Hospital were a bit sparse. As luck would have it I’d already condensed my running WhatsApp commentary into a couple of pages of notes and had emailed them to mum’s Nursing Team Lead first thing that morning.

*Side note* Everything the staff do, say and see gets recorded on little handheld devices and we’ll have access to that online once my application is approved so my notes will not need to be so long.

The conversation included a section about DNR status and end of life care. She said her view was that a likely scenario would be something like if Mum were to get another serious infection which did not respond to oral antibiotics administered in the home there would be little point readmitting her to hospital for IV antibiotics and have her “die on a trolley in a corridor in A&E”. I told her that we’d come to the same conclusion and that we would support the decision of medical professionals attending at the time.

She also asked if we knew whether Mum would be in the Epping Forest Home permanently. I said I was going to ask her that. She laughed. I said that we had no clue about the possible extent of Mum’s recovery or likely timescales. The home were being quite open about this phase being D2A or Discharge To Assessment. They were making no assumptions about Mum’s length of stay beyond the first 28 days. If, in the opinion of either us or mum, the Epping Forest Home wasn’t right for Mum then we get the option of a move. I was assuming that if a move did get requested within the 6 weeks that the local authority was paying for then they would also pay for the move.

So, we needed to give some thought right then to what possible alternatives there were. Eldest Sister had said that her kids would visit Mum if she was moved nearer them. I’d found two homes with stroke rehab specialists near me and one was walking distance away. I said I could commit to half-hour visits 5 or 6 days a week (Mum falls asleep if you talk to her much longer than that at the moment) if they have a bed, if Mum could cope with the journey and if the cost wasn’t prohibitive. That seemed to me the best option to maintain the pattern of Mum getting a visitor every day.

I asked for thoughts on the topic. As always, this needed to be agreed by all of us.

Eldest Sister said that if the one close to me had space, then go for it. In the meantime she would contact the homes near me just to enquire re space. Would we need mum’s discharge notes?

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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