Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 15 Oct, 2023

Sunday

The MoT was due on my car this week and my car hadn’t moved off the drive since mum moved down here. Being a diesel, I thought a long run on the motorway would do it good. Get it to go through a ‘hot cycle’ so the particulate filter was clean before the emissions test. We went down to Savernake Forest near Marlborough. It used to be part of the Seymour family’s estate. Essentially Henry VIII’s third wife’s back garden. Some of the older Oak trees may have been saplings when she was there. Lovely walk in the sunshine enjoyed by all.

Long story short, today was the first day since she moved to The Home that Mum only got one visit.

She was asleep when I got there. Evening meds had already been administered apparently.

“Mum? It’s Nick”

“Oh good, [then something unintelligible]”

“How are you doing?”

“Not too bad”

“Not too good either by the sound of it”

“No”

I offered no apology or explanation to mum for not being there earlier. She said nobody had been to see her but then she’s said that when she’s had two long visits so I ignored it. I didn’t know whether or not she realised that it was just a single visit today but I didn’t risk saying anything that may have made it clear to her. I started to tell her about my day but was interrupted.

“Have you got any stories?”

As I read to her I was aware that Lily was mooching with intent in the corridor outside. She asked several members of staff for directions to the way out. Having failed to get the answer she wanted she interrupted us. I told her that I didn’t know about a way out at this end of the building but I thought there was probably a room booked for her along the corridor for her tonight. I offered to help her find it.

Having got Lily in her room I went back to say goodnight to Mum. I was on my way out as Lily re-emerged from her room and asked me if I was going home. Like an idiot I say I was. She followed me.

We got to the lounge where Glenys was doing meds and Tara was reading to Pauline. They got what was happening immediately and we started an improv sketch where I said I’d have to go and get my car from down the street and Tara suggests that Lily had a cup of coffee while she waited. We all knew that’s ample time for Lily to forget what’s going on. As the negotiation was going on with Lily, Pauline was now feeling neglected and was badgering me to read to her. I had a stab at it but said the print was too small for me and that I’d have to go and get my glasses.

“But you will read to me tomorrow though?”

Meanwhile, Lily was fed up with waiting and was heading for the front door to try her luck there.

Tara told me that I’d never get out now. She then told me the door codes so I could get out through the kitchens.

I headed in that direction but saw Lily going into the other lounge. I nipped past while her back was turned and went directly to the front door.

There was a nurse in the hall.

“Lela’s trying to follow me out”

“I know. That’s why I’m here.”

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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