Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 31 Jan, 2024

Wednesday

The Deputy Manager’s office light was on when I arrived at The Home this evening.

“Gina! By my watch, the time is exactly…. Time To Go Home!”

“I’m OK, I’ve got coffee, music…. You’ll understand if I say I hope I don’t see you later”

“I’m sure you mean it in the nicest possible way”

Mum was quite alert when I got to her. Chipper, chatty and mostly lucid. I told her about my day. It’s been a bit stressful. We’ve been landed with a potentially large bill which could’ve been avoided if we dealt with it sooner, if we hadn’t been tearing around like loons to Lesley’s dad. He gets the blame for everything now. Lesley has realised that she’s been effectively running his house for 25 years and it’s taking its toll. But the mention of expense elicits this from Mum…

“Is there anything I can do to help?”

Blimey!

Mum asked if Lesley’s had to go over to him today. We’ve had what feels like a rare day off. We’ve been getting increasingly resentful of comments from his acquaintances who say what an impressive old man he is – 95 years old and still living independently. If “living independently” now means luxuriating in the delusion that you’re coping when, in reality, someone else is managing all your bills, all your shopping, all your hospital/GP/dentist/hairdresser/cleaner/etc appointments, all your laundry, sorting out your meds, helping you have a bath and sometimes even helping you get dressed which involves dozens of family, neighbours and volunteers then, yes, he’s not doing badly. It’s a mystery why he’s so ungrateful and uncooperative given how well he’s doing.

Mum was doing OK until a bout of gastric turbulence caused her to start fretting about when The Girls would be round to change her. I offered to stay until they’d been but when it got to nearly 9pm she said I didn’t have to wait.

So I didn’t.

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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