Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 13 Mar, 2024

Wednesday

The first person I met this evening was Terri.

“Hello Terri! How are you?”

“NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!!”

I could still hear her shouting “NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!!” when I got to the rear lounge.

Terri is one of the staff who has kept an in joke running. It’s Mum yelled for the first few weeks she was at The Home. Being the butt of a joke makes me feel part of their team. 

It looked like there had been another water-related calamity at The Home. There were towels all over the floor in the rear lounge and the furniture had been shuffled around. It seemed to be plumbing this time.

It was roasting hot in there. So hot that even Mum complained she was too hot. I flipped her pillow over so she got the cool side and she looked surprised at how much more comfortable she was. Next she complained about being itchy. Rolling on her side so I could scratch her back left her absolutely exhausted.

“Have you got any of those stories?”

I got a chapter and a half done when the maintenance manager knocked on the door. He wanted to check the water supply to Mum’s bathroom. A few minutes later he was back again.

Shirley had taken to using a walking frame that belongs to someone called Bernard. I didn’t know who Bernard was but his frame makes a right racket. We could hear Bernard’s frame approaching from way off. I stopped reading when I couldn’t hear myself think. The noise stopped just short of Mum’s door and I could hear Shirley on a loop

“There’s too many. I’ll just put this in here. I don’t know where to go….”

“Just a minute Mum. I’ll go and see if Shirley needs some help.”

Not only was she in a state of distress, she was also in a state of moderate undress. She was standing there trying to do her trousers up. Fortunately, she managed on her own and headed back to the lounge.

I had only just sat down again when there was another face at the door.

“Hello Lily! Are you alright?”

“Yes, are you alright?”

“We’re very well thank-you.”

“Are you sure? Because I’m just down here if you need anything”

Then we could hear that Jacqui was back to screaming when she’s being put in a wheelchair to be taken to her room. I couldn’t make myself heard over the torrent of abuse directed at Jess and Dora so reading was paused again. Then Shirley reappeared at the door.

“Why don’t you come in and sit down Shirley? I can read to both of you.”

“Ooh, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.”

Jess and Dora returned with Callum and Jess stopped what she was doing to come and extract Shirley but I said it was fine for her to be with us. It was fine for all of a minute before Shirley decided she ought to be somewhere else and left again. I next saw her trying to get through the internal security door at the other end of the building.

Once Glenys had been with the evening meds and Mum was dozing off I decided to call it a day.

 Bloody hell

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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