Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 19 Mar, 2024

Tuesday

Reggie was having his dinner in the coffee lounge with Harry when I got to The Home. They told me that they’d noticed that Mum was no longer yelling for me nearly as much as she did when she first arrived.

“I think it’s because there are so many people in the room with her now.” he says.

“Ah, so she’s letting her guard down a bit now. At first she would only acknowledge the Other People when family were with her. In fact, when the hallucinations first started, they only happened when I was there. For a long time I thought the Other People were coming in with me. She behaves quite differently when outsiders are there. Her speech for example. When I’m with her a lot of what she says I can’t understand at all. But when one of you guys come in she speaks clearly and seems completely lucid.”

She must be getting used to them. It’s only taken 6 months.

 Lily was pleased to see me as I passed through the front lounge. I got a lovely welcome. Then she told me to hurry to the back of the building.

It was difficult being with Mum today. I’d guess that she was not quite at Peak Active. Only half her duvet was rolled up in a ball in her lap.

She was fidgeting and fussing and I had to hunt for one of her side support pillows. I found that under her knees but it could have been put there by staff to stop her leaning directly on the bed rail. I got a cushion and stuffed it under her shoulder to stop her falling over.

There were so many Other People in the room with us that I could hardly get a word in at times.

Among the stories I got told was news that she’d got the bus to Ponders End this morning. Sounded like she’d had a nice time though.

And then…

“That bloomin’ Andrew! He… Er… I can’t remember what he did but I gave him a good hiding for it!”

And then, when she’d finished laughing…

“When am I going to see him? Saturday?”

“Well, we could try giving him a ring but Catharine and the kids are coming on Sunday.”

“Are they!? Oh blimey!”

I haven’t had an ‘Everyone Else In The Room Is More Interesting And Entertaining Than I Am’ visit since Mum was moved back downstairs. As the conversation moved on I was less and less involved in it. She told me that the Other People were “in good spirits” and had asked if she wanted to go for a drink with them.

I offered to read and she went round the room and asked each of the Other People, one by one, whether they wanted a story or the telly.

I started reading anyway but she was still talking so I gave up. It got to the point where I felt bad for interrupting them because she was laughing so much.

I decided to cut the visit short and to leave her to it. She looked quite offended.

“Aren’t you going to wait for us!?”

“No Mum. You haven’t had your meds yet. Just tell them all to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for me to pick them up in the morning.”

“Oh, alright then.”

 Audrey asked me if I was going to join the fun on the way out. She was sitting in the middle of her gang and they were all roaring with laughter.

“This looks great! What have I missed?”

I didn’t understand the answer but I suggested she sells tickets next time. Her gang all roared at that too.

Bibliography

The Enchanted Village of Johnshaven

Kindle Edition

by Bill Dring

 

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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