Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 4 Apr, 2024

Thursday

A slightly late visit to The Home today. I had been keeping The Dog company while Lesley covered another meeting with a healthcare professional for her Dad.

It all felt very low key at The Home today. While I chatted to Steve in the front lounge I could hear Eleanor talking about me.

“Look at him! What’s he wearing!? Just look at him!!” 

What I’m wearing is the same kilt she saw me wearing yesterday. And the day before. It was like she’d never seen me before.

Mum was awake but quiet. She wasn’t especially happy but that’s fairly typical of this stage in her Sleepy/active cycle. When she did try to speak it was almost entirely indistinct although she did assure me she was warm and comfortable, that she felt alright and that the pain in her legs was easing. She said she’d had enough to eat and drink but she drank the last half of her smoothie almost in one go when I suggested it and she was able to hold the cup herself.

“I’m waiting for them to come and change me.”

“Yep, the girls on the night shift will start in about half an hour so you won’t have to wait long”

“Oh”

I just sat and held her hand while she talked until she tired herself out.

“It’s nice and quiet here today Mum. The lounge was pretty-much empty. I don’t know where everyone’s gone.”

“Yeah, well, it’s Sunday”

The few remaining bits of what she had said that I could understand included her telling me (I think) that her Mum had been to see her earlier.

“She just comes and goes as she pleases”

Mum also talked about going home. This time, she meant her ACTUAL home. Not the home she lived in when she was primary school age which what she normally means when she talks about ‘home’. She sometimes mentions other places but this is the first time she’d talked about her home being ‘home’.

Oh, and I got set a couple of tasks for tomorrow too. Trim the whiskers on her chin and book a hair appointment. I mustn’t forget that one. There is a salon in the building but the hairdresser is only there on Tuesdays.

The final request was possibly “Have you got any books?”

“Sorry Mum? You want me to read to you?”

“Yeah”

Three chapters later, she was sound asleep. 

Bibliography

Tales from the Parish: 31 humorous short stories about community, family and village life, set in the English countryside

Kindle Edition

by Stefania Hartley

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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