Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 8 Apr, 2024

Monday

It was peaceful and quiet at The Home today. I was grateful for that as I was still in a state of Mental Energy Deficiency after the visit to Father-in-Law yesterday. It was a case of visit Mum or go and have a nap. As it turns out, I could’ve done both.

Mum was just coming out of a Sleepy phase today. Not very mobile and not very comfortable either. It was obvious that she was still stiff from having been totally immobile for at least 24 hours. She wasn’t at all talkative but that’s to be expected at this stage. She did respond to questions and, if you listened carefully, you could understand the answers. Well, mostly. She was just content to lie there and hold my hand as she drifted in and out of sleep.

“Hello Mum! It’s Nick. How are you feeling?”

“Not too bad. Could’ve done with you being here earlier though.”

“Oh dear. Do you need a drink?”

“Yeah.”

She had a really good (for her) go at a cup of squash. There was no attempt to hold the cup which, again, was expected.

“It’s not a bad day out there today Mum. It’s turned quite warm.”

“Has it?”

“Do you fancy sitting out in the garden for a bit?”

No response.

“Shall I read to you for a bit?

“Yes please!”

Just two chapters today before I’d thought (wrongly, apparently) she’d gone back to sleep. She came to again when I stood up to leave but she didn’t protest when I said I’d be back tomorrow.

On my way out, Gina asked me how it had gone. When I was signing in she’d asked what I thought the chances were of getting Mum outside. I told her that I’d asked a number of times, especially since the manager had told me they had wheelchairs that were super-supportive. I told her how Mum would agree that it would improve her appetite and digestion, her sleep and her strength and that if she got strong enough we could start thinking about getting her home again. Even after agreeing to all that, she’d fatly refuse to be got out of bed. Gina suggested asking more directly.

“If you think she’s awake enough, ask her straight out whether she wants to go and, if she agrees, press the button. The staff will come and WHOOSHT! she’ll be outside before she can change her mind”

Mum resolutely refuses to be got out of bed. She hates being stuck in bed all the time but hates the thought of getting out of it even more. She’s complained before of being “messed about” all the time and constantly got out of bed. That was because the staff take her to be weighed once a week.

On a more positive note, I think Audrey knew who I was today. It’s been a few days. Her face brightened as I walked through the lounge.

“Good afternoon everyone! How are you?”

“All the better for seeing you!”

“I bet you say that to all the boys”

“I DO NOT!!!” she said sternly.

I beat a hasty retreat and met Lily in the corridor.

“And what have you been up to?” she asked, “Playing with the girls again? You need to behave yourself!”

Lily had been patrolling the corridor all the time I was with Mum. On her second or third appearance at Mum’s door she popped her head in.

“I keep looking for the way out  and when I get here I don’t know where to go as everywhere’s locked. Every time I’m here the only thing I see is you sitting there.”

“Oh no Lily, that can’t be very nice for you!”

She laughed.

“Never mind,” she said as she left, “I’ll try this way again. Lots of love to both of you!”

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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