Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 4 May, 2024

Saturday

I did Mum’s visit early today as we had a trip to Lesley’s dad to do.

I did the greeting slowly and clearly just to make sure she knew it was me there. I think that worked. Mum’s bed was in mild disarray again. She told me to be careful with the dogs that were in bed with her while I rearranged the duvet.

“Where did they come from Mum?”

“They’re ours!”

She started to tell me something but it was very indistinct. I could only make out the last few words…

“… and that’s why I feel so rotten.”

She certainly didn’t look very happy but I couldn’t get any specific detail about what sort of rotten she was feeling. She definitely didn’t want me to tell anyone though.

Her conversation quickly turned to going home. She said her stuff was in a suitcase in the wardrobe. I said I’d check. She’d already sent me a warning signal as she’d mentioned Nicholas as if he wasn’t there. But in the process of me standing up, taking one pace to the wardrobe, opening and closing the door and turning back to the armchair, she’d lost track of who I was completely.

“Where’s he gone?”

“Who Mum?”

“The man in that chair”

“Oh, I’m not sure. I’ll go and have a look…”

Leave the room, count to ten, go back in.

“Hello Mum! It’s Nick!”

“Where did you go? Were you next door?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you see that other person?”

Bloody hell.

The conversation went on. Mostly not to me. The only times she spoke directly to me was to ask if it was alright for me to give the Other People a lift to where they were going on our way home.

She did tell one of the Other People that they’d have to behave themselves. She pointed at me and said

“His Dad used to be a policeman so you have to be very, very good.”

She said something to one of the other Other People that I couldn’t quite make out

“Did you call him a silly sod Mum?”

She turned to the other Other Person and told them that if I was horrible to them again they were to tell her and she’d tell me off.

Some of the residents were going out into the garden to enjoy the sunshine. I asked Mum if she fancied going out but she declined because I was taking her home.

When I’d had enough I told Mum that with all these people I was giving a lift to I’d have to put some more petrol in the car. She seemed content with that and was still talking to the Other People when I left.

If there had been a Calm & Lucid phase in this cycle then it looked like I’d missed it. This cycle did seem to be shaping up to be another non-standard one though. The previous Peak Active Mum phase had been quite low key. This Sleepy Unresponsive phase had been short and the Sleepy Miserable phase had been longer. It seemed that I’d just witnessed the transition straight from Sleepy Miserable Mum to early Peak Active Mum within an hour.

At least she’d been happier when I left than she’d been when I arrived. So that’s something.

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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