The Inadvertent Carer

Bombshell #3
Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 7 May, 2024

Tuesday

I met The Manager at The Home first thing this morning. He was very honest and very reassuring.

He started by saying he was sorry about the unpleasant surprise. I told him that I’d seen the team of contractors drilling holes and doing a geological survey in the gardens and the car park last summer so I knew that the redevelopment plan hadn’t gone away entirely. I also knew that the storm damage over the winter that necessitated Mum moving to a different room had been an unexpected expense. My only surprise was that the owners thought the economy was strong enough support that sort of investment now. I suppose that if the cost of upkeep is going up even faster than the cost of borrowing then it did make some sort of sense.

He also told me that in spite of what The Letter had said about priority being given to residents who had been there since before the redevelopment plan had been filed there would be other criteria. Top of the list was the needs of the resident and Beck House’s ability to meet them. To that end, Needs Assessments were going to be carried out and the ultimate decision would be made on the basis of them.

That made an awful lot of sense. I asked if that would favour those residents who were totally bed-bound given that all bar one of the available rooms were on the upper floor. He said it would.

It made sense to me that with the main communal areas being on the ground floor at Beck House they wouldn’t want the more able residents wandering around upstairs or trying to negotiate lifts or stairs on their own.

The Needs Assessments would be carried out tomorrow, Wednesday, and I asked if I could be involved if the assessors thought it would be appropriate.

He said, finally, and with lots of caveats about there being no guarantees, Mum stood a good chance of being relocated there.

I had a good long chat with Reggie too. Apparently, nearly all of the resident-facing staff would be moving across too so there would be familiar faces and voices for Mum (and, just as importantly, ME!). Sadly, one of those who may not be transferring was Reggie himself. He said he’d worked there before (without saying whether that was a good or bad thing!) but that his working hours had been fixed to suit the needs of his wife and kids. His transfer depended on whether Beck House could accommodate that too. As for the chances of Mum being transferred… “There’s no need to stress about it” was all he said.

After I’d got home, I had a call from Mum’s Social Services department back at home. They’d had the same letter from The Home that we got.

They hadn’t been able to speak to The Manager themselves yet but wanted to get our take on what we wanted to do about it.

I said that the preference is to accept the transfer to Beck House if that’s available, that that is what I’d said to The Manager at The Home, that the decision would be dependent upon a Needs Assessment to be carried out by the team at Beck House as well as length of residence and that we should find out fairly quickly one way or the other. It could be as soon as by the end of the week.

As for what would happen if Mum wasn’t in the select group, I said we’d look again locally here. It’s just so unfortunate that when I looked last year, The Home and Beck House were #1 and #2 by quite some distance and if neither was available then we’d be looking at less suitable homes, longer journeys or greater expense. Or, more likely, all of those.

Mum’s social worker wished me luck.

I let Brother and both Sisters know what I’d said on their behalf. The two responses I got were both positive.

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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