Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 11 May, 2024

Saturday

Another early visit today as Lesley needed an afternoon off to go out to a birthday picnic.

When I arrived at The Home, staff were in the lounge updating resident records after breakfast had been served, pads changed, meds administered and so on. Those residents not in their rooms were dozing in front of the TV.

Reggie told me that Mum was still quite ‘active’ earlier on and they had found her laying across the bed with her feet on the wall again. She was almost asleep when I walked into her room though.

Mum did respond when I told her I was there but it wasn’t clear that she knew it was me. She just nodded weakly when I asked if she was alright. She did look comfortable but her hands were cold so I put a duvet over the bed. She smiled and snuggled down. Her bedclothes were deliberately light in preparation for another hot day but the sun hadn’t quite made it round to her side of the building and the room was cool.

There seemed little point in telling her anything so I just started reading while she went off to sleep. Three quarters of the way through the first chapter, she started snoring. At one point she came to with a start.

“Did you just wake yourself up snoring so loudly Mum!?”

“NO!!” she replied with faux indignation.

She went back to sleep with a smirk on her face. She seemed comfortable and content and didn’t respond when I said I was leaving.

On my way out I reported back to Reggie that I’d put a duvet on Mum as they would have to check she wasn’t overheating when the sun did make it round to her room.

Reggie was happy to chat for a bit. I asked if he’d seen the Northern Lights the night before and showed a couple of images that I’d got on my phone. He’d missed the show due to his obsession with politics. That started a conversation that could’ve gone on for hours.

I haven’t published the images I took. I wasn’t satisfied with them but they were important to me. I’d gone an entire calendar year without taking a ‘proper’ photo with a ‘proper’ camera and that hadn’t happened since I’d got my first decent camera when I was 21.

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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