Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 15 May, 2024

Wednesday

Today was Mum’s Calm & Lucid day. Or perhaps just a Calm & Lucid afternoon. One of her Other People made a brief appearance at the end of the visit. She was Comfortable, Chatty & Cheerful too.

I started off by adjusting her pillows and asking if she wanted a drink. She took a few good sips of her squash.

“They keep telling me I don’t drink enough.”

“Do they Mum? Well, they’re probably right.”

“I do drink more when you’re here.”

No pressure then.

There was lots of talk about moving somewhere nearer me. I said I’d have a word with Gina to see if they could sort out somewhere a bit newer and smarter. If it had nice gardens and a bit of a view then so much the better. She seemed happy with that.

I told her it might not happen straight away and that she should just leave it to the staff to sort everything out as they knew what they were doing.

“Where will I go tonight then?”

“Probably best you hang on here until it’s all sorted Mum.”

She didn’t look convinced.

“Tell you what. I’ll go and ask Juliette. She’ll know if you can stay tonight.”

“Alright. I bet she says No”

Standard Operating Procedure employed. Walk out of the room, count to 10 and go back in…

“She says you can stay as long as you like! So you’re OK until we sort out somewhere else.”

“Ooh, that’s good!”

Hakim arrived with Mum’s smoothie.

“Can we take this with us?” she asked him.

“I think it’s best if you drink it now Mum. Then we can give him his cup back before we leave.”

They both laughed at that.

I’ve got the knack of smoothie administration at long last. Three sips at a time is too much and she needs a rest. Two sips needs her wanting more so she needs less of a break between sets. It took half an hour but she drank the lot. She even took the cup herself towards the end. With one mouthful left she said

“Don’t want any more of that. It makes me fart.”

More laughter.

Mum takes a lot of interest in who is passing her room and at one point she interrupted her monologue to tell me something.

“There’s a man gone down there to that door. Who is it?”

I turned round to have a look for myself.

“That’s not a man. That’s one of the ladies who run the laundry.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t tell her you think she’s a man!”

More laughter.

We had another read of Eldest Sister’s postcard. She wondered if they were coming to see her again and was pleased that they were coming at the weekend. Then she asked if Brother and his wife were alright. She remembered speaking to them on the phone and I said we should try that again so they don’t have to leave their dog on her own and drive down. She was content with that.

Most of her conversation after that was about what she wanted to take with her when she leaves.

“Can we take the wardrobes do you think?”

“I think we’ll just take everything Mum. Bung it all in the van and if anyone argues the toss then we can work it out later.”

Everything IS going. The Manager has already said that they’ll make everyone’s micro-environment as similar as possible to what they have now. I did point out that Mum’s room isn’t just her micro-environment. It’s her ENTIRE environment.

As Mum was falling asleep again I told her I was off to get an early night as we had a long day tomorrow. She was happy with that. I left her with Brother Cadfael playing on an Alexa routine and neatly avoided having to give her her Weetabix.

Unfortunately, Mum approaching Peak Active midweek is likely to mean that she’ll be asleep for this weekend’s visitors.

Bibliography

Brother Cadfael: A BBC Radio Collection of Three Full-Cast Dramatisations

Audible Audiobook – Original recording

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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