Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 20 May, 2024

Monday

Mum was an awful lot more awake this evening than I expected. Chatty, calm, comfortable and a lot more mobile than she normally would be after sleeping for a couple of days.

Rather than ask her a question and highlight her poor memory I simply told Mum that Eldest Sister had been there yesterday with her Daughter, Youngest Son and Youngest Son’s Girlfriend. She just said “Yep” but I’m fairly certain she didn’t remember.

I explained that the other son hadn’t come to visit because his wife had just arrived in the country.

“Has she!? Oh, that’s good!”

“It is, isn’t it. Here. Have a look at this photo that he sent us.”

“That’s nice. Who’s the other one?”

That ‘other one’ was his wife.

“Nice photo though” I said.

“Yes. Very nice.”

I told her about lunch yesterday and how good The Dog had been which prompted a lengthy conversation about our pets.

So far, so good. Mum spoke clearly a lot of the time too.

It wasn’t all entirely lucid though. She asked me if Nicholas was coming at one point and I said I’d go and check. When I went back in and told her he’d be coming later she thanked us both for going to see her.

She then spoke about family. Maurice got his first mention since Mum’s arrival at The Home to my knowledge and Doris got talked about too. I think she was saying they were going to come rather than that they’d been there with her today. She went through an anecdote about them that made her laugh but I couldn’t understand enough of it to tell you what it was.

The night shift started preparing some of the rooms so residents could go to bed.

“Who’s that?”

“Jess and Dora.”

“The problem with this place is that they don’t know what they’re doing”

“Oh, I don’t think so. I think they’re all very good. What about Juliette? She’s lovely. You like her don’t you?”

“Which one’s Juliette?”

“She’s the one who comes and sits with you a lot. She talks with you and sometimes she sings with you. You sing You Are My Sunshine together”

“Oh yes,” she smiled, “Juliette’s nice”

Then Jess and Dora re-appeared with Quiet Colin. I told Mum that I heard him say something the other day. All the months I’d been going there and I hadn’t heard him say a word. Then I’d heard him shout “SOD OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!” at someone. That made Mum laugh.

Evening meds were then administered and Mum was beginning to doze off. I told her I’d leave her to get some proper kip and would come back in the morning.

“Why aren’t you coming back later!?”

Bloody hell.

As I was leaving I saw all the staff doing circuits of the garden and I realised I hadn’t seen Lily all evening. I toyed with the idea of going back in but heard them all cheer. I assumed their search had been successful.

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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