Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 1 Jun, 2024

Saturday

Steve spotted me walking in The Home and called me into the office. He’d heard back from the GP.

They did take a blood sample when Mum was pale and peaky a couple of weeks ago. The results were “typical of a lady in her 90s” and “there’s nothing to treat”. Steve said it’s not helping that she won’t get out of bed and it’s left her very weak. That sounded fair. We are, after all, where we are.

I’d spotted Reggie’s car in the car park and I was hoping he’d be free for a chat and a bit of banter. He had involved me in an ongoing… let’s call it a discussion because ‘feud’ is too strong a word… with Sean months ago. Who is better, Messi or Ronaldo? It’s obviously Messi but Sean favours Ronaldo. After that, whenever either one of them has something derogatory published in the press they needed to be told. Just before leaving for The Home I’d seen a report that Christiano Ronaldo’s team had played in a Saudi cup final, lost on penalties and the great man had crumpled in the centre circle and blubbed. Reggie needed to know.

When Sean came in to the lounge, saw me sitting with Reggie and heard how loudly we were laughing he knew what was coming. Sean took the teasing well. Even when I said “I don’t know why he got so upset. It’s not like that league is proper football or anything. It’s meaningless.”

Being involved in, and sometimes being the butt of, the team teasing feels so important. 

And when I got to Mum she looked loads better. Like yesterday never happened. A much healthier colour and no complaints about being cold. That’s not to say she wasn’t complaining. Just that she wasn’t complaining about being cold.

Her mood was very up and down. Down, mostly. One minute she’d be laughing and the next she’d be moaning that nobody was looking after her. Then something else would make her laugh and in the next breath she’d be moaning that she wants to go to “a different hospital”.

I took the chance to explain that I’d been to look at another place, that it was a new, that they had a room available but that it wasn’t quite ready yet. She seemed keen. She accepted that she wouldn’t need to worry about sorting or packing her stuff.

The whole conversation was interspersed with plenty of “Don’t leave me on me own”, “Stay here tonight with me” and complaints about stomach ache.

I told her Una had been in touch and that cheered her up briefly.

She followed that by asking how Youngest Sister was. I did have to check to make sure I’d heard right. Yep, she had asked how her youngest was alright.

“She’s alright I think Mum. I write to her every day and I let her know you’re doing.”

“Good”

“She never responds though”

“Oh”

Mum’s been here since last July and Youngest Sister hasn’t been to see her. We deal with upsetting circumstances in different ways I suppose.

This visit was hard work.

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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