Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 28 Jun, 2024

Friday

I could hear the live ‘entertainer’ as I pulled up at The Home today. It’s the same ‘entertainer’ who ‘performed’ at Mum’s last home. He does a set with songs of YesterYear and jokes. Also of YesterYear.

I heard this gem as I was signing in…

“Prices, Madam. PRICES!! They’re all going up aren’t they? Everything’s going up.! I’ll tell you what’s coming down though…. Knickers!”

Fortunately, The Home is big enough that I didn’t have to walk through the lounge to get past him.

Given how Mum was yesterday, I was fully expecting her to be asleep when I got there today. Was she? Of course she wasn’t.

She was completely unaware I was in the room to start with. From her perspective, I suppose I was just as real as all the Other People she was talking to. And there were lots of them today. She talked a lot. Sometimes even to me.

There was no difficulty getting her to drink but in every other way she was uncooperative. She had her sheet rolled up in her lap when I got there.

“Mum? Your feet are freezing. Can I take that and cover you up?”

“No.”

The solution: Wait a few minutes and then just do it.

When I got there yesterday, someone had switched Alexa off at the wall and put her telly on. So today I asked

“Mum? Would you rather have the radio on or the telly?”

“No.”

Solution: Switch Alexa back on and deactivate all the routines that play music and read audio-books then turn the telly on. As with every telly in every home, this one is tuned to ITV3

I asked her if she wanted me to read for a bit. She said “Yes” but talked all the way through it.

But she seemed quite happy. Laughing away at what her Other People were saying and then laughing at what she was saying to them.

At one point she said

“Come here, I want to tell you something.”

“Yes? What is it Mum?”

“Shut up!”

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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