Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 1 Jul, 2024

Monday

Mum had started her journey out of a hypoactive Sleepy phase today.

At the start of each visit to Mum, Lesley will WhatsApp me to ask how she is if I haven’t already let her know. It gives her an idea of how long I’ll be at The Home. I got an indication of Mum’s default baseline mood when I started to type my reply. The keyboard app on my phone quickly recognises commonly used word combinations and helpfully suggests them in the autocomplete box. I’d got as far as “Aw” when it suggested

“Awake and miserable”

She was awake enough to be responsive, awake enough to try and talk, lucid enough to recognise the state she was in but not awake enough to be physically mobile.

The only words Mum said clearly were “Don’t leave me on me own”, “I don’t feel needed” and “Nobody comes to see me”. Everything else was too indistinct to make out but it was unquestionably miserable. I did my best to reassure her that she got a visitor every day, that I wrote to everybody to let them know how she was and that people were always asking me about her. It wasn’t enough to lift her mood. She was on the point of crying several times during the visit.

She had, unsurprisingly, no idea that she’d had visitors there yesterday.

I think she asked something about Uncle Tom and I think she asked if I had any stories. So I read to her for a bit.

The only positive aspect was that I had no trouble getting her to drink. She was gasping. She would be. Not having had enough, or anything, to eat or drink for a couple of days would make anyone miserable.

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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