Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 5 Jul, 2024

Friday

The day after the General Election. I was struggling.

I normally watch the results coming in just until I get an idea which way the result is heading. But this was going to be a momentous election so the temptation was always there to watch history being made.

“Don’t stay up all night.” Lesley had said.

“I won’t. I’ll just watch until the Exit Poll has come in and been picked apart” I thought.

Election night coverage is generally pretty dire but Channel4 were going to have Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell on with Emily Maitlis and Krishnan Guru-Murthy and that sounded really appealing. Professor Hannah Fry would be doing the numbers stuff. Even better. Their conversations with Harriet Harman, Nadhim Zahawi, Mhairi Black, Nicky Morgan and Alan Duncan had me rivetted.

“Just a few more minutes. So long as I’m in bed before 3am when the bulk of the results start coming in.” I thought.

Perhaps it was due to the low turnout but results arrived earlier than expected and a pattern emerged…

“Bloody hell! {insert name of despised Tory MP here} has lost!! I’ll just watch what they have to say about that.” Rinse and repeat.

Penny Mordaunt and Grant Shapps were gracious in defeat. Jacob Rees-Mogg made light of his defeat but then he’s got a fortune and a knighthood to fall back on. Jeremy Hunt was humble in his unexpected victory. The carnage culminated in the comedy gold that was Liz Truss’ tantrum following her defeat. Labour passed the winning line. Sweet.

It was 7am. A fascinating and schadenfreude-laden but entirely sleepless night.

When Mum had been transferred to The Home I had promised myself I’d be stricter on not visiting her when I knew she was going to be unresponsive. She was certainly heading that way when I saw her yesterday. And I was extremely tired. And it was hammering down with rain. But my conscience was pricking me and the Devil of Doubt was sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear…

“Her Sleepy/Active cycle hasn’t settled yet and you don’t know for certain that she’ll be asleep.”

“Your Brother and Eldest Sister drive for hours to see her even when they know she’ll be asleep when they get there and you can’t be bothered to drive 20 minutes!?”

I caved and went to see her. She was sound asleep and completely unresponsive.

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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