Monday, 4 May 2015

A woman tries to abscond from the nursing home

Up at the nursing home today I decided to take mum out to the park to sit and watch the dogs. But when we arrived at the front door I was told not to open it. Why? I asked. "Because she wants to abscond," the nursing home staffer told me, indicating briefly an elderly woman hovering around the front door. She didn't point to anyone or even turn her head in their direction. She just said it and looked straight at me with her eyes, merely willing me to understand what she meant. I understood without any problem. It was obvious who she was talking about.

The elderly woman in question held a coat over one arm and what looked like a folder in her hand. It could have been a purse, I wasn't sure. "OK," I said. I said to mum, "Come one let's go." We turned back toward the elevator, called it up to us with the call button, and got in when the doors opened. I pushed the button for the basement, where there is another entrance to the building.

The elderly woman had been standing near the front desk when we came out of the lift from the first floor, which is the floor where mum's room is located. She was obviously angry. I couldn't really work out clearly what she was saying but it was evident that she was not happy. Even before mum and I turned into the vestibule to head toward the front door we felt enveloped in the bad feeling the elderly woman was generating. All the staff were wary of her. They stood at a distance from her, and were placed at different points around the room.  As mum and I started to move toward the front door the elderly woman began to gravitate in that direction also. I should have known what was about to happen.

As we entered the lift to go to the basement the nursing home manager, whose office is located on the first floor near the first floor nurse's station, came out of the lift. "It looks like you've got a problem," I said to her. We knew each other. She said something in a hurry and rounded the corner, heading toward the front desk and the vestibule.

I guided mum out of the lift at the basement and punched the access code into the keypad mounted near the sliding glass doors leading to the carpark. The doors opened. "OK mum, let's go," I said. "I'm coming," she said. I headed out to the street and we walked up the road toward the place where we normally enter the park. I helped mum up onto the top of the gutter by lifting her walker for her. She grunted and eased it onto the grass. I headed into the park. She pushed her walker up the slope, following me.

After we had watched the dogs running round the park for about 30 minutes I started to get cold. I made two videos with Periscope while we sat there. We went back into the nursing home via the basement, the same way we had come out of the building. At lunch I told the story of the absconder to an elderly woman whose room is situated near mum's room. She kept looking round behind me at different people, saying "Is that her?" all through lunch.

After I had taken mum back to her room after our walk she had immediately laid down on her bed to take a nap. While I waited for lunch I went downstairs to the front desk and talked to the staff member on duty there about the elderly woman who had tried to abscond. Apparently the woman's family has not told her that she is now a permanent resident of the nursing home. "Why?" I asked the staffer. "Probably because if they do that's what's going to happen."

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