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Saturday, 5 September 2015

An odd team

Up at the nursing home yesterday mum was much better than she had been for my previous visit, and had regained some of the vitality that she'd lost because of the most recent hospital admission. My son came with me this time, and the three of us sat around mum's room talking idly.

Then I heard H calling for the nurse from her room up the hallway. After a few attempts, when the nurse did not appear immediately, she started instead calling mum by her first name. Now the major problem that H has is that she cannot walk well and is not really mobile in any functional sense, so she becomes reliant on other people to do simple things for her. Her memory is also not all that good.

From where I was lying on mum's bed I turned my head to mum - she was sitting on her big orange recliner chair over by the window - and asked her if she was going to respond to H. After saying something briefly about not responding immediately every time H calls her, mum got up out of her chair and, pushing her walker in front of her as usual when she leaves her room, ambled out into the hallway and disappeared from sight. I remained on the bed waiting to see what would happen, but then remembered that I had to check on a referral mum's GP had written about in our communication book. I got up and went down the hallway toward the nurse's station located near the first floor elevator.

When I arrived at the elevator there was mum. What are you doing? I asked her. "I have absolutely no idea," mum said to me as she turned her walker round to face me. Did she get asked to do something by H and had started out on the errand then had forgotten what it was that had to be done? "Yes, I suppose so," said mum. I suggested that she should go back to her room to see that my son was not left alone, and she ambled off with her walker in front of her on the carpet. I turned around and went over to the counter where the nurse station is, and got someone to help me with my inquiry.

The thing is that H is very bossy. She is always bossing around the staff. Since she and mum are friend she tends to boss mum around too. And while H is barely mobile due to her bad legs, mum is barely capable of carrying out complicated tasks because of her bad memory due to dementia. They make an odd team. 

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