Sunday, 13 December 2015

Mum's problem at the nursing home

Today I went up to the nursing home and got a call from my cousin while I was in the car, and so after arriving at the residence I called her at her home number. She wanted to tell me about H, mum's erstwhile friend. My cousin had visited the nursing home yesterday and during the visit she asked mum how H was. "Oh I don't talk to her she's a bitch," mum reportedly told my cousin.

But soon enough H was calling for mum. You can clearly hear H's voice calling when you are in mum's room because their rooms are fairly close together. "Jude, Jude, Jude. Come and help me please," H called out from her doorway. Mum apparently immediately sprang to her feet so that she could give assistance to her erstwhile friend. My cousin followed mum out to the hallway and ascertained that H needed help to go to the toilet. Mum is too weak to do this kind of thing for other people. My cousin's husband went off in search of a staff member while my cousin turned on and off the nurse call button in H's room a few times.

It ended up with my cousin helping H onto the toilet. The staff appeared eventually, but it's clear that what's being provided is not enough for this resident. "She's a pest," I told my cousin while I paced up and down the footpath outside the nursing home as I completed the call before going inside. "The nursing staff have to spend more time with H otherwise she'll just continue to bother mum." "I know," said my cousin with a note of regret in her voice. "Sometimes H will say 'Help me please, I don't know what to do, I don't know what I should be doing,'" I told my cousin. "She really just needs someone to be with her and to allay her fears. A lot of the time she doesn't need anything practical at all." "Yes," said my cousin. "She's 94, she's not going to change," I said. I suggested that my cousin should call the nursing home and explain the situation to staff.

I went up to the front door and punched the access code into the keypad. The door opened and I went inside. The staff member on the front desk recognised me and said hello. I greeted her and told her the story my cousin had told me. "Yes, it's our job. We should be doing that, not visitors," she said. I went upstairs and signed into the visitor's book, then went down the hallway and through the TV room to mum's room. She was asleep in her easy chair. I asked her if she wanted to go to the park. "Yes, alright," she said. "A bit of a walk is a good idea."

I told her to use the toilet before we left. I waited outside in the hallway while mum got ready. I went back in and she was standing with her yellow cap on wearing blue jeans. "You don't own a pair of jeans," I told her. "Don't I?" she answered. We left the room and headed toward the TV room. Then it was that the call came. "Jude! Judy! Help me please dear one!" It was H once again. I immediately turned back and asked her from a distance what she needed. I told her I would get some help for her and turned back around, heading toward the nurse's station near the elevator. "Please hurry," H cried as I disappeared in the direction of the TV room. When I got to the nurse's station there were three staffers sitting in the chairs located there. I told them that H needed help and she was calling mum again. One of the nurses turned around and called into the back room that H needed help.

As I was walking back to collect mum the staff emissary overtook me on swift feet. Mum and I went out to the park and when we returned to the residence 30 minutes later the staff were still in H's room talking with her. All she needs is a bit of attention. The staff have to realise this and give it to her, otherwise she'll source it from a different place (namely, from mum).

(BTW the photo accompanying this post is not one I took myself. It's a generic nursing home photo I found on Google.)

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