Saturday, 16 April 2016

Mum expressing intimacy with a male resident again

On previous occasions I've written about mum's awkward interactions with one of the other residents of the nursing home, but it seems she hasn't learned. When I suggested we go for a walk outside today she came after me down the passage. As I was waiting in the passage I realised she must've stopped to interact with one of the other residents, because she was taking so much time. So I went back down the passage to the TV room and there she was holding hands with an elderly man in a reclining chair.

I have seen this man on many occasions and he does elicit a measure of pity in the viewer. He is completely incapacitated in the region of his legs and spends all of his time during the day in his chair, often watching TV but equally as often located in the corner of the dining room, where his wife comes to look after him at mealtimes. "Come on, mum," I said and beckoned with my hand. Mum extricated her hands from the man's - he was bringing them to his mouth to kiss them - and started walking down through the TV room again. I got her to the elevator but once outside where we were alone I remonstrated with her, reminding her of what had happened before when she had started kissing the other resident on the head, the previous time. Mum looked at me with a look of shock on her face, as if to say, "You've got it all wrong." "But mum," I said to her, "people get confused when you display affection to them in the way you do. They think you mean something else. They can't distinguish your meaning from the other common meaning." "Alright," mum said when I had finished talking.

We went down to the park and I turned around once more as we were proceeding to remind her of what I was saying; she does take things in if they are presented with enough force, as the other resident's petticoats comment had been, when I had relayed it to her in February. Again this time, she had that blank, shocked look on her face, as if she were hearing bad news.

Then when we were coming back into the nursing home a strange thing happened. From outside I could see the elderly woman approaching the nursing home from the taxi she had got out of. She came up the path, walking with some difficulty, and entered the nursing home precincts through the same gate we had taken. She came through the front doors immediately after us and preceded us to the elevator. While she was waiting for the lift to come, mum and I arrived and waited also. Upstairs, I signed mum back in into the excursion book and turned to take mum back down to her room. In the TV room I saw the woman who had preceded us into the lift fussing around the man who had made the petticoats comment, all those months ago. It was his wife. No wonder he didn't want mum kissing him on the head any more!

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