Mum was sitting in her chair In the Residents Lounge of her Home when I arrived yesterday morning. She smiled when she saw me so I knelt on the floor and held her and stroked her hand. As always the TV was on in the foreground: a cookery programme which some suggest wets the appetite of the viewers. It must be doing it subliminally in mum’s place as her most of her mates had their eyes closed apart from one lady who was knitting.
When Football Focus came on Gary Lineker told us that Big Cyrille would be featured throughout the hour. I’m not sure mum even watched his finest hour as far as we Sky Blue supporters were concerned, so I decided to intervene.
When I asked the owner of the Care Home for assistance to move mum to a quieter spot so that I could play her some of her favourite music she summoned assistance and said: ‘whatever floats your boat’.
Mum was at her best to this one:
She sang, tapped her feet and fluttered her eyelids as we ‘floated our boat’. As carers passed by they said: ‘she loves her music’.
My brother was ready for his lunch when I arrived at his Nursing Home. He scoffed the lot; eagerly taking his lunch from the proffered spoon and would have taken the additional sweet on offer if I had accepted the offer. He smiled occasionally as I gently fed him his meal.
I’m always struck by the contrast between my mum’s Residential Home and my brother’s Nursing Home. There are visiting times where my mum is a ‘no-go areas’: you are not allowed to be around at meal times. Several residents were being fed by their relatives at my brother’s place yesterday and staff were clearly very grateful for their help. I am not aware of any no-go areas in my brother’s Nursing Home!
I wonder if the stark difference between my mum’s and brother’s environment is down to size or the nature of Homes they are in? Mum is in a very small place exclusively for ladies. My brother enjoys the company of men and women residents who live in a much larger Home. It is possible that economies of scale mean that my brother enjoys far more favourable living conditions that my mum. However, from what I have seen person-centred care extends far beyond the welcoming notice boards in our kid’s abode. Visiting times along with rules and regulations are predominant in mum’s place!