I had dreaded going to pick my mother up and took Carolina with me. When we arrived at the ward Lisa was awake and sitting up, she was pleased to see us, did not comment on the new clothes I had bought, I was not sure what to say but Carolina just took over and said how well she looked and poor Lisa having had a kidney infection on top of moving and a car crash and why didn’t we take her home and then Lisa could have a nice lunch. Lisa smiled and said she was hungry and ready for lunch. Carolina helped my mother while I went to see see the doctor and the nurses for discharge and follow up. During the car ride home they chatted about the weather, what had she eaten in hospital and just general chit-chat that was easy going. I felt so sick I just could not participate
At the home Carolina took Lisa into lunch while I went to see Anne to advise what the doctors had said and handed over the medication they had prescribed with a follow up appointment for the next month. I said I could not take her having to get back home to my family and work. That was fine they had staff that could do that and they were going to temporally move Lisa into special care to keep an eye on her while she resettled in. Once stable they would see about moving her back to her room.
We stayed for the afternoon; the residents were genuinely pleased to see Lisa which delighted her. She was also more engaged in the soap opera on TV and the chocolate bar then my company but that was nothing new. She was still asking the same questions, had Robert finished school? Yes he was working, what was he studying? What about James? When I left my mother did not ask to leave with me.
Each day after that improved, she liked sitting with the others, she had had her hair coloured and cut and again received many compliments, she was settling into the daily routine and her sense of humour had returned. I believed that she was beginning to feel safe in the home. It was only at night that there were still some minor problems; Lisa had taken up sleeping in the TV room at night probably because the staff was around and that she felt secure there.
By the time I left my mother still had not spent a night in her new room. I think I had more angst when I said that I had to leave to return home on my last day, I said that I would be telephoning often and that we would send her emails that the staff would read to her.
With no emotion, she said goodbye and went off to have dinner and sit with her new friends, never looking back.