And here I am sitting in the ward with my mum, all settled in, and has already decided on some of the positives and negatives of the place.
From my perspective I am blown away, the staff here are fantastic, so accommodating and have a plethora of patience for the things they face hour by hour. The facilities in here are amazing too, and the gardens are such a beautiful place to sit and relax. As the pictures should show.
However from the patient view things are slightly different, which is understandable, as I'm not the one here all day and night.
Firstly I should say that last night I finally had a deep sleep. And when I woke, while still tired I felt a lot fresher, and my mind is more open to the conversations with mum, especially the complaining lol.
So now as I sit here listening to the stories of last night. From how here meds were given to her too late, to how she had a great nights sleep after an injection.
The complaints so far are..
Not getting enough exercise (not walking)
Meds given too late.
Ward staff move her in a way she doesn't like, supporting, lifting etc.
Wants to know when she can go home (I will come back to that!)
Frustrated that they have not made her better yet.
Wants to know what's wrong with her and why its taking so long to find out.
There are others but that will do for now.
On the plus side...
The food is fantastic (eaten all 3 meals so far)
Staff are lovely
Place is beautiful, loves the pond.
Volunteers are great
So its a mixed bunch really. But more positive than negative.
A bit moan she has just actually had is about a questionnaire they went through with her this morning. Asking name, DOB, and other stuff, then going onto what day it was etc, in short a mental evaluation. Sadly mum didn't see it like that, and refers to it as a game and a waste of time. Stating to the nurse that she doesn't have time to play games, and it takes too much out of her to think about these things. (Yes mum, that's what they are trying to establish). The sad part she doesn't realise is, that part if this is to check cognitive thought, so she is doing herself no favours by refusing the test.
Speaking of her train of thought, she has just commented again on how long she will be here for, and when she can leave. So I asked her why she asked to come inn if she just wants to leave. Her answer was that everyone had been on about her coming in to see the place, soi she was just doing as she was told. Nothing like her reasoning of a few days ago. And also not true. The conversations about visiting "the place" were about Westwood House, a local care home. And this is the whole reason I was worried about people witnessing her request to come in to St Christophers. Well at least all bases are covered there eh.
The more I step back from caring for her, the more I am starting to see just how confused she is about certain things. For example, earlier the nice Welsh doctor came around and while taking bloods from mum, asked me if I could arrange with Audiology to have the volume turned up on the hearing aid. Now mum has been saying its blocked, its not working etc, but on the doctor saying that, mum then said "its not the hearing aid, its my ears, they are blocked"... Only to remove her hearing aid two mins later saying "I wish this bloody thing would work" Hmmm.
But the main thing is, she is not climbing walls and trying to get out of the place just yet. She enjoyed watching the snooker that I put on the tv for her last night, even after saying there was no point putting it on, and is getting out for ciggies and fresh air (weird combo if you ask me). So hopefully she will hang in there for a bit, and over the coming days/weeks, we can start to see a way for her to return to a little independence.
Thank you St Christophers, you are all wonderful.
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