The “best interests” meeting, due to begin at 09:30, didn’t begin until nearly 10:00. While waiting, I sat next to the Old Man at the breakfast-table. He was having toast. M joined us, and ate cereal. The Old Man pointed me out to M (who had of course met me before) and to the other residents, as “My [youngster].”
There were six of us at the “best interests” meeting. The professionals were: V the Old Man’s named nurse, E the social worker, Y the “intermediate care liaison sister”, N the physiotherapist, and Francesca the occupational therapist.
The Old Man had been assessed in eleven “domains” on which he would be rated A, B or C. He had scored C on seven domains, B on three, and A on one. In the MMSE he had scored 14 out of 30 — for instance, he thought the year was 1998.
The professionals had concluded that the Old Man needed to go into EMI residential care. This was disappointing but not surprising. I concurred — there was no reasonable alternative. Bureaucratic formalities will probably delay his transfer to residential care until late November or early December 2010. Meanwhile he will stay at Eastwood Priory.
I returned to the lounge and said goodbye to the Old Man and also to M, who will probably have been discharged by the time I return to Eastwood Priory.
At the Old Man’s house, I was in the sun-lounge at about 12:10 and saw a little girl, a four-year-old I should think, striding purposefully uphill from the nearby primary school. She was wearing a cherry-red cardigan and a dark grey skirt. Her medium-brown hair was tied back at the nape of the neck. I reflected that she was at the opposite end of life compared with the Old Man, and that in 2060 or so, she might be in my position of reverse parenthood.
I was not in the right frame of mind to drive back to Suburbia Somnolenta. I did some shopping at MegaGroce, then later in the afternoon I mowed all four lawns — perhaps for the final time, I thought. The weather was sunny throughout, but it was autumnally breezy and cold by the time I finished. Then I phoned Mrs CJ to update her: “My Dad won’t be coming home.”
“I’m not quite here, Mrs CJ,” I said to her. She was sympathetic.
Mrs CJ told me more about her late mother’s dementia. At one time, Mrs CJ had slept a couple of nights a week at her mother’s house.
[Original posting 11 October 2011]