I spent a few hours finding and filing the Old Man’s bank statements and other financial documentation.
Hillside Haven was better than I had expected. The visit started badly, though — the doorbell did not work, so I had to knock on the door for admittance. K, the nurse who showed me round, was efficient and knowledgeable, and she gave me lots of useful background information. I’m not sure whether I prefer Hillside Haven to Twilight Towers.
Hillside Haven opened in 1995. The Deceased Lady spent some time there, in respite care.
At Eastwood Priory, the Old Man was demanding, stubborn and argumentative — just the opposite of how he had been on the Friday. We were talking in his room, and he kept complaining:
“They [the other residents] don’t talk to me now.” and “I’ve no money at all.” — possibly the latter complaint may have been triggered by our discussions with Mr G, but the Old Man did not mention him or the Lasting Power of Attorney.
He wanted me to take him out to get some money from the ATM or the building society, and when I told him this was impracticable, he responded:
“I’ll walk to Shoreville.” — i.e. to obtain some money.
A few times he said:
“I’ll kill myself.”
I told him not to be silly. Sitting there, he covered his face with his hands, and rephrased his intention:
“It’s suicide for me.”
Eventually the carer arrived with the tea-trolley. She, or one of the other carers, told me that the Old Man had refused to go to lunch, and had been argumentative most of the day.
I parked the Old Man’s wheelchair next to M in the lounge. After a few minutes, the carers moved the Old Man to an armchair by the window opposite, and the West Indian carer gave him a buttered half-scone on a napkin. He needed no prompting to start eating.
In the corridor, I warned the West Indian carer that the Old Man had spoken of suicide. The carer said “Oh!” — he sounded genuinely concerned.
The Old Man’s neighbours were letting off fireworks on the Friday and the Saturday. The display today from the GS family, who live two houses up the road, was the display that I paid most attention to. Their back garden was floodlit from the rear wall of the house. They seem to have two children (a boy and a girl), who were almost hidden from view owing to the height of their fence. As well as the fireworks, the GS family had a smoky bonfire.
[Original posting 6 November 2011]