I dunno

When I visited my parents in the nursing home this week, I was sad to learn that one of long-standing residents at the home had died a few day’s earlier. Her relatives had arrived to collect her possessions and I felt the pain of their loss. That was, until I heard the full story.

Norma, at 95 years old, had lived in the home for many years. I know that the staff and other residents, were very fond of her but I never actually saw her with a visitor. She was a gentle soul who rarely demanded attention so it was always a pleasure to stop for a chat. Norma would whisper her thanks and reward you with a smile.

I learnt the other day that Norma’s relatives had rarely, if ever visited her during her time in the home. She was so neglected by her nieces and nephews that the nursing home had to take her under their wing and provide all of her personal requirements. I used to always admire how well-turned out Norma looked and it now transpires that her clothes were provided by the home. When a resident dies, their relatives often choose to donate the best clothes of their loved one to the home. The staff keep a store of these clothes for use as spares when needed by some of the residents. Norma was beautifully kitted out from this source and the home supplied all her other needs, including her favourite chocolate treats.

I was horrified to hear that her relatives had arrived this week to collect the contents of Norma’s wardrobe and locker. Few, if any of her possessions were supplied by the family but they were determined to take them. It must have been sickening for the staff to watch this happening having lovingly cared for Norma for all those years. No guessing then what the relatives will want to get their hands on next!

14 Responses to I dunno

  1. Grannymar says:

    Steph I loved the cartoon!

    Sadly, your tale today is a common one. I hope when the relatives find what they are looking for that it turns out to be a surprise. πŸ˜‰

  2. Steph says:

    GM – On Remembrance Sunday every year, all the residents who are war veterans, don their medals with pride and it’s very moving to see them on their zimmers and in wheelchairs, heading off to remember the war dead.

    As regards poor Norma, we can only hope she had an opportunity to write the relatives out of her will.

  3. Bendy Girl says:

    That’s terribly sad. RIP Norma, BG x

  4. Ian says:


    Where there’s a will, there’s a relative!

  5. Steph says:

    Cheers! BG – it is sad, but it happens all too frequently.

    Very true! Ian – some relatives earn their inheritance while others definitely don’t deserve them.

  6. The only way to out fox the relatives is to have the will well planned in advance.

    Compassion seems to have been replaced by total greed these days.

    The ‘what’s in it for me?’ mentality abounds.

    It is true that humans are not too far removed from being animals.

    RIP to Norma.

  7. Baino says:

    What’s with all the sad posts today. I’m feeling so blue it’s not funny! I have a friend who isn’t a bad person but she lives in Melbourne and her mother who suffers Alzheimers is in a hospice in Wollongong in NSW. Neither of her daughters visit her . . not because they don’t care but because mum doesn’t recognise her own children . . I always thought that very ruthless of an otherwise caring person. If it was me, I’d go anyway, just to hold her hand and keep her company, even if only remembered for a nanosecond.

  8. Steph says:

    Thanks! guys

    Sorry to be so depressing but I felt the need to air this behaviour.

    Paddy – the other thing that really annoys me is people talking about their ‘rights’ all the time as if this world owes them a living.

    Baino – I agree with you about your friend. She’s looking at the situation from her own perspective rather than her mother’s. I don’t imagine either of the sisters are comfortable with their decision. It’s a lose, lose situation for all.

  9. aquaasho says:

    Hey Steph (Aisling here from Team Geared Up), my Dad’s in a lovely home and because he has 12 children we divide ourselves into “teams” and cover weekday and weekend visits to him. It means visits are spread out and he’s not going for days without any visitors and then getting lots of visitors at once. He rarely knows who we are but that’s irrelevant, he still enjoys the visits and stimulation. I used to find it really upsetting till I started bringing the kids with me. The 6 year would have the otherwise placid residents playing skittles or cowboys and indians as he runs round shooting them!! Seriously, they love it!

    That’s a sad story above Steph , dunno how people live with themselves….

    Was lovely to meet you at the blog awards!

  10. Steph says:

    Aisling – what a lovely surprise and Welcome!

    Your Dad is SO lucky! It’s really refreshing to hear a good story for a change.

    My hubby and I, and Poppy (whom you met at the blog awards) visited my 89 year old mother-in-law in her nursing home this evening. She’s suddenly taken a down turn this week and it’s been very evident today that’s she’s losing the battle. Poppy brought her flute with her (her Granny sponsored her music lessons all the way through school) and gave her Granny a solo performance of the tunes she’d played at a school music evening during the week. If Granny goes tonight, she’ll be one happy woman! πŸ™‚

  11. aquaasho says:

    Aw Steph that’s both sad and lovely. Did you video/ record that? That would be so incredible to have. Poppy must be an absolute joy! And people give teenagers such bad press (she’s 18 right?)!

    So sorry your Mother-in-law is unwell. If it is her last few days you’ll have made them memorable for all of you. Will be thinking about you.

  12. Steph says:

    Cheers! Aisling

    That ‘absolute joy’ you refer to, was out partying in town last night until 3am so she did well to perform at all today. Her Granny has been a cause for concern on/off over the last few months but today, it really seemed as if she’s had enough. Only time will tell.

    The chances are that the next time Poppy gets to play a flute solo, it will probably be at her Granny’s funeral service. I did wonder if perhaps this thought might have crossed her Granny’s mind too. Anyway, she appeared to get great comfort from it and that’s all that really matters.

  13. Grannymar says:

    Well done Poppy! A wonderful tribute to Granny and a treasured memory for for the family.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  14. Steph says:

    Thanks! GM

    I’m delighted to report that the MIL has rallied again overnight and is feeling much more lively today – well as lively as a bed-ridden 89 year old can be! She was started on an antibiotic on Thursday evening so we have to presume it kicked-in overnight. Tomorrow could be another story! Thanks for the kind thoughts anyhow.

    I have to be honest and declare that Poppy did need some ‘gentle persuasion’ πŸ˜‰ from her annoying parents to play her flute yesterday but she was in agreement afterwards that it had been hugely enjoyed by her granny.

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