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We went to visit my Mum yesterday. She lives about ten kilometres away, so we don’t have to travel far to see her. The facilities there are very good. We were lucky a few years ago to find a place for her when we discovered she wasn’t coping with cooking and laundry and wasn’t looking after herself. All the residents have their own room with an en-suite and kitchenette. There is room for a small table and a few chairs, a comfy armchair and TV as well as the bed and wardrobe space.
Laundry is collected, washed separately and returned to each resident. Meals are normally in a communal dining room, but since the virus outbreak food is being delivered to each room and group activities have been cut back.
Upon arrival, we went through the procedure they have introduced for visitors. We entered via the ‘pan room’ where we washed our hands, recorded our temperatures and signed in. We then accessed my Mum’s room via her back door from a garden area. We weren’t permitted to enter the main entrance, or walk through the corridors. We normally take Molly with us when we visit her, but no dogs are allowed with the restrictions they have in place. Only two people at a time can visit. We had to keep 1.5 metres away from my Mum, which is not easy to do in a small room. We gave her some chocolates and we chatted for a while. It’s not easy to talk to her. We never talk for very long, in person or on the phone. My mother has a number of long standing mental health issues that have left their mark on her and on our relationship. Since she’s been in care, at least her medication is being monitored, so she’s been stable for a while now. My Mum used to play golf and since I took up the sport about four years ago, I often update her about my results, which gives us something to talk about, but with no golf being played at the moment, it’s difficult to make conversation.