Conversations in a care home

As a result of a major stroke in 2014, I spent three years in a care home, during which time I gleaned various topics of conversation and observances. I wrote this whilst in that place. Please bear in mind that many of the residents had dementia.

Conversations in a Care Home

Sometimes I cannot help but think that something isn’t right,
I eat with lots of strangers, and the bed’s not mine at night.
It’s like I’m in another life, with all the old things gone,
It’s like I’m stuck in somewhere strange but how can I move on.

Or maybe how can I go back, to the life I understood,
To go out on the town again, now wouldn’t that be good.
To eating in good restaurants, going daily to the gym,
Now I’ve put on all this weight, I so want to be slim.

I don’t know where my family’s gone, I love them all so much,
And where’s my wife I miss her so, I long to feel her touch.
I long to hold her in my arms, and kiss her on the lips,
To get her on the dance floor, and see her swing her hips.

To sit and read together in the evening with a drink,
A drop of wine or whisky’s fine or a can of beer to sink.
To go for walks in the Autumn, to kick up lots of leaves,
To help the farmers in the fields, loading up the sheaves.

To go out picking blackberries, wild strawberries by the score,
Pick mushrooms and groundnuts, pick nuts from trees and more.
Picking dandelion leaves and bags of nettles too,
To make that greenish relish, to eat with our vindaloo.

Since I’ve lived in this strange place, not been to school at all,
Where’s my mummy and my dad, can I give them a call?
Where are grannie and grandad, are they still in a flat,
Have grannies eyes improved or is she still blind as a bat?

It was only a few years ago, we went out climbing trees,
We walked into some boggy ground and sunk up to our knees.
We all went paddling in the stream, got soaked through to the skin,
Mummy wasn’t bothered though she just asked “Where ya bin”?

She often packed us picnics, when we went down in the wood,
We spent all day in sunshine, wee were happy, feeling good.
But what has happened to me now, what am I doing here?
Trying to put a brave face on, and I haven’t shed a tear.

Who are all these people though in the dining room and places,
Lots of chairs to sit in there, but some are empty spaces.
Some folk seem familiar and some of them know me,
Some of them keep pestering, I wish they’d let me be.

It’s all so very very strange, I’m feeling so confused,
I asked a staff to explain it all, but she refused.
What is this place I’m living in?. I’m not sure why I’m here,
Oh here’s that lovely nurse again, she really is a dear.

She makes me feel that all is well and often makes me smile,
She is the sort of person who will go the extra mile.
The other one who smells so bad is nasty as can be,
I try to keep out of her way, so she won’t shout at me.

Who are those others anyway, who come to visit me?
They seem to come at awkward times like breakfast, dinner or tea.
I’m going to buy myself a house to move away some day,
Oh, someones got some dominoes, I think I’ll go and play.

Michael J Hill. © September 2016.

About the author

Mike Hill
185 Up Votes
Grammar School/ Police Cadet/ Police Constable/Degrees in ~psychology and Sociology/ Child Care worker/Child Care Manager. Into Antiques/good food. Born again Christian since 1991. Run Alpha Courses.

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2nd Feb 2021
Thanks for voting!
I enjoyed your poem very much. It must have been a frightening situation initially.
Mike Hill
3rd Feb 2021
Thanks for voting!
I guess my brain was not functioning correctly when I went it. However, I managed to recover my memory and much more of it than I ever thought I could. I can now remember many things that happened from 2yrs old onwards which were long forgotten.. Thank you for your expression of appreciation.
22nd Jan 2021
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Keep writing Mike it's good for your mind and very pleasing for every one else.
Mike Hill
27th Jan 2021
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for your comment.
28th Jan 2021
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Hi Mike. Life is here so we should should seek out all it's experiences as long as they do not impact badly on others.some like yours seek us.
Thanks for voting!
Very poignant Mike - I am sure this will resonate with many 🙂
Mike Hill
21st Jan 2021
Thanks for voting!
Thank you Sally. Living amongst those residents was an interesting experience.

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