Deterioration during lockdown

Like everybody else I haven’t been able to visit my Mum in her care home for many months Until the last few weeks. We have to meet outside the main building, I have temp taken, use sanitiser and wear a mask. Mum sits far away from me and wears a visor which she hates.

The home are looking after her really well and her clothes, hair, skin, nails all look lovely and they tell me she still eats very well. She is however struggling to join in a conversation and it is usually me asking questions and her trying to answer. She has Just about forgotten her grandchildren’s names and I took a card in yesterday for her to just write Mum in and she couldn’t do it. The carer had to guide her hand. My Mum had the most beautiful handwriting which everybody commented on.

I can see she has deteriorated mentally Since lockdown which I guess is not unusual because as good as the staff are they can’t sit with them for maybe a couple of hours at a time like I used to.

We are allowed 20 minutes visiting time and to be honest that is enough with Mum like this because I run out of questions to ask and she can’t really start a conversation any more.

Hi Penny, I always said the best conversations I ever had were with my mum. The war mucked up her education, but she was very knowledgeable about so many things, and took a great interest in current affairs. She spent her last year in a nursing home because she was so physically frail, but still very much mum, we could chat about all sorts of things. I would take flowers in from her garden, she knew all their names, and often which garden centre they’d come from!

Then she had a series of mini strokes, an avid reader, she could no longer see well enough to read, or watch the TV. Worst of all, her hearing went. I’ve had lots of problems with my voice, and spend most days at home alone, so do very little talking. It was such a strain having to shout at the top of my voice, I was then so glad of those flowers to arrange, etc. etc. She told me staff always knew when I’d been to see mum, as there were new flowers in her room whenever I went. Sadly, I took in several of her favourite vases, but they went walkabout very quickly, never to be seen again. Nothing special, but some that meant a lot to mum and I. It’s so sad to see loved ones decline, sometimes it’s difficult to know what to wish for.


I’m sorry your Mum has declined during Lockdown.

Would you be allowed to wear a face shield instead of a mask? Then your Mum would be able to see your facial expressions and funny though it sounds she might be able to hear and understand you better. I think it is very hard to understand people who are talking behind a mask as there are no visual clues to what they are saying. Worth a try. Also, she probably has very little to tell you and talk-about. I agree with BB, it is easier to chat when you are engaged in a task, but I don’t suppose that would be allowed under current regs.