I have just sent the following e-mail to The Husband's Sister
Our Ma was fine when we saw her (new hair do, clean clothes, not smelly) at 3.00pm, but she was very confused about why she was where she is and how long it might last, so I have typed and printed the attached letter* and will stick it down on the top shelf of her walker with a sheet of clear adhesive plastic when we visit tomorrow.
She is tending to hunker down in her room except at meal times, we think, so we jollied her along with her walker to the TV lounge when we arrived and got her a nice cup of milky coffee. A couple of the ladies sitting near her were less lost in their dementia than some of the others. One in particular is quite switched on except for some random language and memory “brain farts”. They all love The Dog. He’s a real asset to break the ice. A few of us got very chatty.
She is doing OK. You are NOT to worry.
We have removed all the family silver from the house, so don’t panic if you call in there. We have left some background heating on to stop the place getting damp. We will gradually get rid of any perishable food and get it into the dustbin ready for collection this week.
* Dearest Our Ma,
You are in a beautiful residential home called -------------------, which [The Family] has chosen for you after a thorough search. We think it is the best in [town] and we are sure you will be very happy there.
Your Room is Number 5. It is very comfortable and it has a nice bathroom attached. You have plenty of clothes in the wardrobe and the chest of drawers if you need to get changed. There are lots of lovely ladies who work there caring for everybody who will make sure you have everything you need.
You need to be there for at LEAST a WEEK, because the lift at your house is broken. The engineers have taken it to pieces and are trying very hard to find spare parts for it, but it is difficult because it is so old now. You cannot live in the house if the lift is broken. It is too dangerous for you to use the stairs.
We will visit you EVERY afternoon. We are looking forward to seeing you. We love you VERY much