A funny thing happened to my mom last week. While taking a nap, she was awakened by an old man, telling her to move over so he could sleep. Confused as to why he was there, Mom realized he was totally nude. He was confused and had wandered into her room. He sleeps in the nude, and, like my mom, he has the habit of taking a nap in the daytime. After repeating to ‘her gentleman caller’ that he was in the wrong room, she pushed the buzzer for help. She didn’t feel in danger and said she often sees this man who is quite pleasant. She thought it was very funny and it made her giggle to tell the story. She talked about his tattoos and long hair. The staff said that he sleeps in the raw and when he wakes up, he can be a little confused. I suggested they put a bell on him; they are working on an alternative.
In her previous residence, she had another naked man story to tell others. I came over on a winter day where there was a pile of clothes and boots, outside, in front of the doors. I walked in to see many of the residents lined up in chairs to ‘watch the show’. The ambulance driver was asking a young man his name and to ‘please, keep the blanket on’. Apparently he was “Jesus Christ” and proceeded to bless the people; much to the delight of those in attendance. Despite being in need of medical attention, he was obviously harmless and I was impressed that the staff had intervened and rescued this stranger from outside, wrapped a blanket around him while chatting him up to wait for the ambulance. Too many times, people are too busy or too uncomfortable to intervene.
Life is full of surprises. When our lives are filled with boredom, other people’s confusion can lift our spirits and give us a story to tell others and further reduce own our isolation. Keeping our sense of humor around these types of occurrences is a wonderful coping skill. And these stories remind us to be grateful for our mental health while we’ve got it; spend time with those we love (preferably clothed); help those who are little confused; and, see the humor in everyday stuff. God bless caregivers.