Skip to content Skip to navigation

When strange things happen

October 12, 2015
by Kathleen Mears
| Reprints

Ever since I moved to a nursing home from time to time events occur which I cannot explain. The following incident actually happened and I still do not really have an answer as to why.

The bathroom door, which faces my bed, has become a place to tape up greeting cards, photos, Christmas postcards, funny little pictures and important items such as the activity calendar. I was never told whether they were allowed to be put there. But it is a good place for me to see them and I never really considered it to be permanent.

A former resident gave me a little holographic photo of a cat that was taped up on the door. There was a Christmas photo from another friend that I left up because I liked it. Last year my sister and her husband sent a vacation photo of them standing in a sunflower field in France. Although it looked like Photoshop, they actually were photographed in that field. These mementos from family and friends make me feel more at home.

One morning, the day after my sister visited, I looked at the bathroom door and almost everything was missing. There was a housekeeper in the hallway, so I asked her if she had removed them to clean. She assured me she had not.

Later that day I called my sister and told her that many of the things on my bathroom door had disappeared. She speculated that the tape holding them probably dried and they fell on the floor and were swept up. I tended to agree with her. But I knew the little holographic cat photo was taped very securely. I wondered how it could possibly have fallen. But I just considered it a Twilight Zone moment and let it go.

A few days later I saw the maintenance man in the hallway and related my experience with my disappearing bathroom door mementos. I asked if it was a fire code violation to have things taped to the bathroom door. When he said that it was, I realized my things were probably taken down. Then I wondered why some residents had photos and artwork taped to their walls because that has to be a fire code violation also.

At a previous facility there was a covered bulletin board beside each resident's bed. I hung photos, greeting cards and sometimes menus on it. I knew it was not against fire code and items were not removed unless I was asked.

It would be nice of each resident had a type of case on the wall where they could display their mementos, photos and cards. In such a case, resident treasures could remain clean and untouched until the resident or his family members want them removed.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...