Tales from the Alzheimer Unit
The Sun Room
At one end of the alzheimer unit is a Sun Room, in the day the sun comes through the many windows, and it's quite lovely. However, at night, to most of us that worked the unit on third shift, it was often pretty creepy. The vertical blinds sometimes would rustle when nobody was near them, and there was a corner of the room that usually had a cold spot, even in the heat of summer.
One night in particular, I was working the unit by myself, because the other CNA had called in (and they didn't need a nurse on the unit because administration deemed it unecessary, since it was directly adjacent to the skilled floor) and I decided I should close the blinds in the sun room. Not because I was afraid of ghosts, but because I was afraid of someone real and alive peeking in. As I closed the last one of the blinds, I heard a sharp scratching "scratch scratch scratch" noise on the glass.. I didn't turn to look, I headed straight to the desk, not running, but a fairly quick paced walk. By morning I had talked myself into believing it had to be a bush or something and the wind blew it so it scraped the glass. I whipped open all the blinds at the first sign of daylight, and found no bushes or anything that might have wind-blown and scraped along the glass.
Frequently, when there were two of us, and the other CNA would take a break, as I sat at the desk I would see 'shadow people' out of the corner of my eyes (frequently, it was in the same direction as the sun room), and sometimes strange noises when all the residents where asleep. There was a resident whose room was closest to the Sun Room, and occaisionally she would wake up talking to someone. When you got there, she would ask you "Where did he go? He was just here, honey!". When you asked who, she'd often say the young man that was just in her room, or the "little boy".
What Some Other Residents Saw
In addition to many residents on all the units (Skilled, Intermediate, and Alzheimers) who saw the little boy, many saw other things that were slightly more strange.
Once we had a resident who wasn't doing well on the Skilled unit, the nursing staff figured he would pass away probably in a few days. Now, one male resident on the Alzheimer unit who wasn't usually very talkative, acted rather disconnected, spoke up one evening, a few nights before the resident on the skilled unit passed on. We'll call the resident on the alz. unit "Joe", and the skilled resident who was near passing away "Fred" (not their real names, to protect patient confidentiality). "Joe" was sitting in his chair in his usual position, resting the side of his face on his hand. All of a sudden, he perked up and asked the nurse "What are all those men in white coats doing down the hallway?" The nurse looked up, and there were no men in white coats. A day and a half later a lady on alzheimers saw the same men, except instead of wearing coats, they were wearing 'dresses'. A few days later, "Fred" passed away.
Several other residents saw strange things, one saw a "ghost train" headed for the nursing home (there is actually a rail way near the nursing home, but the tracks aren't visible from the alzheimer unit, and the woman is very near being deaf, even with her hearing aids in) she warned everyone it was going to "crash" into the doors. Several others talked to people that weren't there, not just 'talking to themselves', sometimes having full one-sided conversations, and speaking as though someone was answering.