Stay Here Tonight

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“Can I stay here tonight?” Alice asked, looking up at me from her seat on the hallway couch.

Alice lived at our community, but she did not remember that. She would sometimes ask to go home, while other times she would ask to stay overnight.

The human brain is very pattern-seeking. Because Alice lived with us, but didn’t understand why or how, her brain filled in gaps in her understanding with information that made sense.

“You see, I would leave today, but my car isn’t here, so I was hoping I could stay,” Alice continued.

“Sure,” I smiled. “I’ll get a room set up for you.”

Fortunately, this was easy, because Alice already had a room at our community.

“Oh wow, thank you so much,” she said. “I hope it’s not too much trouble for you!”

I walked away smiling, hearing Alice say to her friend, “Wow, that’s so nice, they are so kind here!”

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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