Originally published October 9th, 2013
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He arrived with greasy hair, an otherwise nice looking man usually in clean clothes now showing up in dirty t-shirts, falling asleep in his chair, nodding off. Apologetic, he’d right himself quickly, mumble an “I’m sorry,” and then drift back asleep, again, slouched.
We asked what was up, what was going on, talked about needing to go to bed at an earlier hour, offered suggestions for ways to get a good night’s sleep.
We called home and asked if anything had changed. Mom, Dad, had no suggestions. “Maybe he’s still adjusting to living on his own?” they wondered aloud.
Weeks later, he said what it was: “Gary.” His staff watched TV all night in a small group home apartment where the bed faced the TV with only a thin wall to block out noise. But the thin wall didn’t block out noise. The TV was loud, always on, and he couldn’t fall asleep with Gary on the couch, the flickering glow of late night shows, the constant noise.
And because Gary was busy watching TV late into the night, Gary sometimes didn’t help him in the shower. Without Gary’s help, a shower couldn’t be had.
But why didn’t you say anything? we asked. Why didn’t you tell us what was happening? Why didn’t you tell Gary to turn off the TV and to do what he was there to help you with?
“Because he was a good staff” he replied. Continue reading here