I imagine that most have, at some time, stood on a crowded pavement watching a living statue’ to see if we can spot any movement. Is there life? Is it a real person?
Then they move, perhaps to go for lunch or to take a call on their mobile. In ‘statue mode’ one wonders why that particular image is portrayed. In ‘human mode’ one begins to wonder who the real person is. Why are they doing this? Where do they live? Is it a gift? Do they get bored? How long does it take to wash the paint off? Has their Mum suggested they get a ‘proper job’?
Most of us are very good at hiding the personal and presenting the world with someone ‘not quite real’. Very often this is so that we fit in with a particular group of people, but then we get to the point where people wish to see the real person and discover this is not the person they have met!
In the setting of a care home it is all too easy for visitors to see the ‘drowsy old person’ who needs a lot of care, struggles to get about or recall what time or what day it is. However, if you stay long enough to have a conversation and get to know the ‘real person’ one can discover rich experience and personality – “It’s the real me!