Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Postponed Oregon trip

..not your usual blog entry...but it's a stop along our life's journey...

My Dad has been in the hospital since Saturday. He fell (again), cut up his arm pretty badly so his neighbor took him and they called me on Sunday. Turns out the doctors at Kaiser feel that he's in the early stages of dementia. They give a proven test to see how he grades and he failed.

About 4 weeks ago, we planned a trip down to visit my Dad in Alameda, California then up the coast to the Redwoods, the Oregon coast, the Washington coast, Olympic National Park, and cruise on back home...about a six-week trip.

I get the call on Saturday, the 2nd of September, from the Kaiser Hospital in Oakland that my Dad was in the hospital because he fell. So...we headed off to visit him. We had planned on going down there first to help him get his finances straightened out.

We stopped at Winnemucca, Nevada and Verdi, Nevada (outside of Reno) before landing in Vacaville, California.

Typical desert scene from Nevada

RV park in Nevada...nice place and wonderful to smell the pine trees.
our site is to the far left..out of the picture.

...went for a hike above the RV park...

Turns out, two doctors (independently) have diagnosed him with Advanced dementia. I go to the hospital, only to find out they won't release him until he has 24-hour supervision as he cannot make financial, medical, or personal decisions anymore.

Therefore, our "vacation" has now turned in to a 2-4 week stay driving back and forth to Alameda ( 1 hour and 15 minutes each way...with traffic) to start taking over his house, his finances, etc. No complaining here...just life has just gotten in the way.

It's very strange to have him in this capacity. I never have thought of him as "old" but he's 95 now !! I guess that qualifies.

Here's a synopsis....

We've contracted with an Alameda board-and-care place to house him on a month to month basis where he can be monitored 24 hours a day. The hospital will not release him until I found a place with this requirement. He's moving in there tomorrow.

His house is not an option because (a) the house has a flea problem and (b) no live-in person would want to stay there with the mess that it's in. We got a pest control to work on the house already and he said it's not as bad as we thought.

We planned a six week trip down to see him, then up to the Redwoods, up the coast of Oregon and Washington and home. I came down to get access to his finances and release some money for him to live on. Never expected to run into this life-altering situation.

I guess we're going to start the process to clean up his house, move all the belongings out, stage the house and get it ready to sell. I'm not so sure he'll ever be able to live there again, given his condition. No one thinks he'll improve. So very sad.


well, we got dad into a room at a care facility and he seems to be doing fine. I have not visited him yet...wanted to get him adjusted without any outside influence. Neighbors visited him and said he's doing fine...even started sketching the bay view outside. Nice to hear.

we went to the house and brought over two large bags of clothes, slippers, underwear, tee shirts, shirts, pants, clock, radio, two sketch pads with pencils, notepad and some toothbrushes.

i'll go back tomorrow or the next day to gather up more personal belongings he might need, or, if the manager/owner feels he has more that he needs.

Good to hear he's adjusting so well. This has been very emotional for me. I just want him to be okay.

Not much more to report. I've gathered more art supplies for him so he can continue painting and drawing (which is his life's passion). Then, more cleaning out his house and figuring out how to get on top of his finances and make sure bills are paid.


Katie wants to try driving the coach.
arsty-fartsy photograph while on a walk


  1. I was sorry to read about your father. My dad also suffers from dementia and no longer knows who I am. He went into a memory care facility two years ago. August 30th my mother suffered a major stroke and has since passed away. Seems we are never ready to say goodbye to our parents... stay strong.

  2. I've said goodbye to both of my parents and it's no easy job. It's great both of you can help.

  3. I've said goodbye to both of my parents and it's no easy job. It's great both of you can help.

  4. I, too am very sorry to read about your dad. He has been blessed with a long and seemingly happy life from what you have written. I am praying for God's peace and guidance for you and Kim and also for your dad. I also pray that your dad will grow closer in his relationship with his creator as he lives in and adjust to his new home.

  5. Let us know when you are in the area. We'd like to help if we can, but for sure see you.
    Your cousin,