Elvon’s transfers are getting sloppier and sloppier, and more likely to injure both of us. Saturday night, he just rose and dove over the side of the wheelchair, to get into bed, instead of steadying himself on the night stand. The result of this was me leaping over the back of the chair to catch his butt and lift his legs onto the bed. My back hurts but it wasn’t permanent damage. I did a bunch of exercises promptly. My fear factor is rising, as his abilities decline.
Kenny and Maria, from across the street, came for dinner Sunday night. To me, cooking is worth it to get the company. They are a very nice young couple, living with Kenny’s parents, because his mother had a stroke and her care is too much for his father. Elvon only made one successful transfer today, and that was to his wheelchair for breakfast, which was about 1:30 pm. I couldn’t get him back on the bed for his afternoon nap. Kenny had to help him into bed on Sunday night.
I found out yesterday, that Cyprus Ridge, the Rehab Care Center down here, I had hopes would take Elvon, will not. The fax they received from our doctor, clearly says “Severe Dementia” and there are a rehabilitation center. They are supposed to put him back out in the world on the road to viability. They were helpful with leads.
I followed up with “The Cottages of Carmel”, who have Assisted Living and Memory care, just like FGL. Memory Care is full, the last place having gone to a fire evacuee. They would consider Assisted Living, for a month, if they could find some furniture. I had the doc send over the order and went to bed praying. This morning they reviewed the doctor’s orders and had to refuse us on the grounds of “Severe Dementia”. They could only take him in Memory Care, and that, they had none of.
Meanwhile, I was pursuing home care options and I think I have scored on that, but I don’t have our appointment yet. The outfit is “Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice” I like working with that organization. It’s Medicare Certified and not for profit.
They should call me this afternoon and come tomorrow. They will only come three times a week for an hour or so, but it should be enough for me to get him cleaned up and the bed changed. The reality is that I will probably have to keep him bedridden until we get back to the Lodge.
I would have far preferred to be with the rest of the residents in Albany, but it was not to be. While I was well ahead of the curve in getting us out and keeping us safe, we seem to be behind it now, as our real need developed later.
Enough of us. We have fine friends and a very comfortable roof over our beleaguered heads. And, soon, we will have help.
Susan Jones was the Police Chief in Healdsburg, before she and Toni retired to Fountaingrove Lodge. I just got her Facebook post of how they evacuated. It’s worth a read:
From Susan on FB:
Well, it’s been 2 weeks since we were rousted out of bed by a friend who had called us at 1:00 am on the 9th to tell us to evacuate immediately because the fire was across the street from us.
We jumped up, grabbed a few things just when the power went out. We leashed the dogs and headed for the front door, hearing a knock at the door and finding Ralph, one of our residents, who told us to “Evacuate NOW!” We left immediately, heading for our RV which was parked outside of the garage. When we opened the door to the outside, the smoke was thick with burning embers flying past our faces. We had to direct our flashlights down so we could see the ground and know where we were stepping. The wind was blowing so hard, we couldn’t hear each other. We made it to Bianca (our RV) and pulled out of the complex literally driving by memory of where the road was because we couldn’t see it. Too much smoke.
We thought we’d head north, since we knew plenty of people in Healdsburg but were turned away at the freeway entrance because the fire had jumped 101. We headed south on 101 passing dozens of emergency vehicles heading north. So odd not to be one of them. So odd to be a victim, not the first responder.
We pulled off in Rohnert Park, spending the night in the Home Depot parking lot. Initially, we were one of 7 or 8 cars, but within the next few hours, the parking lot was full and the Home Depot employees were rolling out shopping carts full of water bottles to all of us there. Toni’s cousins, Sharon Long, Rae Lynne and Aunt Rosalie joined us there. It was a long night, but fortunately, we had a bathroom. Thank God for Bianca!
Since then, we have stayed with friends in Healdsburg, until making the decision to leave for fresher air on the 12th. We spent one night in Fort Bragg, then decided to find more permanent lodging since we have our dogs with us and rain was expected. We drove south to Manhattan Beach, then settled in Carlsbad, where we’ve been since the 17th. It’s a nice area and the air is clear.
Bill Baird’s interview on the main lodge evacuation: http://sfbaytimes.com/fountaingrove-lodge-survives-north-bay-fires-interview-resident-bill-baird/
We have since learned that our friend, Mary, lost her home in this fire. In fact, the whole neighborhood next to us is gone, and the neighborhood next to them. Fountaingrove Lodge is still standing but we’re not allowed to go back. The latest update is that we may be allowed in sometime between Nov. 6th and the 20th. We’ll be making our way back this Saturday, as we plan to stay in San Ramon at the Residence Inn there for a week or so. It’ll be nice to be back in the bay area and to visit friends. We miss everyone!
Oh Helen – I am so sorry you are running in to so many snags. Can you get Elvon signed up for Memory Care at the Lodge so that you can at least have that going for you when you are allowed back to the Lodge?
I admire your strength and fortitude!!
Sent from my iPhone
Raymond Wong said:
We are sorry to hear about Elvon’s case.
Don’t really know what to say.
It would be difficult but we hope you will adjust to this.
Hang in there.
We will pray for you and Elvon.
Diann Whittaker said:
A thought – perhaps some of the hospitals there may have part-time orderlies who are looking for additional work. Their Human Resources department should know.
I wish you continued courage, strength and good luck.