My dad was diagnosed with Picks Disease about 6 years ago and he's been attending Elderhaus once a week for the past five years. About six months ago the center decided to open up another branch specifically for people like my dad who are still very active, despite their mental decline. (My dad walks anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day. He particularly likes to walk through parking lots where he can search for coins.)
My mom has been reluctant to take my dad to the new center because the few times she's gone there, the people seemed somewhat upset that my dad was going to be there for the day. And yet when I would pick my dad up from the old center the director would ask me repeatedly why my mom wasn't making use of the new center more often.
But today when my mom went to take my dad to the new center (which she's been trying to use more ever since i got on her case about it -- mostly because the director was getting on my case about it) she was told that dad had been barred from their program because they can't watch him well enough. (They hadn't even had the decency to call in advance and let mom know that dad couldn't come. She'd already made plans for the day and then found out this morning that they wouldn't take him.)
People ask me how my dad is doing and if there's any change in the situation and usually there's not much to report. But within the last year my dad has become much harder to care for and my mom is
definitely in far more need of support now than when we first moved here four years ago to help her out. I may be moving back to San Francisco in a year (so that Rob will no longer have to commute 2000 miles to get to work) and I was counting on my mom using more of the city's services to help her survive.
Now it looks like that will be out of the question.
This picture of my dad was taken a few days ago. My sister has laminated a card and had pinned it on to him. It says, "My name is Les Kool. I have dementia. I like to look for coins in parking lots. If this is
a problem please call" and then it lists her number, my mom's number and my number. People have called the police on him once before because they were creeped out that this older man was wandering around their apartment parking lot and my mom has overheard people in other locations talking about my dad and how he makes them feel uncomfortable. My dad wouldn't hurt a fly. He's just... weird, thanks to Picks disease. This is a man with a PhD in Economics from Temple University. Thankfully he is completely oblivious to all that has happened to him. If he knew, it would break his heart.