Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mom & Dad – Assisted Living is ‘Pretty Good’

Mom and Dad's living room,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

When we left for Alaska from my sister’s house back in late April, mom and dad were a mere 100 yards away from where our motorhome sits when we camp on Arny and Sandy’s backyard.  In May they got word that the company who owned the home they rented wanted to sell it, and offered it to them at a great price…but when you are in your late ‘80s, buying a house is not what you are seeking.  Dad, being a WW2 vet, had been lined up for veterans assistance with Assisted Living for a few years now…it just wasn’t time…until now.  Howard (and Linda) of RV-Dreams wrote a GREAT post about veterans benefits for Assisted Living back in 2014, and well worth reading if it fits your needs or that of your parents.   (Note: yes, this post will have more of an appeal for family and friends, but you all are welcome to read on.)

Commons Dining Room,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

By July, they were moved into the Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community.  They now have the option of eating in the nice dining room above, or they can eat in their apartment (first picture), or they can go out to eat with family, friends, or just with each other…although not having a car makes the latter a bit harder to do.  (Yes, you can have a car while living there, but mom gave up driving a few years ago, and dad felt it was time for him to give it up too.)

Commons Area,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community      Commons Area,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

The “Common Areas” where they can mingle with other residents is a very nice atmosphere.  When I took these pictures there were twenty or more residence in a large “family style” room, some doing exercises, others just sitting around talking.  I would have to make faces “out of focus”, so I am not going to use those community shots…but the two small areas above represent the comfortable common area, as does the dinning room.

Mom and Dad's living room,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community      Mom and Dad's kitchen,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community
Mom and Dad's entry hall,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community      Mom and Dad's bathroom,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

There is plenty of room for two people, less than the house they rented, but enough for the items they decided to keep.  Brookdale keeps the apartment clean, they assist mom and dad with what I call “overseeing safe showers” (there to help as needed so that no one falls), among other things.  The kitchen has a microwave, a refrigerator, but the electric stove/oven do not work in any of the units since meals are provided…and it keeps the places safe from accidental fires. 

Mom and Dad's second bedroom,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community      Mom and Dad's first bedroom,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community  

They have a two bedroom apartment.


Mom and Dad's front door,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community      Mom and Dad's hallway leading to commons area,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community  

Main Entrance,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

They even have a little patio with a nice view.  Outside there is a Gazebo, a small putting green, and other outdoor activity…but no swimming pool.  I have seen a few people out walking around, but the heat keeps most inside, and you can get anywhere from inside corridors.  You can see their scooters parked outside their door.  It is a shorter distance to go outside and enter the front door (pictured above) than to make your way through the halls from their apartment…so when mom walks to the dining room, she goes outside…while dad rides his scooter through the halls each day.

Mom and Dad's Apartment Entrance,  Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living community

Above mom and dad walk from the outside door near their apartment to our car for an outing.  This outing was for attending Sandy’s birthday celebration yesterday (Arny’s birthday is today), but on one such “outing” Marcia and I took mom and dad out to breakfast/lunch up in Auburn.

Awful Annie's, Auburn California

“Where?”  Well, we went to Awful Annie's, a longtime favorite of that area for breakfast and lunch. 

Having lunch/breakfast with mom and dad at Awful Annie's, Auburn California

Dad choose lunch while the rest of us had breakfast.  So much food, all well prepared, and the acoustics were such that we could actually have a conversation without talking too loud.


Awards,  Awful Annie's, Auburn California     Awards,  Awful Annie's, Auburn California

Awful Annie's has a nice warm feeling to it, and lots of awards that they proudly show off in their entryway as you come in and leave. This was our first visit to Awful Annie’s, but not our last…although I doubt we get up there again before we leave in 3 1/2 weeks from now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Oregon Coast to Sacramento – Hot and Busy

Oregon Coast

We left Tillamook on Tuesday morning, stayed at Osprey Point RV Resort (Passport America $21), in Lakeside Oregon that night, drove over to I-5 and stayed at On the River Golf & RV Park in Myrtle Creek (Passport America $15) on Wednesday, stopped at Harry and David in Medford and drove on to McCloud RV Resort (Good Sam $35) Thursday, and made it to my sister's house at 1:30 Friday afternoon.  Mom and Dad were there waiting for us, and we parked, set-up, and kicked back for the rest of the day.

Oregon Coast

We always enjoy the drive along the Pacific Ocean, and could have stopped and stayed for many nights enjoying the cool weather and the lovely scenery.  But we also wanted to spend time with the family before we head back to Florida…so on to the hot Valley weather it was.

Oregon Coast

One last look at the ocean before we stopped Tuesday night.  The white building in the fog on that piece of land sticking out in the top left corner of the picture above is one of the many Oregon Lighthouses.

Elk along Oregon Highway 38   Umpqua River along Oregon Highway 38

When we left Osprey Point RV Resort, we headed north for 8 miles and turned onto highway 38, a new route for us.  Umpqua River runs along this route, and there are a few good Elk Viewing areas along it too.

Shasta Lake along I-5

On Friday after we left McCloud, we past Shasta Lake, and it was good to see water in the lake.  The last few times we passed by the water was so very low.

On Saturday I had the car cleaned and detailed and they got 95% of the Alaska Highway grime off of it. If you open a door and look hard you can see some of the dust…and I opened the hood and found it loaded with dust…that will be a job I tackle in a few days.  After the car wash I fix our grey tank lever, so I can again close and open a valve to allow the grey to flow as needed.  Our end cap had a small hose attachment, and I put a open/close nozzle on it so I could empty it as needed through a used garden hose…it is nice to have it working right again.  I had ordered a new valve through Amazon, along with a new laptop, which were waiting for us when we arrived. 

NEW LAPTOP?  Yes, the laptop I had been using was starting to show signs of age…sticking keys, turning off when you close the lid even though all settings tell it not to turn off, and it always ran real hot.  Last year we got Marcia an ASUS, and I got nearly the same one for me.  It is light, runs cool, and is easy to run on 12v unlike the previous laptop I was using.  Also, this is a windows 10 computer.  I just started to use it this morning after spending a good day and a half setting it up, updating it, etc. etc.  

Finally, I am replacing our water fill hatch, which is also on order and will be here Wednesday.  It has a small leak when hooked up to a city water system, mostly due to the pressure valve in the nozzle.  It should be a simple replacement now that I have loosened up the sealing tape.

I am also helping out Arny with his mother as needed.  Today two different caregivers were unable to make it, and at least one won’t be here tomorrow either.  We also have laundry to do, and pick up some groceries.  Picked up some more insulin for Skruffy today, who is enjoying being back in Sandy and Arny’s backyard…but can’t understand why she can’t run over to Grandma and Papa’s house like before…but she enjoy our visit at their Assisted Living home yesterday.  And Bubba, well when Bubba is at Arny’s, he is the happiest little fellow…he loves his Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy, that’s for sure.

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