Phone Ringer, that is. No one really called me back today...of ALL the calls I made yesterday, the only calls I got were from the Modesto VA Social Worker and of course, Laurie Ackerman...and I didn't even want HER to call me. Eric Andrews, the Modesto VA Social Worker called Ackerman for more info about why I was calling him in regard to my Dad. Laurie then left me a message saying that Mr. Andrews said that I am wanting to work with her on getting my Dad discharged, and she was oh-so pleased. Is she psychotic? Or is it because the bridge betweenthe check they wanted leads to me...you know, the money I don't have "control over" anymore...and this has stalled him being released. Good. Because they need to find him an appropriate place FIRST. Idiots. Hubby and I went to Las Palmas this morning to check it out. The place itself is okay. Yes, it's older, but it's pretty well kept up...as far as these places go. That was good. There is a foul musty stench, which was kinda gross, but I know that sometimes there are smells involved with these places. Yuck. But...pick your battles, right?...so I held in my disdain. What got us was the fact that there are 3 or 4 areas where there are dozens of people (residents) smoking, and there is NO avoiding it. You absolutely MUST walk through the smoke from 10 smokers to get through one gate...then through the smoke of about at 6 more people to get to where my Dad would be...the area with the wanderguard system. I should have just left then, but Linda was quite nice and I didn't want to offend her. We went in. Again, the place is older so it had its issues. But then two very large dogs came right up to us. No. No. NO. My Dad absolutely despises dogs. It was a dog that kept me from moving him to Season's in Modesto 2 years ago because it had a bed right outside the door my Dad would use...and the dog had marked its territory very, very well. THESE dogs as Las Palmas were big. They seemed friendly enough...but I know my Dad. That would not fly and I wouldn't even try it. I have no doubt that some situation would come up where one or both of the dogs would annoy him and he would be too rough and push or hit one...and who knows what that could cause. Now, if it was ONLY the dog situation, I may try to work something out with these people. But the fact that there is no entrance you can walk through without causing an allergic/asthmatic reaction? No. My Dad has emphysema as it is, and I was so completely saturated with the smoke that I showered and changed my clothes when I got home. Yes, it was that bad. We're not talking some random annoying smoke we couldn't avoid from some inconsiderate SINGLE smoker. I'm talking smoke clouds like that in a bar full of people puffing away. Isn't there a law that smokers have to be 20 feet from entrances? Not that 20 feet makes much of a difference...but these people are sitting literally in the way of the gates...and you have to pass through two crowds of cancer-inducing smoke just to get in. I already had cancer, thank you very much. Kill yourself somewhere else please! So, Laurie's message also said that obviously my Dad is not being discharged now...with the implied undercurrent that it's my fault. Too bad. And everytime they try to send him to another place that isn't qualified to care for him I will do the same thing. Weird how this all worked considering they were trying to say my Dad makes his OWN decisions, huh? These people are ALWAYS trying to scare you into doing things you do not have to do....threatening you with lies, trying to use some big word they assume you don't know. But I know a few things after being the caregiver of a person with Dementia, and I am jaded as hell. And more than a handful of times I have CORRECTED someone's use of a word they thought sounded good at the time. So go bully someone ELSE! In the meantime...I will be searching on my own for a suitable place. Please someone send me a miracle. And by the way...what is it with these places filled with people whose room and board and everything is being paid by county or state funds...and yet they have money for CIGARETTES? The state bitches and moans about budgets and blah, blah, blah...but these places are packed with people on 100% aid/assistance...which means they are being GIVEN the money to smoke. Most of these people can't even shop or leave the residence alone, so that means an aid/caregiver is actually BUYING and BRINGING them the cigarettes. Most of these people have medical issues and/or mental health issues but they are given cigarettes. I do not get it. Shouldn't the focus be on getting these people healthier, to promote well-being, to teach them what toxins in their bodies can do? Yes, what a great idea to give a man with down syndrome an unlimited supply of cigarettes! What a fabulous idea to give the guy with one lung, who can't get out of his wheelchair, free cigarettes courtesy of their county aid check. Even better to give the guy with Alzheimer's packs upon packs of cigarettes considering he will probably light himself on fire or forget what he's doing. Freakin' awesome. Genuises everywhere, it's great.