Finding a Place for Homeless Dad After the Flood

Of all the nightmares (multiple every day) that we have had to deal with so far since our flood, (see previous blogs) the worst one of all – the one that had me taking sleeping pills so I wouldn’t stay up all night worrying about it- was where to keep my dad.

Dad, who is 88 and lives with us is now homeless, just like us. That’s a scary thought for an 88 year old and even more frightening for us, who have shouldered the burden for his living arrangements and care.

He has been at a hotel while we try to stay at our house while they are still ripping it apart. He is lonely there, and doesn’t like being in one room. It’s too expensive to do long term and we have to get him his meals daily so that is an extra burden on our already stretched- too-thin-for-words daily agendas.

We may be staying with friends when we can no longer stay at our home, but Dad can’t climb stairs, needs his TV on blasting volume, and needs a special shower. Our house was specially equipped to meet his needs and he was darn comfy here. We had a caretaker help with his negligent self-care five days a week, and he has a driving companion to take him places. Now all of that is changed since he cannot live with our house ripped apart. We don’t have a single friend’s home, of numerous friends who have offered to have us stay with them, who meets Dad’s needs – mostly because they have two story homes.

So where to put Dad?

Assisted living and nursing homes were out, checked into them and cost was prohibitive for Dad (which is why he lives with us) and too much paperwork.

He is going with me to escape in the month of July (to my place in Margate) so regular apartments that were offering flood victims short term leases were expensive and not willing to wait until August.

Then today, his caretaker gave notice. (My housekeeper quit too – couldn’t take the chaos and dust of the house situation and I can’t blame her but I cried and grieved as I have had her for 20 years.) His caretaker found more hours, better pay – long story short.

That’s when I was ready to have my complete nervous breakdown. (I deserve one, don’t you think?)

Out of the blue, several people at once mentioned an upscale independent living community for seniors that provides an apartment and three meals per day, activities, transportation, and looking after with case managers on-site. Kind of like assisted living, but less money.

I checked it out and was bowled over with how wonderful it was, how conveniently located it was, and that they had an apartment available on a short term lease, month to month!

After reviewing the menus and activities, I thought how excited my social dad who looks forward to meals more than anything in the world would be at his daily choices. He wouldn’t need a caretaker there at all, except maybe one to two hours daily and they have that available too.

Done deal. Next I got a call from one among hundreds of Houston angels (helping flood victims) who was going to tag furniture from a warehouse for dad to use, and then a call from another angel (I am pretty well connected here, I must admit) who is providing linens, bath supplies and start up supplies to get dad situated. Gary got a friend with a truck to pick it up and we are all set for a move-in.

How can I express how thankful I am that Dad will be well taken care of and comfortably situated while we live the life of gypsies during our house reconstruction? It is almost miraculous, especially after his caretaker gave notice.

I can now delay the nervous breakdown. And maybe get a night’s sleep.



  • Good for you! I am going to do my part as well. I hope that you are able to get through to your beherrtn about the brainwashing the the liberals have been able to induce on them. I have often wondered what it is about the liberal movement that so attracts them when it is the conservative movement that stands for Israel and calls the Palestinians on their lies. I hope you succeed. I will pray for your success and good health!

  • Susan Donnell

    Arleen I’m your neighbor from Fonmeadow,we lived 12503,I’m sorry for all your loss,but please call if u need help with your Dad,my two daughter’s and myself are CNA certified with experience..
    Please call..take care

  • Francine Lassin

    Hang in there GIRL!!!!! Love you both. Take care! Need anything ??? Etc. $$$$ can I help???

  • I am happy to hear that you’ve found this place.
    One more thing to cross off your list.
    I hope it will prove to be everything you imagine, and that you will be rewarded with a little peace and reduced worry.
    You certainly deserve it!

  • It’s wonderful that you found a good place for your dad! Independent living seems like something that would suit him fine, based on what you have posted about him. Just having someone to help him out with a few things in addition to that will probably work out great for him.
    We went this route with my mother when we sold her house and furnishings then brought her to Philadelphia from Florida. She adjusted well, and was very happy in independent living for many years. You are extremely lucky that you have a month to month situation. We didn’t have that option. It’s awesome to have all the networking capabilities that you and Gary have together. Your support system is just amazing.
    I think about you a lot and wish you the best!

  • OMG, Arlene!!! That is perfect for your dad and peace of mind for you!!! So happy that worked out for you!!!

  • Hi Arlene….so sorry for all your grief with this horrible flood situation—I hope you get through it all with good health and good mind!
    I was reading your blog and noticed the part about your dear dad. I was wondering if this was the Brookdale on Buffalo Speedway and 59? If so, my girlfriend, Michelle Shapiro, just found this place a while back and her mom, 82, is she living there. It seems to be such a lovely and friendly place, a Sat. Shabbat service, many activities and very close to everything. Michelle only has her Mom and is a most “wonderful” daughter as I am sure you are as well. her Mom loves it so far and is much happier than the Apartment she had near royal Oaks. I wish your dad well, even if this is not the place. Much luck and good health, Gary Baum

  • although painful to write, these last few blog entries have been the most powerfully written in your history of blogging. You are painting very vivid pictures of desolation and hope. These are such important times to capture for time capsules. I can see you as a grandmom in the not too distant future, and someday, your grandchildren are going to read all about what you survived in a fine detail you may not remember years from now. This is very important history and I’m glad you’re recording it, and delighted that you caught such a lucky break with your dad.

  • Heartbreaking… so happy for your dad

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