5150: Liner Notes

Once again: based on a true story, or, perhaps…and I believe…multiple true stories that are bound further to multiply by the day as more and more baby boomers, themselves getting along in years, are forced to deal with their own dying and sometimes demented parents.

That’s what–in three parts–5150 is a tale of.

Part one: making the call.

5150 is CA Police Code for “a danger to himself (herself) and others.” So you dial 911 and say, “I have a 5150.” And depending on the details you give, the authorities will come and pick up the elderly.

Call 911, get the medic and his van
They come and took away the old man
He was threatening to burn down the house
Figured it was time to get him out

The burn down the house part isn’t exactly true, but close enough. And it’s no fun at all when things get to this point, and you have to make that call. And the elder doesn’t go peacefully, but screaming at the top of his lungs and resisting for dear life.

So they come and they took him away
Locked him up for 14 days
Trying to figure out where he might go
Fact was don’t nobody know…

Which is pretty much what happened. Being a veteran in this case, he was locked up, in a “pod,” they called it, at the VA Hospital for evaluation, for a legal period of 14 days.

Part 3:

They took him off to an old person’s home
He was sad and so all alone
I cry like a baby, that’s what he said
Couple days later I heard he was dead…

Also pretty much occurred as told. The old person’s home was very sanitary. You could smell that. But he was sad, and said so. In fact he said, “I am in hell.” And then a few days after I saw him in that home, he was dead.

Or as I previously wrote:

He left the room without making a sound
Nobody noticed till the orderly made his rounds..

So that’s the story of 5150. In three parts.

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