The holiday was scheduled for Monday, 6th October and returning the following Monday 13th. When I found out the time Pam was to be picked up, I requested TRIO Support to provide a carer to wait with Pam and lock up afterwards, so I could get away earlier. I finished up leaving at 7:45am and Pam was picked up by ambulance from home at 8:30am. Her trip took 3hrs, mine 5hr 50mins to Westhaven Community Aged Care facility in Pickett St West Footscray. There was a bit of careful selecting and good fortune re the availability of a Respite Room because Pam's mother resides at Westhaven (!)
Of course there was another reason for this holiday and that was to finally get to see and hold our dear new grandson, baby Teo, and at last we could. (We couldn't get the Westhaven Respite Room available any earlier than that week, even thought Teo was born on 21st August.) Here's a lovely picture of Pam holding little Teo with his big sister Ellie watching on...
Pictures like this make it all the more satisfying for going to all the trouble of getting there (and back).
I stayed at my daughter Jeni and her husband George's place in Taylors Lakes and travelled daily to see Pam at Westhaven. In busy traffic, that trip took well over one hour and at off-peak times, about one hour, and I got used to this - but when I left Taylors Lakes at 4am to come home via Westhaven (to pickup her equipment), that trip just took 20 minutes - virtually no traffic and green traffic lights all the way except for two spots.
However, I'm jumping ahead of myself. On Wednesday 8th, I also drove to Geelong to have a drink with my friend Graeme Daly at Jokers on Ryrie. After that, I drove to Lara to be with my sister-in-law, Dorothy and her daughter, Kylie and grandson Jarrod to join me in sprinkling my late brother Ted's ashes over the You Yangs (a mountain range near Lara) where Ted, in his healthier days would daily drive himself to a particular spot there and have a beer or two. Dorothy, Kylie and I took turns in sprinkling his ashes and Jarrod generously poured a stubby of Ted's favourite beer thereupon.
Pictured is Dorothy doing the deed for her poor departed husband...
This was one of brother Ted's favorite spots - the view is spectacular and you can almost make out Melbourne on the horizon.
We all went back to Mark and Kylie's for dinner - and then I drove back to Taylors Lakes, via Westhaven. And that was Wednesday, done and dusted. (Pardon the pun!)
Pam was able to see her mum every day, either by the Westhaven staff tranferring Pam into a recliner chair and taking her down to the ground floor (she was on the 1st floor for her stay) to where her mum was; or otherwise Pam's sister, Val, would bring her mum up to see Pam. It kept them both happy. On Tuesday and Saturday, I drove Pam to Tailors Lakes to see Jeni and George (if he wasn't at work) and of course - baby Teo!
(I should explain, it's not Pam's hair hanging over her shoulders - it's a shoulder brace (part of the wheelchair).)