A Skippers Tale XXXIII

A New Port

Yes people… Dad has been re-berthed… He is now located in Bethesda Hospital in Claremont.

On Thursday around lunchtime Mum and I had a call from the nurse at Sir Charlies advising us that Dad’s move to the Hospice unit at Bethesda was going to happen in the next couple of hours.

The what now?

Oh, didn’t they call you?

<<nash teeth>>  Um that would be no!

We knew that Sir Charlies were looking to speak to the palliative care team to see what could be done for Dad, but once again communication wasn’t their strong suit.  The good news is, Bethesda is a DVA approved hospital and this now means that Mum and I don’t have to do the great chase around for a placement in a home.

One other distinct advantage is… Bethesda is smack dab on the Swan River.

I was going into Perth that evening for a lecture event so I swung past the ward to see Dad in his new digs…. it’s such an improvement on his last one… He has an en-suite room to himself and he has garden and water glimpses from his window.  The best bit is that the patient lounge looks straight out over the top of the Claremont Yacht Club and the river… When Mum and I arrived yesterday, Dad’s bed had been moved into the room so he could sit and watch all the boats 😀

Oh, before anyone panics… Dad *is* in the hospice, but isn’t in any immediate danger as far as we know.  He has just gotten past the point where moving him to an care facility would be a bit redundant.

When we were first told Mum was quite a bit all for getting him transferred to Murdoch so that he was closer to us.  However, having seen Bethesda, and the impact that the change of pace and view has done for Dad, we think yes it’s more inconvenient for us… but far far better for Dad.

For those of you not familiar with Perth, if you imagined a square with Gosnells being one corner, Claremont would be the directly diagonal one with Fremantle and Perth being the other corners.  Either way, if we go through Freo or Perth the distance from our house to Bethesda is about the same 31km.  What is going to be the determining factor for our travel is the congestion on the roads at any given time of the day.

Since moving there Dad has been quite the social butterfly.  In addition to my visit on Thursday and our visit on Saturday.  Dad has also had a visit from a former recruit who joined the same time Dad did back in 61 at Leeuwin, and then today we learned that Auntie Jane and Uncle Shane and done another flying visit up to see him too… he’s in demand.

But for now we are a bit relieved, but the pressure is still on.  We have a visit from Franco the Navy Chaplin this week, and several other events planned.  We are trying to get as much things in place and finalised while Dad is still with us so that it will make things easier when the time comes.

One final thing… I know I posted this on Facebook recently so I apologise if you have seen it twice, but… recently some of Mum and my conversations have reluctantly turned into… “When there’s just the two of us” (our code for Dad passing away). Some are serious, some not so much… the other night’s conversation falls probably into the latter.

“I was just thinking… When it’s just the two of us… What are we going to do with Dad’s Study?”
<<pause>>
<<in unison>>
“I know/I was thinking…. Library”
<<look startled at each other, and then crack up>>

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One thought on “A Skippers Tale XXXIII

  1. Letting you know that we are thinking of you all and, like you, pleased that Fred (Dad) seems to be in a far better place at Bethesda – sure that the view over the Swan will lift his spirits. Please give him our kindest regards next visit.

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