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For parents Richard and Erja Bithell, AnglicareSA’s new disability accommodation service on South Terrace in the city will provide vital respite care and support for their adult son Scott.

The service, which officially opens today, offers tailored on-site support from experienced staff, with high-quality short stay accommodation for up to 10 adults at a time.

Richard, whose adult son is a non-verbal and a complex epileptic who experiences daily seizures, said having this standard of care available will make a huge difference to his son and his family.

“We’ve been on this journey for 33 years – to know our son is receiving such a high level of care from people we know and trust means everything to us,” he said.

“It not only enables opportunities for Scott to improve his social skills and interactions, but also provides important respite for my wife and myself.”

Richard Bithell, Parent of AnglicareSA Client
Richard and Erja Bithell at the launch of the new AnglicareSA site.

While Richard believes having a stable and secure ‘four walls’ and a nice environment are important, he said it is fundamental that there are appropriately-skilled staff with the compassion and trust to look after his son.

“When Scott goes into a seizure we need people that are experienced to administer emergency care, or else he could lose his life,” he said.

“For anyone to leave their child in the care of others [and with a disabled child it’s even harder because they’re so dependent] you need a degree of comfort and ease with the organisation, and we certainly have that with AnglicareSA.”

Clockwise from top left: front of site | dining space | living area | bedroom.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said the site’s location is ideal for all Adelaideans, especially city-dwelling families and those who work or regularly spend time in and around the CBD.

Through careful design, charming presentation, accessibility, and built-in safety and security measures, he said AnglicareSA’s newest safe haven ensures peace of mind for families and carers.

“We’ve invested nearly $3 million towards carefully and thoughtfully creating this ‘home away from home’ for our clients,” he said.

“Our desire is to make the 60 regular clients who will access this service as comfortable as possible, and for their loved ones to know that they’re safe, stable and happy.

“While it’s a contemporary, light-filled and homely environment, the most valuable asset is our staff who are dedicated and compassionate and really care for those who are most vulnerable.”

Peter Sandeman, AnglicareSA CEO
AnglicareSA’s new disability accommodation site.

Out of the Disability Royal Commission, which kicked off in April, Richard hopes to see an increase in support for families and carers in accessing trusted and tailored services and sites like this.

“There’s a huge concern when you release a vulnerable child or person from your care – at the very best you want them to be warm, comfortable and safe and have a degree of confidence in the organisations that are looking after them,” he said.

“Whatever the Royal Commission finds, I hope it establishes clear guidelines for society on how we care for and treat those in the community living with disability.”