Published Wednesday 3 August 2016
- Disability and Mental Health
On Wednesday, 20 July, the Honourable Cameron Dick, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, officially opened Asher House, a state-of-the-art supported accommodation community in Wynnum.
“There’s a saying, that you can judge a community by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. The people for whom this accommodation is being provided are some of our most vulnerable citizens, but through this facility we will give them the dignity and the respect they deserve, the opportunity to live the lives they want to live, and the ability to fulfil their own dreams and aspirations.”
Asher House is defined by its wonderful people – both the staff and volunteers who have committed to serving these wonderful residents, and the residents themselves, some of whom have been living together in supported accommodation for 24 years.
Geoff Batkin (left) and the Hon. Cameron Dick (far right) cutting the cake with new residents and families.
One of these residents is Matthew. Matthew has ‘locked-in syndrome’; since his stroke in 2010, “he can’t speak and he can’t move, but he’s fully awake and aware. He’s got fully functional capabilities,” says his twin sister, Maureen, who believes Asher House represents a new lease on life for her brother.
“I think once he settles in, it will take a lot of worry off my shoulders. Just knowing that this is a permanent home for him, and that people are here for him, and he has a lot of space... I hope that with the staff employed here, they can bring that social aspect as well. The staffing options with Wesley Mission Queensland are terrific. There are one or two staff for every four residents, so it’s a great model of care.
“Knowing that he’s got a home now, it means our visits can be more structured. At the moment, I do things for him – I talk to him and I feed him – but we rarely get to sit together and just watch a movie. I’m hoping now that can change.”
Matthew moved to Asher House on 26 July – into one of 12 fantastic apartments purpose-built for sustainability and co-designed by architects, residents, and their families. It has been a long journey, and each resident has faced a lifetime of challenge to get there, but Matthew, finally, is home.
Please contact our team on 1800 448 448 if you would like to volunteer or donate to help support wonderful people like Matthew.