ROGER Taufel can sum up the experience of sending his son Jonathan to Centracare’s redeveloped Aishling facility in one, short sentence.
“Jono comes home with a smile on his face,” Mr Taufel said.
Opened last November and given an official opening this week, the Eagleby facility offers flexible short-stay accommodation and support services for children and young adults with disabilities.
The original Aishling facility was well-known to the Taufel family.
Roger, his wife Eileen and Jonathan (Jono), who has Down syndrome and autism (spectrum disorder) frequented the centre for 25 years, since Jono was an infant.
“Jono needs respite as well as we need respite,” Mr Taufel said.
“The main thing is continuity of care and this has been a haven for us.
“For Jono, it’s a question of being in a particular spot and knowing he’s comfortable and feels secure.
“You leave your child in the care of someone and you want them to receive the very best care they can. We’ve found Centacare receptive.”
The Taufels have embraced the new and improved $2.6 million facility, which incorporates an enhanced living environment, six large bedrooms, private ensuite bathrooms, centralised common areas, external courtyards and the latest technology.
The facility offers clients around-the-clock care, and they are welcome to stay overnight, for a weekend, or a longer holiday on a regular basis or when it suits them best.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge blessed the facility at the official opening on July 11.
“As we embrace the introduction of the NDIS, one of Australia’s most significant social reforms, we’ve set ourselves the challenge of creating a new and unique environment that better responds to the hopes and aspirations of our clients, their families and carers,” Centacare’s executive director Peter Selwood said.
“The rebirth of Aishling, from a small and ageing premises to the state-of-the-art facility it is today, speaks to our commitment to engage and enable our clients as active participants in shaping and defining the support and services they received.
“Our clients and their families know what works best for them – it’s our job to listen, understand and respond in a way that allows them to make choices about how to live their lives.”
Aishling acts as a hub for a range of learning activities.
Every morning a mini-bus picks up clients from their homes.
They can look forward to meeting new people, trying new activities and learning different skills aligned to their individual goals.
The choices and opportunities offered to clients are always changing – sailing, shopping and cooking, and volunteering activities, such as preparing and delivering meals for Meals on Wheels.
Clients have the option to choose how they would like to spend their time and are encouraged to participate in activities that are tailored to suit their individual interests and goals.
“There’s a legitimate need for places like this,” Mr Taufel said.
“We have an ageing population and ageing parents are very concerned about what happens to their children with difficulties when they pass on.”
For more information about Aishling or any of Centacare’s other services contact Centacare on 1300 236 822.