A “very frail” accused wife killer has applied for bail citing resourcing pressure because he is being kept under guard in hospital – while the victim’s family members say they are “still devastated” and grappling with their grief.

Francesco Dimasi, 92, was not present for a bail hearing in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday, but his defence lawyer Trish Johnson, asked the court to bail him to an aged care home because she said she was being “pressured” by the Department for Corrections staff to free up resources.

Mr Dimasi is yet to enter a plea to a charge of murdering his wife, Maria, 85, at the Findon home they shared in December last year.

Ms Johnson said the bail application was a “technicality” which “made little difference to Mr Dimasi”.

“There has been pressure for some time for bail to be granted with a view to being placed in aged care,” she said.

She said Mr Dimasi was being cared for in a palliative manner and the only “practical difference” for him being granted release on bail would be the removal of guards.

“It doesn’t cause any problems for Mr Dimasi, it’s about resources,” she said.

She said Mr Dimasi has “very frail physical and mental health”, “no longer moves independently” and was “not a danger” to others.

“I’m not even trying to obtain instructions anymore, I’m simply unable to,” she said.

The court has previously heard that Mr Dimasi had “existing cognitive issues” and “deteriorating physical health which is leading to further cognitive issues” and had flagged a possible mental health defence.

She said he could remain in his hospital bed, but there was some tension between the Corrections department and SA Health about Mr Dimasi’s care.

Prosecutors told the court they were opposed to Mr Dimasi’s release on bail.

Magistrate John Wells said he had concerns, which had been raised in a report, about Mr Dimasi’s “risk to other people in an aged care facility” if he was to be granted bail.

He said a report indicated Mr Dimasi became “intensely distressed and agitated” but it was not clear whether that was directed internally or at others.

Mr Wells said he needed more information before considering a bail application and ordered a bail inquiry report addressing his health, any risk he poses to others, care circumstances and the possibility of him moving to an aged care facility.

Maria Dimasi volunteering next to her grandson Stefan Dimasi.(Supplied: Nonna’s Cucina Instagram)

In a statement, Mrs Dimasi’s children — two of whom attended in support of their mother — thanked the community for their ongoing support as they grapple with their grief.

“As you can appreciate, our family is still devastated by the way in which our mother lost her life, we’re still grieving and missing her immensely,” the statement said.

The family said they would not be making further comment.

Mr Dimasi is next due to appear in court later this month to continue his bail application and enter a plea, but Ms Johnson said he would “not be entering a plea either way”.

She said his treating doctors were likely to request that he not be present for the hearing.