Grants Keep Young People Out of Aged Care
Monday, 17th February 2014 at 7:06 pm
National charity Youngcare has doubled this year’s grant funding to help disabled young Victorians avoid spending a lifetime in aged care, after the scheme was massively oversubscribed last year.
Announcing this year’s $200,000 At Home Care Grants scheme, Youngcare General Manager Anna Cox said that for the $100,000 the charity gave out in 2013 it had to turn down another $329,369 worth of applications.
“None of these people were ineligible. There was simply not enough money to go around,” Cox said.
The inaugural Victorian At Home Care Grants round provided 22 successful applicants with $100,000 between them. The oversubscription was so great that over 60 eligible applicants missed out on grants.
Cox said almost 2000 significantly disabled young people live in aged care in Victoria. They liken the experience to being “trapped”.
“Many thousands more struggle on in fraught circumstances at home doing whatever they can to avoid premature entry into aged care.”
Cox said this year’s grants scheme would help around 30 deserving young Victorians avoid moving into aged care.
“Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants provide funding for families to purchase desperately needed equipment, home modifications and respite,” Cox said.
“They are only micro grants of between $2,000 and $10,000, but we know from experience that this is what makes the difference between staying on at home in the care of loved ones or being forced into aged care for many, many people.”
Examples of successful application items include:
- a water powered hydraulic lift;
- in-home support;
- a wheelchair ramp;
- air conditioning;
- a power wheelchair and pressure cushion;
- an electrical adjustable bed; and
- motor vehicle wheelchair modification.
Caitlyn Alger of Wantirna received an At Home Care Grant in 2013. The pressure of ongoing care and support was placing stress on she and her family. Alger was granted respite, allowing her to gain independence from her parents, and relieving the strain of 24/7 care.
“The respite has allowed Caitlyn to attend the gym to assist with her mobility, relieving the stress on myself and my husband,” her mother Diane said.
Initially introduced in Queensland in 2009, the At Home Care Grants program was extended into New South Wales in 2011 and is now being offered in Victoria to people aged 18-65 years.
Cox said Youngcare’s mission was to solve the tragedy of young people living in aged care.
“Every young person deserves a young life,” she said.
Any Victorian resident between 18 and 65 years of age who is at risk of entering aged care can apply for a grant before 4 April. Application forms and an information guide can be downloaded here. The NSW grants round will be launched in May and the Queensland round will start in August.