Government vows to remove young people with disability from aged care
28 November 2019 at 8:11 am
Last year there were around 6,200 people under 65 living in residential aged care in Australia
The Morrison government has pledged there will be no young people with disability living in residential aged care by 2022.
In its response to the aged care royal commission’s interim report, the government vowed to ensure there were no people under 65 entering aged care by 2022, no people under 45 living in aged care by 2022, and no people under 65 living in aged care by 2025.
This pledge has been welcomed by community groups, who have long warned that young people in nursing homes were falling through a “critical gap” between the health and disability sectors.
Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance head Dr Bronwyn Morkham applauded the government for its commitment to these new targets.
“The targets reflect the urgency of this problem – and they are certainly achievable – but it’s essential that we start now,” Morkham said.
“We’re ready to work with the government to develop and implement its new strategy. We look forward to seeing more detail about these new initiatives, to make sure the strategy delivers on its promise.”
Last year there was around 6,200 people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care in Australia.
The government said it would invest $4.7 million to help remove young people from aged care, and establish a Joint Agency Taskforce (JATF) between the Department of Social Services, Department of Health and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop a new strategy to ensure its targets are met.
It will also work with the sector to identify all available Specialist Disability Accommodation and Supported Independent Living supports around Australia, to create a database of existing and new housing options available for people with disability.
Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said developing a database of new and existing housing options would support investment in accessible housing.
“Helping investors better understand the needs of these younger people is critical to developing the housing and care options they need,” Ryan said.
“The rapid availability of interim housing solutions is also a priority to stop younger people going into aged care.”
The government will also establish a specialist team within the NDIA to stop young people with disability who are eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme from entering aged care.
But last year it emerged more than one in 20 younger people in nursing homes were having their NDIS applications rejected, and advocates are calling for more transparency around these decisions.