Disability advocate groups have cautiously welcomed a Commonwealth push to reduce the number of younger people living in aged care. Source: SBS News.
Today’s federal Budget will see $10 million in funding set aside to transition younger people living in aged care to age-appropriate accommodation.
The funding will go towards a national network of up to 40 system coordinators to help younger people find age-appropriate accommodation and “support them to allow them to live independently in the community,” Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Stuart Robert said in September.
The strategy aims to support almost 5,000 people under the age of 65 who are living in aged care, with advocates concerned people with disability continue to fall between the cracks of the system.
Helen Burt, 55, faced the confronting challenge of being forced to enter a residential aged care facility in Melbourne.
Ms Burt has multiple sclerosis, and says the decision was made due to mobility issues, as a result of her condition. She says the move made her feel socially isolated and mentally distressed.
Ms Burt, who is a social policy adviser for Catholic Social Services Victoria, spent seven years in the nursing home. Three weeks ago, she moved into a specialised apartment with a carer who could assist with her personal needs.
Young People in Nursing Homes chief executive Bronwyn Morkham welcomed the push, warning younger Australians continue to be placed in aged care facilities due to a lack of suitable accommodation options.
Mr Robert said there has been a 21 per cent decrease in younger people living in aged care since December 2017, but conceded “there is more to do”.
Advocates cautiously welcome push to transition younger people with a disability out of aged care (By Tom Stayner, SBS News)