In The Media | 4 January 2017

Young People Don’t Belong In Aged-Care Facilities

As we prepare to spend Christmas with our family and friends, I ask all Australians to consider the plight of 6,200 younger people who will spend the holiday living in an aged-care facility rather than at home with their loved ones. A distressing situation, which need not be this way.

Almost half of these younger residents are under the age of 59, and sadly, some are as young as 18. In my home state, over 500 Western Australians are inappropriately housed in these facilities. A stroke, an accident, or a degenerative disease could leave any of us, or our family and friends, consigned indefinitely to life in an aged-care facility.

 Aged-care facilities are designed for the specific requirements of older Australians, with an average age of 85. While they provide basic shelter and care, they cannot provide the individualised multidisciplinary health and rehabilitation support required by younger people long-term — never mind the quality of life young Australians aspire to.
Research into the matter is clear — young people who live long-term in aged care facilities experience declining emotional, physical and mental health. But no one needs the research to tell us that.

Source: The Huffington Post