A senate inquiry into young people with disability living in residential aged care has called for urgent action from governments at all levels to address the issue.
The Senate’s Inquiry Report into the Adequacy of Residential Care Arrangements for young disabled Australians found that too many Australians under 65 with a disability are continuing to live in aged care because they have nowhere else to go.
The report says that while government programs such as the Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) initiative has led to a 34% drop in the number of people under 50 living in residential aged care, 90% of admissions of young people into aged care are between 50 and 64 years old.
In making its report, the Community Affairs Committee asked 80 organisations for their input and heard heart breaking stories from families whose loved ones were forced to live in aged care facilities that were not equipped to deal with their needs.
Submissions called for access to rehabilitation and other health services; for innovative housing options to be developed; and for health, housing, disability and aged care services to work together on solutions.
Committee Chair, Senator Rachel Stewart said residential aged care was inappropriate for young people, who lack peers, support services and rehabilitation.
“It is time we moved to quickly close this window of disservice to young people living with disability, young people with disability deserve to have choice and control over their lives and choose where and how they live,” Senator Stewart said.
“We are caring society and can do better…”
The report makes 12 recommendations including that:
- The Government compile a data base for all young people under the age of 65 living in care
- The Government develop a tool to properly assess the care and accommodation needs of all young people living in, or at risk of entering residential care
- Accreditation standards for residential aged care be amended to include standards relating to the clinical care of young people living in aged care – with financial support and training to support the new standards
- The NDIS assign an advocate to all young people living in residential aged care to make sure they and their families have proper information about their options and have someone to act on their behalf and help access services.
- The Department of Social Service discussion paper on disability housing consider funding options for the construction of specialist disability accommodation and that the paper is released as a matter of urgency.
- The Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS conduct an inquiry into the issue of disability housing after the release of the discussion paper
- A joint taskforce be established to work on the issue and make sure all levels of government and all areas, such as health and the NDIA, work together.
You can read full Inquiry report and recommendations here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Young_people_in_aged_care/Report and read a fantastic story from the ABC’s Background Breifing on the issue here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/stuck-in-gods-waiting-room/6565002