High Care Needs Support
Young people with high care needs are just like you, your friends and your loved ones. The only difference is that they have acquired a debilitating injury or illness (such as Multiple Sclerosis or an Acquired Brain Injury) that has left them requiring 24/7 care.
Most would never have imagined that they would ever require such a high level of care, particularly so early in life.
Specialised care and equipment is required to help with day-to-day living because of profound or severe limitation in the core activities of communication, mobility and self-care. Assistance may be needed with a broad range of daily activities including bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting and mobility. In addition, they may require medical care such as dispensing of medication, peg or nasal feeding, rehabilitation programs and, at the far extreme, they might need assistance to breathe through ventilation or a tracheotomy.
Right now, there is a desperate gap in Australia’s disability care and support system, and in many cases, families are primarily responsible for meeting the 24/7 care needs of their family member. Many families are struggling physically, emotionally and financially. Indeed according to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report Australians with disabilities have the highest risk of living in poverty of any nation in the OECD.
In 2013, there were 2.7 million carers who provided assistance to those who needed help because of disability or old age. Just under one third of these (29%) were primary carers; that is, people who provided the majority of the informal help needed by a person with a disability or aged 60 years and over. Over two-thirds of primary carers (70%) were women and over one third (37%) had a disability themselves, further exacerbating the challenges faced by people with disability and their families (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Youngcare’s goal is to continue to work with local, state and federal governments, and the sector to bring about national policy and systems changes so that every young person requiring appropriate care and accommodation will receive it.
In the meantime, Youngcare has continued its At Home Care Grants program and Youngcare Connect service, lending a helping hand to some of the most disadvantaged Aussies.