23 June 2015
The Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance, the Summer Foundation and Youngcare welcome the tabling of the Senate’s Inquiry Report into the Adequacy of Residential Care Arrangements for young disabled Australians in the federal Parliament on June 24.
Throughout its hearings, the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee members have consistently heard calls from family members and YPINH themselves for access to rehabilitation and other vital health services; for innovative housing options to be developed; and for health, housing, disability and aged care services to work collaboratively to deliver the solutions they need. Committee members have also heard first hand of the devastation that results when the full suite of services these young Australians require, are not available to support them.
Our organisations look to the Inquiry Report to address the growing numbers of young Australians entering residential aged care because they have nowhere else to go; and recommend an immediate and coordinated national response to address this growing problem.
In anticipating the Inquiry Report’s recommendations, we call on the Federal Government to work collaboratively with the states and territories to deliver a national program that
- Prevents young people entering residential aged care
- Delivers additional health, disability and other supports to young people unable to relocate to the community from aged care
- Requires health, housing, disability and aged care services to work in partnership to deliver the ‘joined up’ responses these young people require.
* Numbers of YPINH on the rise
Over the last decade, the number of young Australians entering residential aged care has continued to steadily increase. At present, some 7,674 younger Australians live in aged care nursing homes nationally.
* Aged care not designed for younger people
Developed to support frail older Australians in the end stages of life, the aged care system is not designed to manage the different, more intense health and disability needs younger disabled Australians present with. Nursing homes do their best with the limited resources at their disposal, but they are not resourced to provide the rehabilitation and allied health supports, customised equipment or community access younger residents need to maintain health and well being.
* Integrated service responses
Because these young people have complex health as well as functional disability support needs, health, housing, aged care and disability services must work collaboratively to deliver the ‘joined up’ service responses these young people need.
* Access to rehabilitation and other vital health responses
Young people with acquired disabilities require access to rehabilitation and allied health resources to help them recover from catastrophic injury and episodes of disease exacerbation.
Nursing homes cannot provide these critical health interventions. Disability services do not have expertise in these areas. Health services that can mange YPINH’s complex health needs must be developed in community settings.
* Innovative housing solutions
YPINH simply want to live in their communities with the support they need.
Development of innovative housing options must be done in partnership with local communities and in consultation with the young people and their families who wish to take up these housing opportunities.
* National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): one part of the solution
Because it funds disability services, the NDIS is only part of the YPINH solution.
The NDIS cannot provide capital for housing or fund rehabilitation and other health input. Health, housing, disability and aged care services must work together with the NDIS to deliver the suite of responses YPINH need.
But with the NDIS 5 years away from full scheme rollout, YPINH can’t wait for the scheme to reach them. A concerted national program is needed now.
For further comment
|Dr Di Winkler||Dr Bronwyn Morkham||Samantha Kennerley|
|Summer Foundation||YPINH National Alliance||Youngcare|
|Ph: 03 9894 7006||E: [email protected]||Ph: 07 3041 3400|