The key recommendations relating to younger people with disability, outlined in the newly released final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission, have been warmly welcomed by the Summer Foundation, Youngcare and Synapse.
The recommendations closely align with the Young People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Strategy released by the Federal Government in 2020 in which the targets state that no person with a disability under the age of 65 should be living in aged care by 2025, unless in exceptional circumstances.
The recommendations released in the report to ensure younger people do not enter or remain in residential aged care were:
- referring for assessment by the agency most appropriate for the assessment of the person concerned, such as the National Disability Insurance Agency, and not an Aged Care Assessment Team or Aged Care Assessment Service, any younger person who is at risk of entering residential aged care
- developing hospital discharge protocols with State and Territory Governments to prevent discharge into residential aged care of any younger person
- developing, funding and implementing with State and Territory Governments programs for short-term and long-term accommodation and care options for any younger person who is:
- living in or at risk of entering residential aged care and
- not eligible to be a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- requiring the National Disability Insurance Agency to publish an annual Specialist Disability Accommodation National Plan setting out, among other things, priority locations and proposed responses to thin or underdeveloped markets
These recommendations also complement the announcement of funding for YPIRAC System Coordinators by the Federal Government in September 2020.
The Summer Foundation’s Head of Government Relations and Policy, Amelia Condi, said the recommendations are a major step forward in supporting young people with disability to live in a place they want to call home.
“We would like to congratulate the Aged Care Royal Commission for this tremendous achievement, which will no doubt make a significant difference to the lives of young people with disability who are living in aged care or at risk of entering aged care,” Ms Condi said.
“This result would not have been possible without the contributions of many young people with disability, their families and close others, sharing their stories and experiences.”
“It is essential that every Australian is able to live in a home they choose, with the people they choose.
“We strongly encourage the Federal Government to accept all the recommendations, in particular those which support the needs of people with disability and we look forward to collaborating with both the Government and people with disability on the implementation of the recommendations.”
Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan, commended the release of the report and what it means for young people with high care disability.
“In most cases, aged care is no place for a young person to call home. What we have heard continuously throughout the course of this Royal Commission is that in many instances aged care has been put forward as the only option for a younger person with disability in crisis; this is simply unacceptable,” Mr Ryan said.
“What we are looking forward to is using the recommendations made by the Aged Care Royal Commission, to work with all levels of Government, and to identify pathways that will enable us to reach the targets set out by the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Action Plan.”
“There is no reason why any young person with high care disability should be living without the choice, independence and dignity that we all deserve.”
Synapse CEO, Jennifer Cullen said: “We commend the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission and strongly encourage the federal government to accept the recommendations in full. This issue has been simmering for many years. The federal government is well placed to work alongside young people, their families and communities to ensure real and appropriate choices about where they choose to live.”
The full report is available here: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-03/final-report-recommendations.pdf
THE SUMMER FOUNDATION
Established in 2006, the Summer Foundation works to change human service policies and practices related to young people (18-64 years old) living in, or at risk of entering residential aged care facilities.
The Summer Foundation exists to permanently stop young people with disability from being forced into residential aged care, ensuring people with disability have access to the support required to be in control of where, how and with whom they live.
The Summer Foundation has worked extensively with people with complex disability support needs to ensure they have access to all the NDIS supports essential to living the life they choose.
Youngcare is a not-for-profit organisation spearheading powerful and positive change to create a future where every young person has the freedom, dignity and choice to live the lives we all deserve. For more than 16 years, Youngcare has been tackling a national issue — there are simply too many young people with high care needs being left behind in inappropriate and unacceptable accommodation.
Youngcare urges all Australians to advocate for change in the disability housing sector; giving young people with high care needs the power and ability to choose where and how they live their lives.
Synapse provides a range of services for people who have been impacted by brain injury and disability, including a variety of housing options for people with complex and high care needs. We promote quality of life, self-determination and choice through information, specialist support and targeted research activities.