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Media Release: VIC/TAS At Home Care Grant Round Now Open

Grants give independence to young people with high care needs in Victoria/Tasmania

Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants in Victoria and Tasmania are now open, making $150,000 available to young people (aged 18 – 65) with high care needs thanks to the generous support of Suncorp.

Youngcare is a not-for-profit organisation creating choice and independence for young people with high care needs by providing fully accessible and age-appropriate living spaces, grants for equipment and home modifications and support through a national phone line.

The Youngcare At Home Care Grants provide vital equipment, home modifications, emergency respite and care to young people with high care needs, enabling them to avoid institutionalised housing like aged care.

The grants were first introduced in Victoria in 2012 and later in Tasmania in 2014 to fill the large gap in disability funding. Since 2012 there have been 203 successful grant applicants in Victoria and Tasmania alone, funding home modifications such as ramps, stair railings and electronic door openers; equipment such as hi-lo beds and wheelchairs; and therapies such as physiotherapy.

Victorian grant recipient Michael is in his 40s and has Multiple Sclerosis; he relies heavily on his wife Michelle for his care needs. In 2017 Michael and Michelle received a Youngcare At Home Care Grant for ongoing in-home respite of four hours a week to help with care and household tasks. Michelle received an additional eight days of respite so she can recuperate in order to maintain the responsibility of caring for Michael full-time.

Youngcare’s CEO Anthony Ryan said that nearly 200 people under 50 are at risk of admission into aged care each year in Australia.

“The issues faced by these young people and their families are broad and complex. Often, they are at serious risk of entering institutionalised housing, like aged care or long term hospital stays, and all it takes is a grant to keep them at home with their loved ones,” Mr Ryan said.

Suncorp Product Advisor – CTP, Anna Biggs said it was the thought of young people living in inappropriate housing and conditions that prompted Suncorp to fund the round.

“These grants are vital to ensuring young people can live the lives that they desire and deserve, and Suncorp is so pleased to be able to make a difference in their lives,” Ms Biggs said.

The Youngcare At Home Grants program makes $2,000 through to $10,000 available per grant for young people living at home at high risk of entering aged care or other inappropriate housing, with applications assessed based on need. Applications close on 14th of March 2018.

For more information: https://www.youngcare.com.au/what-we-do/grants/home-care-grants/

Michael’s story: At Home Care Grant provides relief

Michael is 47 years old, a husband and a father of two beautiful daughters. 25 years ago, Michael was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, aged just 22.

Until recently, Michael has been working as a Computer Programmer a few hours per week. The extra income made a real difference with medical costs and covering family expenses, but, just recently, Michael has been made redundant.

Over the past 12 months, Michael’s symptoms including fatigue, heat intolerance and deterioration in strength and co-ordination have increased, making transferring to the toilet and bed very difficult. Following a major relapse, six months of rehabilitation and numerous hospital admissions, Michael has become dependent on his powered wheelchair and feels a real loss of independence.

With the increased changes to his care needs, Michael’s wife, Michelle is struggling with the demands of caring for him, their children, the house and working almost full-time. Michelle is committed to keeping Michael at home, out of inappropriate accommodation; however, her care tasks and responsibilities are taking a toll.

The state government provides Michael with only three hours of assistance per week and the National Disability Insurance Scheme will not be available in Michael’s area until late 2018.

In 2017, Michael applied for a Youngcare At Home Care Grant in the Victoria/Tasmania round, and was successful! The grant means Michael and Michelle now have the funds available to receive ongoing, in-home respite of four hours a week to help with care and household tasks. Michelle also received a grant for eight days of respite for some much-needed rest so she can continue to have the capacity to be Michael’s full-time carer.

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