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MEDIA RELEASE – Young Aussies granted fresh start

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MEDIA RELEASE: Young Aussies granted fresh start

Seven young Aussies have been given a new lease on life, receiving Youngcare Home Soon Grants which will enable them to move out of aged care or long term healthcare and back into their communities.

More than 7,000 Australians with high care needs under the age of 65 live in residential aged care because of a critical shortage of age-appropriate housing.

Youngcare CEO Samantha Kennerley said Home Soon Grants of $5,000 – $20,000 fund specialised equipment, home and vehicle modifications and other services and therapies.

“These grants make a tangible and lasting difference to the lives of young Aussies,” Mrs Kennerley said.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer seven grants for young people in Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland.”

She said the grants will be saving the Government more than $380,000 a year by enabling seven young Aussies to leave residential aged care.

“Even conservative figures indicate it costs Government $54,750 a year to accommodate just one young person in aged care or $150 a night,” Mrs Kennerley said.

“By enabling them to move back into their homes, Youngcare’s Home Soon Grants deliver a substantial return to the public purse, and that’s considering Youngcare is a not for profit that receives no recurrent government funding.

“By partnering with our Foundation Partner Suncorp Insurance, who fund the Youngcare Home Soon Grants Program, we can leverage these savings up to ten fold and really improve the lives of young Aussies with high care needs in every possible way.”

Melbourne mum Lauren Bellert was three months pregnant when her 27-year-old husband Michael suffered a brain aneurysm.

In need of constant care, Michael was forced to move into aged care but a Youngcare Home Soon Grant enabled him to be transferred to age-appropriate supported accommodation.

“The biggest thing for Michael is that he’s not just sitting in his room all day by himself,” Mrs Bellert said.

“There’s always someone there with him, chatting and keeping him company. Compared to the nursing home, it’s almost like our second home.”

Matthew Kayrooz, Executive Manager NSW CTP at Suncorp said the company was well aware of the impact that illness and injury had on a person’s life and on the lives of their loved ones, and was proud to partner with Youngcare to provide the grants.

“The Home Soon Grants truly allow people to live with greater independence and dignity,” Mr Kayrooz said.

Mrs Kennerley said while the grants made a genuine difference to the lives of young Aussies and their families, they were only scratching the surface of a larger problem.

“What we really need is governments and a whole of community approach to help build up the supply of disability housing,” she said.

“If all new housing included disability design elements, such as wide doorways and step-free showers, young people with disabilities would have more options.

“With the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme just around the corner, there’s no better time to solve this housing shortage once and for all.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Anita Jaensch, Sequel PR – 0403 090 911 or 07 3251 8111.

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