25 June 2015
A Senate Inquiry has revealed the extent of the national travesty of young Australians trapped living in aged care.
Youngcare CEO Samantha Kennerley said the inquiry’s recommendations must be immediately implemented.
“For the sake of young and old, we can’t continue to ignore this problem,” Mrs Kennerley said.
“The Committee’s recommendations are a big step towards helping the most vulnerable young people living in aged care and giving them access to services as soon as possible.”
“We strongly support better advocacy, intensive case management including annual review, and wrap around services for young people in aged care.”
Mrs Kennerley said aged care providers are just not equipped or geared towards looking after young people with high needs.
“Putting more money into aged care is a short-term solution,” she said.
“What we need is for accommodation providers to adopt Youngcare’s extremely successful model-of-care for young people, which is unique in Australia.”
“We have also been designing and building housing for young people with high needs for many years and know what works.”
“We are about to open a new, high-tech share house in Brisbane. This model is easily replicated around the nation.”
“Our research shows that building age-appropriate housing – whether that’s apartments, family homes or share housing – gives young people with disabilities voice, choice and control over their lives.”
An important recommendation by the Senate Committee is to create a national database of people under 65 who are living in aged care.
“I suspect it will be eye-opening to uncover the true size of this problem,” Mrs Kennerley said.
“In the past six months, Youngcare has been able to help eight young people leave residential aged care through a targeted grants program.
“But we can’t do it alone.
“If the Abbott Government accepts these recommendations, many more young people will win their freedom.”
Youngcare thanked the families who shared their stories with the Committee and WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds for championing the issue.
“The Committee has clearly heard and understood the dozens and dozens of heart-breaking stories highlighting a broken system that cannot be simply patched up,” she said.
“We’ve known for decades that this problem is getting worse, previous inquiries have shown that.
“Now is the time for state and federal governments to step-up and fix the system.”
- Link to the Senate Committee report: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Young_people_in_aged_care/Report