Today in Australia, more than 6,000 younger people (under 65) with disability are forced to live in nursing homes.
Around 50 Australians aged under 65 are admitted to nursing homes each week. Some of these people are moved into a nursing home in their 20s or 30s; living with people in their 80s.
The majority of these young people acquired their disability as adults. Almost half are in partner relationships and more than 1 in 4 are parents of school-aged children at the time they go into aged care.
Being in aged care leads to a marginalised and isolated life – tragically, 82% rarely or never visit their friends. The distress this causes their families is immense.
How can this issue be resolved?
Australia can choose to resolve this issue. We can stop young people being forced into inappropriate accommodation.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the single biggest opportunity to stop young people going into aged care, and to get those currently in aged care into more appropriate housing.
We need to keep building on recent successes. Accessible housing is being created, but not fast enough. The NDIS, health and aged care systems are working more effectively together, but still not hand-in-hand to stop this group falling between the cracks.