Today in Australia, more than 6,200 younger people (under 65) with disability are forced to live in nursing homes.
2,200 people aged under 65 are admitted to nursing homes each year. 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.
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.