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Source: Every Australian Counts | Author: George Taleporos

At the end of last week the Federal Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher announced a new government action plan to get young people out of aged care.

So what is in the plan, what does it have to do with the NDIS – and what will it mean for young people currently trapped in facilities around the country?

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The Summer Foundation welcomes Parliament’s commitment to a Royal Commission into the Abuse of People with Disabilities

The Summer Foundation is pleased that a motion for a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in institutional and residential settings has been passed with bi-partisan support. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he will work with the states and territories to establish the Royal Commission.

Having choice and control over where you live and who you live with is critical to addressing the high levels of violence and abuse that people with disabilities are subjected to.

Very few alternatives exist for people with high support needs and too many are stuck in hospital wards or are forced into residential aged care – an unacceptable option where abuse and neglect is commonly reported. We want to see continued action to promote more independent living options for people with disabilities to live where and with whom they choose, free from violence and with access to high quality housing and support options.

New and contemporary models of housing and support are creating alternatives for people with high support needs, including through the NDIS’ Specialist Disability Accommodation initiative. These point to the future of safe and inclusive housing options for people with disability.

The Royal Commission is an opportunity to learn from victims about the true cost of segregation and institutionalisation. We hope the Royal Commission will help to foster high quality housing alternatives for Australians with disability who are stuck in hospital wards or are forced into residential aged care.

The winners of the two $5000 2018 Allen Martin Scholarships have been announced.

Clinical neuropsychologist and Monash University Research Fellow, Dr Kate Gould (pictured above, left), received a scholarship for her Australian first research to help protect people with acquired brain injury (ABI) from cyber scams

“This will be the first study to investigate how common cybercrime is for individuals with ABI,” Dr Gould said. “We will look into the types of cybercrime experienced and factors which may contribute to this vulnerability.”

She said understanding, preventing and effectively managing the impact of cybercrime had the potential to enhance quality of life for people with ABI by maximising their safety and confidence in accessing the internet, email, social media and other online activities.

Danielle Sansonetti (pictured above, right), an occupational therapist and senior clinician at the Alfred Health ABI Unit, will look at ways to optimise independence for individuals with ABI through successful application of daily routines after they transition to the community.

This will assist clinicians to better understand those interventions that can be applied in rehabilitation in order to achieve clinically important long-term outcomes.

“Investigation of an individual’s ability to maintain their daily routines in the community following discharge from residential rehabilitation will provide clinicians with important information around the factors that contribute to long-term sustainability of routines in the community,” she said.

About 40 people attended the Allen Martin Memorial Lecture and scholarship announcement on 14 November.

The lecture was presented by Professor Fary Khan, who discussed the “evolving role of rehabilitation in global health”.

The Allen Martin Research Scholarships are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill lawyers.

ROYAL COMMISSION UPDATE

In September Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into Aged Care.

The commission’s interim report is to be provided by 31 October 2019.

You can view the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference here and read our statement regarding the Terms of Reference here.

We are very pleased that young people in residential aged care and the issues related to this group are a high and early priority for the Royal Commission. You can read our briefing paper about the Royal Commission here.

GETTING INVOLVED

To see how the Summer Foundation can support you or a family member to have your say at the Royal Commission click here.

Or you can contact the Royal Commission at: agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx.

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From Hospital to Home – Summer Foundation Annual Public Forum 2018

CFC UPDATE – SPRING 2018

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We welcome the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Prime Minister Morrison purposefully included mention of young Australians who live in residential aged care.

The Royal Commission will look at the quality and safety of care in aged care. It’s not clear if it will also look at the system changes that need to happen to stop young people ending up in aged care in the first place. We think it’s really important to include this in the Royal Commission, so that young people will stop being forced to live in aged care because there are no other suitable options. Read more

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Support coordinators are among the most critical professionals assisting people to achieve positive outcomes under the NDIS. It is support coordinators who assist young people to explore their housing options and find alternatives to residential aged care.

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In 2009 Penny suffered a stroke. Four years later a motor vehicle accident caused further injury.

Through her NDIS plan Penny was funded for home and car modifications, support hours and equipment.

Her first plan increased her independence and social interactions – she says:[it was] a good package and opened up my world. I felt liberated.

However, at subsequent reviews items were removed. Penny’s informal supports had also broken down in the meantime and despite needing additional support hours, her package was reduced. Getting less support at home resulted in more frequent hospital admissions
for Penny.

Penny has been forced to pay for the community nursing and items not covered by health or disability funding out of her own pocket, which means less money for food and other essentials.

Penny has worked in the disability sector for a number of years, so is well informed and has a good understanding of the sector, but she too has had to work tirelessly to navigate the health and disability systems.

Penny will be speaking about her discharge experiences with the NDIS at the upcoming Annual Public Forum
on October 11.

The NDIS is still working out what is reasonable and necessary for people with disability and complex needs. Difficulty accessing appropriate health supports is one of the reasons young people are admitted to aged care.

So we were pleased with the decision by the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) in relation to Mazy v. the NDIA. Mazy requested the provision of care by a registered nurse to administer regular insulin, which was declined by the NDIS. After an internal review, Mazy took her case to the AAT. The AAT found that it was a reasonable and necessary support for a registered nurse to administer her insulin (in accordance with s 34(1) of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth)). For details of the decision: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/AATA/2018/3099.html

If you need access to nursing care to live well in the community you may want to print this decision to take to your planning meeting. Or, if your plan does not meet your needs, consider seeking advocacy support to request a review. To find an advocate see https://disabilityadvocacyfinder.dss.gov.au/disability/ndap/

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