Recommendations presented today by the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Senior Counsel Assisting, Peter Rozen QC, relating to younger people in aged care, have been warmly welcomed by Youngcare, the Summer Foundation and Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance.
The Summer Foundation has welcomed the Federal Government’s new funding and strategy to reduce the number of younger people living in aged care.
The release of the Young People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Strategy and funding boost is another positive step towards achieving the government’s targets supporting young people to find appropriate housing that suits their needs, said the Summer Foundation’s Head of Government Relations and Policy, Amelia Condi.
State Trustees Australia Foundation has allocated $25,000 to the Summer Foundation as part of the 2020 Community Inclusion grant round.
The Summer Foundation has joined forces with 2 of Australia’s largest providers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – RSEA Safety and Blackwoods – to launch 2 online stores offering PPE for people with disability.
The online stores will supply reasonably priced gloves, gowns, surgical masks, face shields, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes, and will be accessible to NDIS participants from today.
Close to 3,000 Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) places have been built or are now in the pipeline, according to a new report from Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and the Summer Foundation.
The Summer Foundation, the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance, Youngcare, Synapse, the Specialist Disability Accommodation Alliance and Aged & Community Services Australia have released a joint statement:
Organisations supporting young people living in nursing homes have welcomed the Morrison Government’s commitment to work to the targets endorsed by the Aged Care Royal Commission that will see no younger person enter residential aged care by 2022 and no one under 65 years in aged care by 2025.
“This is an important step forward and we applaud the government for its commitment to these new targets,” said YPINH Alliance head, Dr Bronwyn Morkham. “The targets reflect the urgency of this problem – and they are certainly achievable – but it’s essential that we start now.
“We’re ready to work with the government to develop and implement its new strategy. We look forward to seeing more detail about these new initiatives, to make sure the strategy delivers on its promise.”
“We’re pleased to see that improved data gathering and detailed analyses of this cohort will form a central part of this work,” said Summer Foundation CEO Dr Di Winkler.
“We also welcome the government’s decision to implement a joint agency approach. Too many younger people end up in aged care because they fall through cracks between the health and disability systems. Bringing all the relevant agencies together is the only way we can stop this from continuing to happen. State health systems are key to this work and we look forward to being partners in this new strategy.”
Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said that developing a database of new and existing housing options will support investment in accessible housing.
“Helping investors better understand the needs of these younger people is critical to developing the housing and care options they need,” he said.
“The rapid availability of interim housing solutions is also a priority to stop younger people going into aged care.”
ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow also welcomed the announcement but called on the Morrison Government to ensure that those younger people also receive the level of support they require while they continue to live in an aged care home. “There is often a funding disparity that disadvantages those people in aged care. ACSA believes that regardless of your age or where you reside you should get the level of support required to meet needs and to have a good quality of life.”
All organisations agree that funding is needed for individual advocacy to prevent young people going into aged care as well as help them make the transition back to life in the community.
“These are people needing multiple supports from different services and we need new roles that can work closely with each younger person and the service systems they need to make their transition to life in the community a success,” said Dr Morkham.
The Summer Foundation, the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance and Youngcare welcome the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Interim Report, which was released by the government today. In its report, the Commission has accepted two important targets relating to younger people living in aged care: allowing only for exceptional circumstances, an end to young Australians entering residential aged care by 2022, and no young Australian living in aged care by 2025. These targets should be adopted by governments immediately.
Alliance Director, Dr Bronwyn Morkham, said that the Commission’s acceptance of these targets was critical.
“We cannot risk another policy failure for these younger people. These targets give us a measurable objective by which we can solve this longstanding problem,” Dr Morkham said.
“No single government agency can fix this issue by itself. Health, disability and aged care systems must work together to achieve these targets and end the flow of young people into aged care,” Dr Morkham said.
“We must make sure that the Royal Commission’s work leads to solutions where human rights are upheld and where young people can choose where they live, who they live with, and how they are supported,” said Dr Di Winkler, Summer Foundation CEO.
“The funding is there in the NDIS, the will is there in the community, and with a good plan and dedicated focus, the issue can be resolved.”
Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said the report’s recommendations were a positive step towards ensuring young Australians with disability choose how they live their lives.
“Our passion is to give young people the choice that everyone deserves. In coming out so strongly, the Royal Commission gives a guide to what we all need to do to bring this about.”
The Interim Report was informed by young people living in aged care giving harrowing evidence to the Royal Commission.
Describing his nursing home room as “Cell 14”, Neale Radley spoke of the loneliness and isolation that is his life in aged care, while James Nutt referred to his time in a nursing home as a prison sentence.
The Summer Foundation has lodged its submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
The submission identifies the key policy and systemic changes needed to stop young people being forced into aged care. It covers what needs to change and how it can happen.
Our 12 recommendations are based on our extensive work with young people in aged care and with providers in the health and aged care sectors.
The people whose stories we used to illustrate the realities of living in aged care were selected from 95 young people who participated in one-on-one conversations with us.
People with disability in hospital and aged care now able to move home with support from the NDIS.
The Summer Foundation welcomes the decisions made on Friday by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council for the NDIS to fund a range of disability-related health supports.
An initiative announced today will help Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers understand their obligations in delivering high quality services to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants.