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Source: The Wire  |  Reporter: Isabella Guzman  |  Photo: Pixabay

The Royal Commission released their report on aged care called “Neglect” this Saturday, in it they have described the Australian aged care system “unsafe” and “uncaring” and have called to immediate action as conditions for elders and young people with disabilities seem to worsen with time due to under-funding and poor management.

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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.

You can download a PDF copy of this statement here.

The Summer Foundation Board is extremely pleased to announce the re-appointment of Dr Di Winkler as CEO of the Summer Foundation. Di is founder of the Summer Foundation, and was CEO from the organisation’s inception in 2006 until early 2018.

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You’re invited to the Summer Foundation’s Annual Public Forum

This year’s Summer Foundation Annual Public Forum comes at an important time. Systems must change to keep young people out of aged care. And these systems are being influenced and are changing in ways we’ve never seen before.

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