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.