The Australian Government has committed to making sure that no younger person will enter aged are by 2022 and that no-one under 65 years will be in aged care by 2025.
These are the targets that the Aged Care Royal Commission endorsed in its interim report in late October and one of the most significant commitments we have seen by the Australian Government to stop younger people from having to live in aged care.
“We welcome these targets. They reflect the urgency of this problem,” said Summer Foundation CEO Dr Di Winkler.
“They are realistic and achievable. As well as getting younger people out of aged care more quickly, the government’s revised targets recognise how important it is to stop younger people going into aged care facilities in the first place.
“Young people have been inappropriately placed in aged care for too long. Younger people with disability have the right to live in appropriate housing in the community, just like everyone else.”
The government also announced a specialist NDIS team to work with support coordinators and others to prevent admissions of younger people into aged care; a joint agency approach to the issue; a commitment to gather data to be better understand younger people living in, or at risk of entering, aged care; and the creation of a database of existing and new housing options.
The report spoke about the devastating outcomes for young people who enter aged care, following on from Royal Commissioner Lynelle Briggs’ statement during the Melbourne hearing that “the current system is at best a national embarrassment and at worst a national disgrace”.
“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,” Dr Winkler said. “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.”
You can read a joint statement from the Summer Foundation, the Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance and Youngcare about the Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report here.
The Summer Foundation’s Policy Manager, Dr George Taleporos, has also written an explanation of the interim report, which you can read here.