The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has the potential to transform the lives of people with disability.
However, challenges exist.
Young people in aged care face barriers accessing the scheme as well as problems developing and implementing their NDIS plans. NDIS processes and a lack of service expertise and appropriate housing are stopping hospitals discharging people with disability and complex health needs back into the community.
The Summer Foundation is advocating for policy and process improvements to improve NDIS outcomes for people with complex needs.
Solution 1: Better coordination between the NDIS, health, housing and aged care sectors
Young people in aged care, and those at risk of entry, need a coordinated effort across sectors to meet their needs. It is not always clear which sector should be providing a service. For people in rehabilitation after trauma or injury, this can result in delays in service delivery and an inefficient service response.
For young people in aged care, who have complex support needs, planning is a difficult process. This is a group who can find it hard to navigate the NDIS pathway independently.
Governments need to commit extra funding to support younger people with complex support needs to navigate the disability, health and housing systems. This requires a significant increase in funding of disability advocacy services and working with the sector to bring together the advocates, NDIS planners, key workers and support coordinators.
The NDIA needs to enable hospitals to prepare documentation on younger people’s NDIS access and their support needs to leave hospital.
Solution 2: Remove hurdles preventing people from accessing the NDIS
The NDIA should ensure the NDIS plans of all young people in aged care include funded supports to leave aged care. This includes funding for SDA or home modifications and funding for support coordination and allied health assessments to explore alternative housing. This is not happening at ground level.
Solution 3: Provide more support to bring younger people from aged care into the NDIS faster
Bringing younger people in aged care on to the NDIS faster will have long-term social and economic benefits. Leaving or avoiding aged care has positive health outcomes and reduces the likelihood of institutionalisation.
We are pleased the NDIA has established dedicated teams to contact people aged under 65 in residential aged care to arrange face-to-face access requests. But the NDIA should report publicly on how this is going.
Funding to explore alternative housing options should be brought forward. If their first NDIS plan included funding to leave aged care, it would allow young people in aged care to start preparations to do that.
Solution 4: Allocate responsibility and accountability to the NDIA
Immediately make the NDIA responsible for authorising the use of aged care for all people under the age of 65.
Solution 5: Resource the implementation of the Young People in Residential Aged Care Action Plan
We welcome the Federal Government’s new strategy and funding to achieve the targets in its Young People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Action Plan.
The YPIRAC targets seek to ensure, apart from in exceptional circumstances, there are no people aged under 65 entering aged care by 2022; no people aged under 45 living in aged care by 2022; and no people aged under 65 living in aged care by 2025.
The $10.6 million funding was announced in September 2020.