Closing the door to younger people entering aged care – Summer Foundation position statement on the proposed new Aged Care Act
The Federal Government is developing a new Aged Care Act to replace existing legislation. The Summer Foundation welcomes the proposed change that “apart from First Nations persons, or people at risk of homelessness, no other younger persons will be able to access funded aged care services.”
A sustainable solution to the issue of young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC) requires completely closing the door to aged care for younger people.
These amendments are a vital part of important aged care reforms, as recommended by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Rather than using aged care as the provider of last resort, public money should be put to better use to fix gaps and failures in disability, health and housing service systems and develop alternative pathways that enable people under 65 to live in the community.
Inclusive housing – The Summer Foundation position statement on the Disability Royal Commission’s final report
Addressing the level and scope of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation evidenced in the Disability Royal Commission’s final report is a monumental task. It is critical that the people with disability who gave so much to the DRC benefit from some quick wins as well as see tangible actions to address some of the more complex and systemic challenges.
The emphasis on inclusive housing and inclusive lives in the final report is welcomed. Social connection and access to the community reduces the risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Federal, state and territory governments need to partner with people with disability and the sector to build on existing work and evidence, rather than duplicating efforts. To quote the DRC’s final report, real solutions need to reimagine these systems “in partnership with people with disability, with their voices at the centre of reforms.”
Improving Outcomes for Younger People in Residential Aged Care
Younger people with disability are not getting the skilled support they need to leave or avoid residential aged care. Active collaboration is needed between all levels of government and the disability sector to ensure no younger person is forced to enter or remain in aged care. Addressing the systemic barriers to good housing and support in the community requires increased understanding of younger people with complex support needs and improved information and support around housing and support options that ensure greater outcomes for people with disability.
Solving the issue of YPIRAC – Pre-Budget Submission (2023)
While the number of younger people entering RAC over the past 2 years has decreased, in the last financial year 497 people under 65 entered aged care. The Morrison Government’s YPIRAC initiative did not create the systemic change needed.
Instead of going to RAC, younger people with disability are getting stuck in hospital for months. Younger people at risk of RAC need timely and skilled support to transition out of hospital into age-appropriate housing.
A solution can be found through access to high quality capacity building and support for NDIS participants. There is inadequate support and information provided to NDIS participants to explore options which meet their needs. There is also insufficient demand activation which inhibits the development of housing and support options for YPIRAC and younger people at risk of RAC.
The Summer Foundation has identified 4 initiatives that will address this gap and together will solve the issue of YPIRAC once and for all, described in Summer Foundation’s Pre-Budget Submission here.