Giving young people in aged care a voice

Posted 4 years ago by Nicole Pope

SPONSORED STORY – Not-for-profit disability service provider, Youngcare is giving people with disability living in aged care the opportunity to facilitate change, by helping them share their story through submissions to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The Queensland-based charity has been instrumental in encouraging the Royal Commission to include specific Terms of Reference for young people with disabilities who are living in residential aged care facilities and is calling on you to share your story.

Youngcare recognises that every story matters and are running workshops across the country to help young people in aged care, or those at risk of going into aged care, to tell their stories to the Royal Commission. These people are just like Brenda, who was forced to move into an aged care facility at 48 years of age.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Brenda was living with her friend and carer, Barbra and her two loved puppies, Archie and Angus on the sunny Gold Coast.

Circumstances rapidly changed when Barbra was admitted to hospital and sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer. With Barbra no longer able to provide care or a home for Brenda and with nowhere else to go, Brenda accessed respite at an aged care facility for two weeks while trying to find somewhere else to live.

As her options for finding a suitable accommodation dwindled, two weeks turned into six months, and Brenda soon found herself as a permanent resident in the home.

“It definitely wasn’t how I had planned to live the rest of my life,” Brenda says.

“I went from being the Chief Executive Officer of a major organisation, working for the State and Federal Government and as a Blue Helmet for the United Nations, spending time overseas and in indigenous communities in Australia, to living my young life in aged care.”

Determined to leave the facility, Brenda wrote a letter to the Minister for Health who referred her onto Youngcare. In late 2016, Brenda called the Youngcare Connect national phone line and was soon given a Youngcare Home Soon Grant. The grant provided funding to support her transition out of aged care and into supported accommodation.

Brenda is now living in an apartment thanks to the support of Youngcare.

“Now I’m living in my own place and I have my two dogs back,” she says.

“I have carers come in three days a week to help me do my laundry, shopping and take me on outings.

“I have so much more independence now, and I can live my life again,” Brenda says.

By assisting you to submit your experience in aged care to the Royal Commission Youngcare can continue to assist young people with high care needs to live the lifestyle they want with age-appropriate, dignified care.

To express your interest, please call Youngcare on 1800 844 727 or email [email protected]