The Federal Government has announced $10.6 million to fund a new strategy for reducing the number of younger people with disability living in residential aged care.
The Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Strategy will feature a national network of 40 system coordinators to help younger people find age-appropriate accommodation and support to allow them to live independently in the community.
Key YPIRAC targets include:
no people under the age of 65 entering residential aged care by 2022
no people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care by 2022
no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, says the initiative charts the course to meet the strengthened targets set by the Government in late 2019 and builds upon the YPIRAC Action Plan released in March 2019.
“The experiences and needs of younger people living in residential aged care, their families and carers, are central to this strategy,” says Mr Robert.
“(The strategy) recognises and prioritises the rights of younger people to determine where and how they choose to live.
“Priority areas of work have been co-designed with key stakeholders, with input from state and territory governments.
“Under the NDIS, we have seen significant progress in reducing the number of participants in residential aged care.”
Priority areas include supporting greater choice and control, improving pathways and linkages across the disability, aged care, housing and health systems, and providing age-appropriate accommodation and ongoing support options.
Head of Government Relations and Policy at disability advocacy organisation Summer Foundation, Amelia Condi, says improving communication would help to improve the system.
“The funding boost is another positive step towards achieving the government’s targets supporting young people to find appropriate housing that suits their needs,” says Ms Condi.
“Young people with disability should be able to live independently in a community they choose, close to family, friends and the activities they wish to engage in. Now this is a possibility for all young people with disability.”
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, says system coordinators will work with younger people and their families to support younger people to access the disability services, health services, housing and social supports they need.
“The initiative will go a long way to support younger people to move from residential aged care to age-appropriate accommodation and supports by 2025,” says Senator Colbeck.
From the launch of the government's YPIRAC Action Plan (March 2019) to 30 June 2020, there has been:
a 39 percent reduction in younger people entering residential aged care from 407 to 247
a 22 percent reduction in people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care from 167 to 130
a 15 percent reduction in people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care from 5,715 to 4,860
The Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020-2025 can be found on the Department of Social Service's website.