Jun 28, 2021

The plan to get young people out of aged care: “They should be living with the choice and dignity we all deserve”

Young man wheelchair aged care

“The aged care system was designed to best support the needs of senior Australians, not younger people,” said Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck.

“We remain deeply determined to ensure younger people in need of care can find the support outside of the aged care environment.”

Minister for Government Services Linda Reynolds said a grant will help Ability First Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation that supports and advocates for people with disability, to work with younger people and their families to help them access disability services, health services, housing and social supports.

In the recent 2020-21 budget, the government committed to funding a national network of up to 40 Younger People in Residential Aged Care System Coordinators.

The government has committed to ensuring nobody under the age of 65 enters residential aged care by the end of 2022, nobody under the age of 45 is living in residential aged care by the end of 2022, and no one under the age of 65 is living in residential aged care by the end of 2025.

About 6,500 young Australians with disability live in residential aged care, occupying about 5% of the sector’s beds.

“The first Senate Inquiry I championed was into this issue as I firmly believe that no younger Australian with a disability should be forced to live in aged care because there is no alternative.”

The majority of younger residents in aged care are ‘high dependency’ and enter residential aged care when they leave hospital. Many have disabilities acquired through injury or neurological disease, and most require services beyond those usually offered in residential aged care.

Youngcare Chief Executive, Anthony Ryan, told The Sydney Morning Herald that residential aged care is not a suitable home for younger people.

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  1. What is the definition of “age appropriate” in this context?

    I don’t understand why it’s appropriate for an older person to live in an environment that would be unconscionable for a younger person.

    Is there an ageist irony here?

  2. Not sure why residential aged care is not ok for young people but is ok for older people. How about … no one under the age of 95 should be living in residential aged care by 2030?

  3. Young people, must be out of age care and start live with dignity out of age care and have age-appropriate accommodation and support.

  4. I would like to push this further and find out why and who first thought this was a great idea and did anyone ask any of the young adults with disabilities in Australia or Canada and elsewhere whether this was something they had planned in and did it fit withering idea of a normal lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with putting older adults together for social engagement but the statement the Minister made about how the young people would probably prefer to live independently and have control over their lives was another demonstration that government officials have no place in making decisions about how or where people live.
    I feel so strongly about this that I plan on asking the WHO if they know the extent of this misguided trampling over the rights and freedoms of both the older and younger people. How did this strange idea take flight and once we know that then perhaps we can stop other such ideas from reaching fruition.

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