The Australian Government is investing an additional $35 million to continue delivering on its commitment to reduce the number of younger people entering, and living in, residential aged care.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Minister Senator Linda Reynolds CSC and Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said the investment will ensure younger people currently living in residential aged care receive the tailored support necessary to ensure that where they have a goal to leave aged care they can do so.
The funding provided as part of the 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), will reduce the number of people entering aged care and support a greater number of people to leave residential aged care between 2022 and the end of 2025.
The funding includes:
Senator Reynolds said the initiatives will help the Government meet its targets to have no younger people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care by 2022, and under the age of 65 by 2025 (other than in exceptional circumstances).
“This Government has prioritised the provision of choice to younger people in residential aged care, and while there has been significant progress in reducing the number of younger people entering and living in residential aged care over the past 12 months, more needs to be done,” she said.
The 2020/21 YPIRAC annual report shows from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2021 there was a:
“The investment in additional dedicated NDIA YPIRAC Planners will ensure participants are supported to navigate the multiple and complex systems required to source age-appropriate accommodation to transition younger people out of residential aged care,” Senator Reynolds said.
In August, the NDIA also launched an interactive tool (SDA Finder) to help participants find suitable Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) vacancies across Australia.
Senator Reynolds said the MYEFO initiatives will complement this tool and assist younger people in residential aged care to explore alternative housing, and work closely with their families and carers, to identify and achieve their home and living goals, while building their capacity and confidence to engage with the community.
Mr. Colbeck said the annual report reflects the collaborative effort of the federal Government with states and territories, advocates and younger people themselves, towards the targets established in response to the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care.
“The aged care system was designed to best support the needs of senior Australians, not younger people,” he said.
Mr. Colbeck said it was clear activities being progressed by the Government, in collaboration with state and territory governments, sector stakeholders and younger people themselves, were contributing to significant reductions in the number of younger people entering, and living in, residential aged care.
Senator Reynolds said younger people living in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care, are being supported to exercise genuine choice and control.
“We want younger people to have the care and support they need to live life on their terms and although there is more work to be done, we are making positive progress,” she said.