New funding and support strategy for younger people living in aged care

The Morrison Government today announced new funding and a strategy for reducing the number of younger people living in residential aged care.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, and Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator Richard Colbeck said the initiative includes $10.6m in the 2020-21 Budget for a national network of system coordinators to help younger people find age-appropriate accommodation and supports to allow them to live independently in the community.

Minister Robert said the Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) Strategy 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 Morrison Government is committed to ensuring no younger person needs to live in residential aged care,’ Mr Robert said.

The YPIRAC targets seek to ensure, apart from in exceptional circumstances, there are 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; and no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025.

‘The experiences and needs of younger people living in residential aged care, their families and carers, are central to this strategy,’ Mr Robert said.

‘It 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.

‘These 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.

‘Under the NDIS, we have seen significant progress in reducing the number of participants in residential aged care.”

From the launch of the Government’s YPIRAC Action Plan (March quarter 2019) to 30 June 2020, there has been a 39 per cent reduction in younger people entering residential aged care from 407 to 247, a 22 per cent reduction in people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care from 167 to 130, and a 15 per cent reduction in people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care from 5,715 to 4,860.

Minister Colbeck said the system coordinator initiative, funded in the 2020-21 Budget, will assist the Government to achieve and report against the targets in the YPIRAC Strategy.

‘As part of the 2020-21 Budget, the Government is establishing a national network of up to 40 system coordinators to directly help younger people living in, or at risk of entry to, residential aged care,’ Senator Colbeck said.

‘People who want to live on their own terms and with independence in the community will be supported to navigate Commonwealth and state and territory systems.

‘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.’

The Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020-2025 can be found here:

www.dss.gov.au/ypirac.

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