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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Govt pledges $10 million to reduce number of younger people in residential aged care

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The Federal Government has announced funding aimed at reducing the number of younger people living in residential aged care.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck and Minister for Government Services, Linda Reynolds said the Government is investing $10.1 million in a national network to help younger people and their families find age-appropriate accommodation and additional support.

“The aged care system was designed to best support the needs of senior Australians, not younger people,” Colbeck said in a statement.

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

As part of the 2020–21 Budget, the Morrison Government committed to funding a national network of up to 40 Younger People in Residential Aged Care System Coordinators.

Reynolds said thanks to a recent competitive grant opportunity, Ability First Australia will bring knowledge, skills and expertise to the table.

“Ability First will work with younger people and their families to help them access disability services, health services, housing and social supports,” Reynolds said.

“This will ensure younger people who want to live on their own terms and with independence in the community will have the support they need to live their best life.”

Ability First Australia is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit strategic alliances, with 14 member organisations working across all states and territories.

Its members have expertise in supporting and advocating for people with disability.

In its initial response to the Royal Commission Interim Report, the Morrison Government announced strengthened younger people in residential aged care targets and an intention to develop a strategy to meet those targets.

Apart from exceptional circumstances, the Government says it is committed to ensuring:

  • Nobody under the age of 65 enters residential aged care by the end of 2022;
  • No one under the age of 45 is living in residential aged care by the end of 2022; and
  • No people under the age of 65 are living in residential aged care by the end of 2025.

Colbeck said the latest steps illustrated the Government’s ongoing commitment to providing better options for what can be a deeply emotional and complex issue.

“We know the impact this can have on individuals and their families who have too often been left with no other choice,” he said.

More information about the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020–2025 can be found on the Department of Social Services website.

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