Falling through the cracks
Over 4,100 people with disability under the age of 65 currently live in Australian nursing homes, because they have fallen through the cracks between the hospital, disability and housing services. These people, referred to as ‘Younger People in Residential Aged Care’, have the right, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to ‘choose their residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others.’
Younger residents have very different needs from elderly residents and aged care facilities do not have the resources or expertise to support them. There is growing evidence regarding the negative impact on health and wellbeing of placing young people into aged care. A recent review of international literature found that aged care facilities are unable to meet the basic human needs of younger people. The lives of Younger People in Residential Aged Care are characterised by boredom, loneliness, and grief. They are denied many of the everyday choices that many people take for granted – where to live, who to live with, what to eat, and when.
Younger People in Residential Aged Care is a wicked problem that can only be solved by working across sectors and at the interface between hospitals, housing, primary health, aged care and disability
Read this blog from Dr Di Winkler, centering on younger people in residential aged care. Available here…
Federal Government: Younger people in residential aged care: Strategy 2020-25
The Summer Foundation: Disability Research Collection on behalf of the National Disability Research Partnership.