The federal government has unveiled a plan to reduce the number of younger people living in residential aged care facilities.

The plan was outlined by the Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, at the Specialist Disability Accommodation conference.

Number of people under 65 entering aged care to halve

The Government’s plan is to help all those under the age of 45 who are living in aged care facilities to find alternative housing by 2022, if they wish to move.

For those living in aged care aged under 65, the government will find appropriate housing by 2025.

The government has also committed to having the number of people under the age of 65 entering aged care by 2025.

6,000 young Australians living in aged care

In a statement, Mr Fletcher and Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, said it is unacceptable that nearly 6,000 young Australians, almost 200 under the age of 45, are living in residential age care facilities.

“The Morrison Government recognises the aged care system is designed to support the needs of older people. It is not designed or necessarily well-equipped to meet all of the needs a younger person with disability may have,” Mr Fletcher said.

“This practical plan with concrete actions is designed to dramatically reduce the number of younger people aged under 65 needing to live in aged care,” Mr Fletcher said.

“But we will not stop there; beyond 2025, we will continue our work to minimise to the fullest extent possible the number of younger people under 65 years of age entering and living in aged care,” he said.

NDIS increasing the capacity of young people to live in the community

Ms Henderson said the NDIS will help people to increase their capacity to live in the community, opening up more options to them.

“The National Disability Insurance Agency’s new Complex Support Needs Pathway will provide specialised support to all younger people in residential aged care,” Ms Henderson said.

“NDIA planners will work with younger NDIS participants and their families as a priority to look at housing options and include funding for home modifications or SDA where required,” she said.

“By July 2020, younger eligible NDIS participants in aged care will have their appropriate SDA type recorded in their plans so they can receive a budget for SDA before they have found a property.

“With the goodwill and co-operation of all stakeholders and building on the reforms to SDA we have recently announced, I believe these goals are realistic and achievable,” said Ms Henderson.

To find out more read the government’s ‘Younger People in Residential Aged Care – Action Plan’.

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