September 14, 2023
On 30 June 2022, there were 2,423 people with a disability aged under 65 living in permanent Residential Aged Care (RAC) in Australia (Australian Government - Department of Social Services). To most of us, this is a shocking statistic and probably one that is rarely thought about unless you or your loved one ends up in a RAC.
RAC facilities are designed to provide care for older people as they head towards the end of life, not a home for a young person with disability.
The Australian Government is working to reduce the number of younger people (under 65) with disability going into RAC. An issue that is referred to as Young People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC). Assistance is also being provided to YPIRAC to move into age-appropriate accommodation with the support they need. It is a highly complex issue that requires conversations with individuals, their families/guardians and Support Coordinators across the disability, aged care, health and housing sectors.
The NDIS has committed to giving YPIRAC a choice about where they live in an environment better suited to their interests and needs. We believe this is in a home and community where they can live an enriched and full life doing things they love.
If you are a YPIRAC and live with a permanent disability, you might be eligible to access the NDIS. The NDIS provides funding for various supports to access accommodation, pay some RAC fees and other disability-specific supports and services.
Ability First Australia (AFA) System Coordinators can help you test your eligibility for the NDIS. If you're not eligible for the NDIS, they can also help you explore other care and housing AFA options.
Once the NDIS has approved your application and funding is in your plan, your YIPRAC System Coordinator will make a recommendation for a Support Coordinator. They will assist you on your journey organising support, exploring housing options and managing any therapies you may need, to fulfil your goals and help you to exit from RAC.
Helping a younger person exit from RAC can be a complex process and requires a Support Coordinator with the appropriate experience in this area. As a Support Coordinator with My Ability Pathway, it is a privilege to help people on their journey to achieve their goals and exit the RAC system to live their lives how they want to.
Working through the transition from RAC to supported independent living can often be a time of extreme worry and anxiety for the younger person and their families. It is essential to have empathy and understanding, focusing on the individuals’ goals and wishes. With the proper support, the journey can give the dignity of choice and control to YPIRAC, resulting in the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and wishes.
Karen Healey - Support Coordinator
For more information follow the links below.