MS Australia welcomes the release by the Australian Government of the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020-25 and also the Government’s budget commitment of $10.6m to establish a national network of system coordinators to help younger people find age-appropriate housing, disability supports, health services and social supports that will allow them to live in the community.
MSA has been advocating to get young people out of residential aged care for years, working with other peak bodies that share this common goal, making submissions and lobbying wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. Our advocacy objective to “Stop young people entering residential aged care” remains a fundamental pillar of our Roadmap to Support People with MS Living with Disability.
The Strategy outlines four priorities along with concrete actions to meet the Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YIPRAC) targets announced in response to the Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report released late last year. The targets 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
- no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025
The four priorities identified in the Strategy are:
- meeting the needs of younger people and giving greater choice and control
- improving pathways and linkages across the disability, aged care, housing and health systems
- providing age-appropriate accommodation and ongoing support options
- informing younger people of choices and supporting them to achieve their goals
The priorities are intended to meet the YIPRAC targets by:
- Preventing younger people from entering residential aged care;
- Supporting younger people to leave residential aged care; and
- Supporting younger people while they are in residential aged care.
In recent years, we have been encouraged to see the number of younger people with MS living in residential aged care falling in each state and territory. We will keep working hard to get these numbers to zero! We are optimistic that this new Strategy and associated funding will help us reach the destination in our Roadmap faster!