The Summer Foundation and Monash University conducted interviews with 68 people with disabilities and families who received services through the five-year Victorian Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) initiative.
“This study shows that moving out of nursing homes enriches the lives of young people with disability. They go outside more often, have more opportunities to make everyday choices, have greater social interaction and spend fewer hours in bed,” Summer Foundation CEO Dr Di Winkler said.
“When I was told I had the opportunity to move out of a nursing home I couldn’t wait… It was great to get out,” said 33 year-old Nicole.
“Now I am in my new home with other young people. I can talk. I can go to bed when I want. I can eat when I want to. I have got my own space… If I want to go outside I can go out now. It’s so different here to the nursing home – I wanted to get out. I couldn’t, I was locked in… The doors were locked.”
In 2006 the federal, state and territory governments funded a $244 million National YPIRAC program that ended in June 2011. In 2006 there were 1014 people aged under 50 in nursing homes. By May 2011, 621 young people remained in nursing homes.
“Whilst this program has made a tremendous difference to the lives of people who received funding to either stop them going into a nursing home or moved them out, there are no new packages available to prevent new admissions of young people to nursing homes,” said Dr Winkler.
“Although it is expected the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide the funding for the support this target group needs to be able to live in the community, it will not address the chronic shortage of housing options for young people in nursing homes.”