08:58pm Wednesday 22 January 2020

Young people in nursing homes isolated and disadvantaged

The NDIS will not address the significant shortfall of accessible and affordable housing for people with significant and permanent disability.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an important disability reform, but a report released today shows the scheme alone cannot resolve the issue of young people living in nursing homes.

The report, released today by the Summer Foundation and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has projected the number of young people living in nursing homes in the three NDIS launch sites that will provide funding to all people aged under 65 over the next four years – the ACT, the Barwon region in Victoria, and the Hunter region in New South Wales. 

The report, NDIS Launch Sites: Projection of Number of Young People in Residential Aged Care, provided an estimate of the unmet needs and resources required for housing and support in the NDIS launch sites.

It projected that although the NDIS will have been operational in the NDIS launch sites for three years, there will be an additional 40 young people living in nursing homes in these launch sites by June 2016. 

Report co-author, Summer Foundation CEO Dr Di Winkler, Adjunct Research Associate in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Monash University, said there was an urgent need for a significant increase in the scale and range of accessible and affordable housing for people with disability. 

“The NDIS is a crucial part of the solution to the issue of young people in nursing homes and will provide the funding for disability supports that this group needs to live in the community,” Dr Winkler said. 

“However, we anticipate that very few young people will move out of nursing homes in the launch sites because there is no where to move to. There is a desperate need for more affordable and accessible housing options for people with disability. Housing for people with disability is still the responsibility of public and community housing.”

Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, author of the Foreword to the Report, said once the NDIS was fully operational, the problem will become the dearth of accessible and affordable housing.

“The community housing sector needs to get ready to meet the needs of young people in aged care nursing homes, and the tens of thousands of other people with disability who will have funding for support, but no housing to live in,” Mr Innes said.

Monash University.

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