Jan 9, 2014

Young people stuck in nursing homes need more than the NDIS

Suitable accommodation for younger people with disabilities is hard to come by, writes Crikey intern Broede Carmody, and the NDIS won't provide an answer.

young man in wheelchair

A lack of suitable accommodation tops the list of problems faced by younger people living with disabilities, according to new research, with thousands of Australians under the age of 60 languishing in nursing homes indefinitely and many others in housing inadequate for their needs. The survey, conducted by the Summer Foundation and Empirica Research, also found an overwhelming majority of Australians believe the government should be taking more steps to resolve the issue.

It’s estimated there are around 3500 people under the age of 60 currently living in nursing homes across the country. It’s difficult to know the exact number of those who are under 30, as the Department of Health and Ageing has suppressed some figures in order to protect the privacy of individuals. What is known, though, is that those who are in nursing homes are often excluded from the community.

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One thought on “Young people stuck in nursing homes need more than the NDIS

  1. graybul

    Up until the early 1980’s, young disabled persons were accommodated in the Old Darwin Hospital in the same wards as aged persons, many of whom suffered dementia and related behavioural disabilities.
    The Northern Territory Govt. of the day, far in advance of other States and Territories, committed to relocate all younger persons, all of whom had what was then considered, severe disabilities requiring full-time medical oversight.
    Somerville Community Services Inc., an agency of the Uniting Church, made available a number of five bedroom residences scattered across Darwin. Every young disabled person moved from the Hospital into Community living units.
    Two things happened. The then medical model, often reliant upon chemical restraint, was abandoned and, the disabled young people were re-introduced to full membership within Community, including access and participation. A transformation of their lives!
    It can be done. Should be done. Must be done! The single impediment is political Will!

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