Suitable care needed for disabled young
Jock Watson spent most of his 20s in a nursing
home after a car accident left him with an acquired brain injury,
meaning he needed constant care.
While fellow residents tried to engage the young man in their
bingo games and sing-a-longs, it was an isolating experience.
''He spent much of his time in his own room,'' said his mother
''For Jock it was looking out on a world which is not reflective
of his normal milieu. He was with people 60 years his senior. There
were no activities for younger people because the nursing homes
aren't set up to provide those services. They are there to nurse
Mr Watson, 30, recently moved into supported accommodation for the
disabled in Caringbah where residents are closer to his age. ''It's
a significant improvement on the aged care facility, just … having
younger people around him,'' Ms Watson said. ''A nursing home is
for people who are at the end of their lives.''
But age-appropriate accommodation is in short supply and more than
7500 young Australians with disabilities live in residential aged
While they will receive funding under the national disability
insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, the peak group
representing them has raised concerns about whether there will be
suitable accommodation available when the scheme starts in
Youngcare general manager Anna Cox believes DisabilityCare
Australia will only solve one part of the problem.
''It will put a funding package in everyone's hands that is
sufficient to get them out of aged care and to find themselves more
appropriate accommodation,'' she said. ''Worst case scenario,
there's a cheque in everyone's hand, off they go, where do they go?
They'll be left in aged care.''
Youngcare estimates about one-third of younger people in aged care
might return to live with their families with the support of
funding from DisabilityCare Australia, leaving 5000 people needing
age appropriate accommodation.
References and further information