An update on Young People in Residential Aged Care

Mar 15 / Vivien Williams

Imagine being a vibrant young person, full of goals and aspirations for the future, only to find yourself living in a nursing home, a setting you feel is not appropriate for how you want to live. This is the reality for far too many young Australians with disabilities.

This blog touches on the intersection of NDIS and young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC), exploring the current statistics from the recent NDIS quarterly report and identifies services to assist YPIRAC and supporters.

As of December 31, 2023, there were 1,433 NDIS participants aged under 65 living in Residential Aged Care (RAC), including 29 participants under the age of 45. Of these participants, a total of 475 have identified a goal of leaving Residential Aged Care facilities. . Those individuals who have this goal often depend upon systems that do not adequately support them in achieving this goal.

RAC providers supporting NDIS participants were required to become registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from 1 December 2020. On 31 October 2022 the NDIS commission wrote to RAC providers supporting NDIS participants to share that the NDIS commission had developed tools, resources and webinars to assist RAC providers to meet the NDIS commission registration process. The letter also stated that RAC providers supporting NDIS participants are subject to regulation by both NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Aged Care Quality and Safeguards Commission. Renewals would take place prior to their certificate of registration expiring and transitioning providers had 9 months to complete the full renewal process.

As a result of the additional registration requirements across both the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Aged Care Quality and Safeguards Commission, some RAC providers are choosing to not renew their NDIS registration. This has resulted in a number of NDIS participants being told that they need to move out of the RAC facility or give up their NDIS Participant status.

This is likely to continue to happen when the new Aged Care Act comes into effect in July 2024. 
While the government has made a commitment to ensuring that no person under the aged of 65 is living in RAC facilities by 2025, some NDIS participants may exercise their choice and control to stay living in their familiar RAC facility. 

It is important that eligible NDIS participants choosing to stay in RAC facilities remain on the scheme in order to receive reasonable and necessary support funded through the NDIS.

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Are you supporting a YPIRAC? Here is what you can do:

  • Let them know about what is happening now so they can start to make an informed decision when the Aged Care Act changes come into effect in July 2024.
  • Contact the Housing Hub's NDIS Housing Advice Line on 1300 61 64 63
  • Refer to our free specialist service, Aged Care to Home
  • Attend our training Best Practice: NDIS and Aged Care to gain further understand on the interface

Bridging this interface requires collaboration and coordination between NDIS providers, aged care facilities, and government agencies. 

Check out the Collaborative support approach resource here.

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