Younger People in Residential Aged Care
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring no younger person (under the age of 65) lives in residential aged care unless there are exceptional circumstances.
On 25 November 2019, in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety interim report, Neglect, the Australian Government announced strengthened Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) targets and an intention to develop a strategy to meet those targets.
The Australian Government's YPIRAC targets, apart from in exceptional circumstances, seek to ensure there are:
- no people under the age of 65 entering residential aged care by 2022;
- no people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care by 2022; and
- no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025.
The YPIRAC Strategy 2020-25 (the Strategy) was released on 30 September 2020.
The Strategy covers all younger people under the age of 65 living in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care, including providing choice to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people between 50 and 64 years of age who are eligible for the aged care system.
The Strategy includes four priority areas to give younger people greater choice and control over where they live and what supports they need to either transition out of, or avoid entering, residential aged care. They are:
- Priority 1: Understanding younger people and systems
- Priority 2: Improving the systems
- Priority 3: Creating options
- Priority 4: Supporting change
These four priority areas have been identified as critical to achieving the YPIRAC targets by:
- Preventing younger people from entering residential aged care;
- Supporting younger people to leave residential aged care; and
- Supporting younger people while they are in residential aged care.
The Strategy builds on the 2019 YPIRAC Action Plan and will extend and improve upon previous initiatives.
What we need to do
Achieving the Government's YPIRAC targets will take collaborative engagement and positive contribution from a variety of stakeholders as well as government at all levels. Stakeholders working with the Department of Social Services, Department of Health, and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) include:
- people with disability, their families, carers and supporters;
- state and territory governments;
- providers and investors in the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) market; and
- other stakeholders including service providers and advocates.
The Government will work closely with stakeholders to implement the Strategy and develop and monitor actions that support younger people in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care.
As part of the Strategy, the Government has committed to publishing a report each year with detailed data and analysis, and information about the progress of activities to assist in achieving the YPIRAC targets.
The Annual Report shows that in the 12 months to 30 June 2021, there was a:
- 43 per cent reduction in the number of younger people entering residential aged care (712) when compared to the prior 12 month period (1,250);
- 23 per cent reduction in the number of people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care from 130 to 100; and
- 20 per cent reduction in people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care from 4,858 to 3,899 residents.
The Annual Report also highlights a number of actions that have already been implemented to assist in meeting the YPIRAC targets, including expanding the number of dedicated YPIRAC Planners to ensure NDIS participants have the support they need to reach their home and living goals.
Specialist Disability Accommodation
On 18 June 2020, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) announced further reforms to improve SDA for eligible NDIS participants. These reforms build further upon reforms announced on 8 February 2019 that were to provide improved access to SDA for eligible NDIS participants.
Other relevant YPIRAC information
Residential Aged Care – 1 December 2020 changes
NDIS participants in residential aged care should receive the same NDIS regulatory protections as those in other living environments. On 1 December 2020, all residential aged care (RAC) providers supporting NDIS participants on a permanent basis (excludes respite and transition care) automatically became registered NDIS providers. RAC providers supporting NDIS participants are required to meet the obligations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and the NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018 in relation to the NDIS participants they support. Transitional arrangements are in place to support the transition, covering phased registration renewal and audits, modified practice standards until registration renewal, worker screening, and behaviour support.
For more information on the RAC changes visit www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/participants-residential-aged-care.
For more information regarding the NDIS, go to www.ndis.gov.au/
For more information
For more information about the pathways available to younger people living in Residential Aged Care please see the below resources: