The Guardian 9 February, 2005

Shocking lack of facilities

Every day on average in Australia a young person with a disability goes to live in an aged care facility. It is a shocking figure made worse by the fact that some of these people are younger than 10 years of age.

The reason they are forced to accept a bed in an aged care facility is due to the lack of alternative accommodation to address their high or complex care needs.

Many of these young people have sustained catastrophic injuries in situations where compensation is not available.

Some have developed degenerative neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy.

At the current rate of entry there will be over 10,000 young people living in aged care facilities by 2007.

One organisation, the National Alliance of Young People in Nursing Homes (YPINH), is leading the fight to stop this flood of people into aged care and to find alternative accommodation and care for them.

But the struggle is made harder by the fact that no information is available from the Federal Government documenting which facilities these young people are living.

YPINH is calling for union members across the country who know of a young person in an aged care facility or facing the possibility to urge them and their family to get in touch with the Alliance (see contacts below).

The Health Services Union is supporting YPINH in its efforts to get young people out of nursing homes.

People who have information about a young person living in a nursing home or who want to get in touch with Young People in Nursing Homes can call 03 94825655 or email Bronwyn Morkham

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