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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 464..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

Younger people enter residential aged care services for a variety of reasons—for example, the occurrence of a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or progressive neurological diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis. Younger people are vulnerable to entering residential aged care when they require high quality medical and nursing care. Their needs are complex, crossing the medical, disability and rehabilitation aged service systems. In these circumstances people need responses quickly. Sometimes they are looking for an option that enables them to remain living close to family, and this includes young people with intellectual disabilities who move into residential aged care services with their ageing parent.

Members will note from the figures I gave earlier that the number of people aged 50 years or under living in residential aged care in the ACT is very low—four people currently—and this reflects the established commitment of our government to establish alternative options for people in the ACT with high and complex needs.

Last year Disability ACT established a supported accommodation service for young men with acquired brain injury. Of these men, one was residing in an aged care service and two were supported at home by ageing parents. The life experience by these men now will be vastly different from what they would have experienced in residential aged care.

Disability ACT also provides a number of services and supports to younger people with disabilities who would otherwise be at risk of entering residential aged care. This includes four households established within its individual support services specifically for people with high and complex needs.

We also contribute $8.3 million annually through individual support packages to enable younger people to live within the community with the supports they need. I would also acknowledge the work of Centacare and Koomarri, which receive $1.3 million and $900,000 respectively to provide supported accommodation and therapeutic rehabilitation options to a further 20 younger people who would otherwise reside in aged care facilities.

Clearly, there is more to be done to ensure our capacity to continue to meet the needs of younger people with high and complex clinical needs at risk of entering the aged care system in the future. The new young people in residential aged care program provides the impetus for this work, and I know that across government agencies responsible for disability services and health care, including community care, aged care and rehab, are now working together to develop alternative pathways to residential aged care admission for people in these categories. I commend this bilateral funding agreement with the Australian government to the Assembly.


Mr Hargreaves presented the following paper:

National Environment Protection Council Act, pursuant to subsection 23(3)—National Environment Protection Council—annual report 2005-2006.

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