I was pleased to know that the government will be giving younger people currently accessing aged care services a New Year boost with supports through the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Scheme for those that are eligible. Younger people needing the level of care an aged care facility provides have not always been well catered to in terms of their extra needs, particularly social. The government has stated that the NDIS is designed to provide support for people with a disability, their carers and families and will provide all Australians under 65 with a permanent and significant disability with reasonable and necessary support to enable them to live an ordinary life.
Sometimes younger people need to live in a residential aged care home if they cannot access alternative housing and care due to their high-level care needs. Unfortunately, in the past, this has not always been the most appropriate place for them to reside so, as a Placement Specialist, I was glad to see that the NDIS will now address their specific needs and provide the types of assistance they need to access the community and their own aged group.
Supports the NDIS provide could include access to the community, therapy services, personal care and support and essential equipment. Assistance available from the NDIS for those eligible under 65 years of age living in residential aged care includes:
• The opportunity to explore goals.
• Financial assistance with care-related costs that are charged by an aged care provider (excluding daily living expenses).
• Support to enable access to social, civic and community activities and to keep up informal support networks with family, friends and carers.
• Therapies (e.g. occupational therapy, speech pathology and physiotherapy) which have been shown to improve independence.
• Help to acquire specialised equipment in the case of an on-going functional impairment, if it’s not part of the residential aged care package. Also can be provided as part of treatment of a medical condition.
The NDIS is currently being rolled out in Barwon, North Eastern Melbourne and the Central Highlands in Victoria, as well as in particular locations in other states. An NDIS Rep will contact those eligible already in residential care (or their nominated representative) directly to discuss their needs and goals.
Jillian Slade is a Placement Consultant, specialising in finding suitable aged care accommodation for those in need of high level care.