Most people receiving care in residential aged care facilities are older Australians. However, in some cases a person younger than 65 years, sometimes much younger than this, receive care in residential aged care services as there may be no other suitable accommodation to meet their needs.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) indicates that, as of 1 July 2018, there are around 6,000 people under 65 years of age living in aged care facilities in Australia1. The AIHW also reports that the number of younger people entering aged care has remained relatively stable over some years2.
The Australian Government is committed to minimising the need for younger people to live in aged care facilities. The Government is taking actions to reduce the number of younger people aged under 65 who need to live in aged care and to help them access more age-appropriate housing and supported living options.
On 22 March 2019 the Government announced it had developed a national action plan to take concrete actions to reduce the number of younger people living in aged care and to help them access more age appropriate housing and supported living options. The Department of Social Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme are managing the action plan.
The action plan has the following goals:
- support those already living in aged care aged under 45 to find alternative, age-appropriate housing and supports by 2022, if this is their goal
- support those already living in aged care aged under 65 to find alternative, age appropriate housing and supports by 2025, if this is their goal; and
- halve the number of younger people aged under 65 years of age entering aged care by 2025.
Where can I get more information?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency, whose role is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which will support a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability and their families and carers. Some of these people may be supported in residential aged care facilities.
Residential aged care providers have the same responsibilities towards NDIS participants as they do to other residents who receive services and supports under the Aged Care Act 1997.
Residential aged care providers which are registered NDIS providers have additional requirements to support NDIS participants in residential aged care.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) also has information for younger people in residential aged care who may be eligible for NDIS supports and services.
The Department of Health has additional information on younger people in residential aged care, in particular in relation to National Disability Insurance Scheme eligibility.
The Department of Social Services has additional information on younger people in residential aged care and younger people with a disability in residential aged care.
Peak body for young people in aged care
Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance is Australia's first peak body for young Australians living in aged care facilities (or at risk of placement there) with a disability, who also may have high and complex support needs.
Parliamentary Inquiry into Quality and equity in aged care 2005
In 2005, the Senate References Committee tabled its report following an inquiry into Quality and equity in aged care. The report was tabled on 23 June 2005 and Chapter 4 focuses on Young people in residential aged care facilities.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
The AIHW holds valuable data on many health and welfare issues and topics, widely used by government, researchers, policymakers and the community for the betterment of all Australians. The following links provide data and additional information about younger people in aged care.