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An estimated 1,432 younger people with disability have been helped in the past 5 years by a program aimed at reducing the number of people with disability aged under 65 who live in residential aged care, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Younger people with disability in residential aged care: 2010–11, was released today (Thursday 26 April) in Melbourne by Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers.

The report shows the number of service users increased steadily over the five years of the Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) program.

‘Of these, an estimated 250 achieved the first YPIRAC objective—to move out of residential aged care and into more appropriate accommodation,’ said AIHW spokesperson Nigel Harding.

A further 244 people achieved the second objective, and were diverted away from residential aged care, while another 456 people achieved the third YPIRAC objective—receiving enhanced services within residential aged care, when this was an available, suitable accommodation option.

The remaining program participants received YPIRAC assessment and/or monitoring.

Over the life of the YPIRAC program, the total number of permanent residents of residential aged care aged under 65 fell.

‘In particular, there has been a 35% drop in the number of people under 50 living in permanent aged care since 2005–06,’ Mr Harding said.

Of the around 1,100 people who received services under the program in 2010–11, just under two-thirds were aged under 50, which is the initial primary priority group of the initiative.

Nearly half (45%) of YPIRAC service users in 2010–11 reported a primary disability group of ‘acquired brain injury’. Another 30% reported ‘neurological’ as their primary disability group.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare.

Canberra, 23 April 2012

Further information: Mr Nigel Harding, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1025, mob. 0409 307 671

Full report: Younger people with disability in residential aged care: 2010-11