Program helps younger people with disability find appropriate accommodation

An estimated 1,141 people have been helped by the Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) program during its four years of operation to 2009–10, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The YPIRAC program is a 5-year initiative agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments in 2006. It aims to reduce the number of younger people (those aged under 65 years) with disability who are living in residential aged care.

‘Since the YPIRAC program began, the number of people under 50—the program’s initial priority group—who have been admitted to residential aged care has fallen by 22%,’ said AIHW spokesperson Nigel Harding.

‘There has also been a 29% reduction in the number of people under 50 living in residential aged care.

‘Facilities designed for younger people with disability can be difficult to find, and sometimes they end up in accommodation that is not really suitable, such as residential aged care.’

The most common reason YPIRAC service users gave for living in residential aged care was the lack of appropriate alternative accommodation (39%). Nearly 20% of those in residential aged care reported they were satisfied with the accommodation but needed additional services and a further 7% indicated appropriate disability support services were unavailable. However, 23% were satisfied with current accommodation and services.

‘The YPIRAC program is about moving younger people out of residential aged care and into more appropriate accommodation, while also ensuring those who do remain in these facilities receive care that is suitable,’ Mr Harding said.

‘Over the four years to 2009-10, around 139 people under the age of 65 years moved out of residential aged care and into accommodation that better suits their situation.

‘A further 207 were successfully diverted away from entering residential aged care, and over 400 people received enhanced services while remaining in residential aged care.’

The services provided by the YPIRAC program include accommodation services, provision of assistive products and technology, respite care, therapy support and personal care.

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, 21 July 2011

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

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer 02 6244 1032