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Ground broken to get the young persons with a disability out of Aged Care

By 15 July 2009 18

It’s been to Australia’s shame that for many years now young people with severe disability have been shoved into aged care facilities and promptly forgotten. If your idea of fun is playing Halo 3 with the volume all the way up there can be issues with fitting in.

The ACT Minister for Disability and Community Services, Mr John Hargreaves, informs us that we’re finally making progress into fixing this problem.

    Construction has commenced today of a new home for four younger people currently living in aged care facilities in the ACT.

    The ACT Minister for Disability and Community Services Mr John Hargreaves and the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Children’s Services, Mr Bill Shorten have turned the first sod to mark the occasion.

    “The home is centrally located in Narrabundah, ensuring close access to a range of social and recreational opportunities, public transport, medical and community support services,” Mr Hargreaves said.

    “The design has taken advantage of the beautiful natural landscape and will be energy efficient and environmentally sensitive.

    “The new service will not only provide future residents with a place to live, but also a home. The support model will enable each resident to live as independently as possible, while ensuring their often high basic care needs are met.

If you know an under-55 currently in aged care (or indeed if you are one), Mr Hargreaves is promising someone will write by mid November to see if a move to the new facility is desired. Or email: disabilityact.@act.gov.au

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18 Responses to Ground broken to get the young persons with a disability out of Aged Care
#1
willo2:00 pm, 15 Jul 09

well that’ a start…..

#2
Peppablack3:08 pm, 15 Jul 09

Construction has commenced today of a new home for four younger people currently living in aged care facilities in the ACT.

Well……nice to know that he’s looking after 4 people….what about the rest???? What about those people with a disability and are living at home supported by family. You have to wake up Mr Hargreaves and look at the remaining people with disabilties who are supported at home and realise that the rest of the majority are missing out, and are not one of the lucky four you are housing.

You still haven’t got my vote

#3
Granny3:23 pm, 15 Jul 09

They have to start somewhere, and they deserve to be thanked for what they do right as they suffer enough criticism when they get it wrong.

Even politicians should be able to win sometimes.

I am very happy for these four young people and their families.

A precedent is being set. Others will follow. One day it will be business as usual.

It will be ok, Peppablack. I know it has been too long coming, but one day it will be your turn and I will be cheering and celebrating for you also.

: )

#4
housebound6:55 pm, 15 Jul 09

Grateful for the crumbs they drop for the few. Waiting for more. A serious committment wouldn’t be limited to only four, or is that it in the ACT?

#5
Granny6:58 pm, 15 Jul 09

If you thank them for the crumbs, perhaps they will give you a slice. If you beat them up for what has been given, why would they bother giving again?

#6
gun street girl7:04 pm, 15 Jul 09

Granny said :

…why would they bother giving again?

Heaven forbid, because it’s the right thing to do. Shoot me for expecting a government agency to provide adequate service without having people beg for it.

#7
cranky7:16 pm, 15 Jul 09

At a million dollars (as reported by WIN tonight), this facility does sound pretty expensive.

I’m all for this project, but would love to see at least a doubling of places for the expenditure.

It costs about $4-500K for a McMansion (land not included), and accessibility should not add another $4-500K.

Value for money?

#8
Granny7:46 pm, 15 Jul 09

I most certainly don’t think we should have to beg.

I just think that it’s polite to thank people when they do something to help, regardless of whether it’s their job. I would thank my doctor if I went to see her in a medical capacity, despite the fact that it should be done anyway and she is paid to do it.

I also think that human beings all need a bit of encouragement from time to time. What can possibly be gained from throwing rocks at people for doing something wonderful for someone?

Also, everything to do with disability is expensive. I am not at all surprised at the cost of this facility.

#9
s-s-a9:13 pm, 15 Jul 09

It costs about $4-500K for a McMansion (land not included), and accessibility should not add another $4-500K.

In theory no. But hopefully this house is not just a group home for four young people – because if it is, then they are just building a smaller non-aged-care institution (IMO). Which may indeed be the case anyway.

Actually tThe plans are available here. It’s a house with four main bedrooms, two large bathrooms, an additional “guest” room (presumably staff will sleep over) and toilet, two living areas, dining, kitchen, laundry and storage. Add on landscaping and other site works and you can see where the budget is going.

There is more info on the Disability ACT web site including the following:

As at April 2008, there were 68 people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care in the ACT. Of these, five were aged 50 or under, and twelve were aged 51 to 55. In the under 55 age group, four people have indicated they wish to move out of residential aged care.

The ACT Government has committed to move four people out of residential aged care into a community environment by 2011.

The proposed clients may have an acquired brain injury, a degenerative neurological disorder like Huntington’s Disease, or Multiple Sclerosis — with intellectual and physical disabilities that impact on their independence and limit their participation in the community.

So it appears they are building to accommodate the needs of 100% of the target audience who have indicated a desire to live in the community.

The community update attached says something about young people “at risk” of entering aged care, but I can’t see any scope for meeting increased demand.

Incidentally I completely agree with #2. If not for families providing the government with free care, the demand for accommodation like this would increase at a massive rate. In too many cases, there is no middle ground between getting inadequate support and moving a family member with a disability into residential care.

#10
Granny9:32 pm, 15 Jul 09

It looks really nice.

#11
farnarkler9:46 pm, 15 Jul 09

I wonder who decided on Narrabundah. It’s fine for proximity to Fyshwick and Manuka/Kingston but wouldn’t Civic have been a better place to build this type of accomodation or perhaps Woden with the hospital so close? It still seems to be a case of the government hiding these people away.

#12
gun street girl9:50 pm, 15 Jul 09

Why is building a facility in Narrabundah akin to hiding people away? It’s not as though they’re being sent out to the back of beyond…!

#13
willo10:03 pm, 15 Jul 09

farnarkler said :

I wonder who decided on Narrabundah. It’s fine for proximity to Fyshwick and Manuka/Kingston but wouldn’t Civic have been a better place to build this type of accomodation or perhaps Woden with the hospital so close? It still seems to be a case of the government hiding these people away.

there are already several similar Dact facilities in narrabundah and surrounding areas so perhaps it was chosen so that backup in the way of extra staff/disability friendly transport etc……

#14
willo10:04 pm, 15 Jul 09

“is close by”

#15
farnarkler10:17 pm, 15 Jul 09

If the occupants think Narrabundah is ok then fair enough.

#16
Roma11:03 pm, 15 Jul 09

I think the occupants will be happy to get out of the aged care facility and wont give a toss what suburb they are in. That comment seemed to really be splitting hairs.

Incidentally, I completely agree with Granny that positive and genuine steps forward should be encouraged and appreciated rather than taken as a cue to complain about all the things that have yet to be achieved.

#17
s-s-a1:05 am, 16 Jul 09

Nearest shops are Red Hill, nearly 1km away.

A big part of moving young people out of aged care is providing for social inclusion, so I hope like hell that this house won’t just be a different venue for people with severe disabilities to be parked in front of daytime TV – something I have seen all too much of (and something that can just as easily be done in a nursing home). If so, what a way to waste $1 million.

There is no mention of the money that’s going to be needed to provide support to these people on an ongoing basis. Nor the fact that if the government had pulled its finger out and provided support in the past (at a significantly lower level), they might not have ended up in nursing homes in the first place.

#18
Granny1:37 am, 16 Jul 09

s-s-a said :

There is no mention of the money that’s going to be needed to provide support to these people on an ongoing basis. Nor the fact that if the government had pulled its finger out and provided support in the past (at a significantly lower level), they might not have ended up in nursing homes in the first place.

Well, the past they can do nothing about …. Nothing.

I suppose they could pull out a couple of whips and flagellate themselves a little, but aside from that, what would you have them do?

How far back in history would you have them take responsibility for? The former government? Since federation? Since the first fleet?

It is clearly stated that:

“The house is an initiative of a national program, aimed at reducing the number of younger people living in, or entering, residential aged care.”

and that:

“This project will provide four young people with a home, and with the support they need to become involved in the broader community.”

I personally think The Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care initiative is a wonderful idea, and I wish it every success.

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