Social inclusion of young people living in residential aged care

2017-02-09T05:17:28Z (GMT) by Winkler, Dianne Fay
In 2006 Australian federal and state governments commenced a five-year, $244 million national program called Younger People with Disabilities in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC). This program aims to reduce the total number of people under 50 years living in aged care from 1000 to less than 400. The social exclusion of young people placed in residential aged care (RAC) has emerged as social justice issue in Australia over the past two decades. The purpose of this research was to identify the characteristics, needs and social inclusion of this group to provide direction for interventions and policies that bring young people in RAC back into the mainstream of society. Social inclusion describes the ideal situation where people have the opportunities and support they need to participate in community life, access goods and services, develop their own potential and be treated with dignity and respect. When this research commenced in late 2004, very little was known about young people living in RAC and there was no program or plan to move young people out of RAC or prevent new admissions. This body of research provides an evidence base for the implementation of the current national program and future service development for this target group. Chapter One summarises the historical background of the issue of young people in RAC and describes the impetus for this research. Chapter Two contains a literature review and outlines the theoretical frameworks that underpin this research. Chapter Three is a descriptive study that documented the characteristics and support needs of 330 people under the age of 60 living in RAC in Victoria (Winkler, Farnworth, & Sloan, 2006). Chapter Four is a qualitative study that obtained the perspectives of young people with acquired brain injury (ABI) who had moved from living in RAC to the community within the past two years (Winkler, Farnworth, Sloan, & Brown, 2011). Chapter Five contains the third study in this thesis and describes the characteristics, needs and preferences of 61 people under 50 years of age with an ABI living in RAC in Victoria (Winkler, Farnworth, Sloan & Brown, 2010). The fourth study in Chapter Six involved a survey of shared supported accommodation (SSA) services for people with ABI in Victoria (Winkler, Farnworth, Sloan, Brown, & Callaway, 2010). The final study examined the progress and impact of the national YPIRAC program which commenced in July 2006 (Winkler, Farnworth, Sloan, & Brown, 2011). This thesis has demonstrated that, for young people with high care needs, RAC is not the only option and they can be supported to live in more age-appropriate settings where social inclusion can be fostered. These studies provide an evidence base for the development of alternate accommodation options for this target group and the services required to prevent new admissions to RAC. The findings also provide a basis for the development of further research to examine the health and well-being outcomes of people who change accommodation as part of the current national YPIRAC program.