The increasing concern about the accommodation and support needs of people with disabilities who are ageing was a major issue identified by delegates attending the 2012 Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference. In response, DARU hosted this forum on 11 September 2012 where over 60 participants came together to explore:
- What happens to people with disabilities as they age?
- Ageing in place for people with disabilities
- What resources already exist?
Presentations were provided by:
- Prof. Barbara Bowers, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Long-term Care, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
- John Chesterman, Office of the Public Advocate
- David Craig, Acting CEO Council of the Aged
- Prof. Chris Bigby, Latrobe University
- Di Winkler, Summer Foundation
An open floor discussion followed the presentations. The issues and concerns identified included:
- The NDIS won’t bring the two sectors together
- NDIS won’t deliver services on the ground.
- The NDIS doesn’t come into play for a few years. I will be 65 years old by then and not eligible for the NDIS I need assistance now. What do I do where do I go?`
- NDIS needs to support people throughout their lives. Will it cut out at 65? (Clarity of lifetime support is required)
- The hospital is telling me/making decisions that my family member can’t come home and has to go to a nursing home and neither of us want this.
- The Aged and Disability sectors need to work more closely together. Get rid of silos. The functional needs of people with disabilities and people acquiring a disability because of the ageing process can be similar. Why have we created these divisions?
- Aged care and disability separation is purely based on funding streams. Can we address this? Which service system is more appropriate to deal with people with disabilities as they age?
- There are common issues for people in both sectors; lack of social connectedness; reliance on social housing and/or sharing with people we would not have chosen to live with and loss of control in decision-making processes
- The sectors have taken risk management to a point where people’s lives cannot be enriched by ‘normal’ experiences.
- End of life issues – Can people with disabilities die at home when home is a CRU?
- Ageing in place – do you want to age in place with residents you don’t get along with?
- For people with disabilities where are the retirement options?
- Some people with disabilities may prematurely age due to their disability – what should happen to them?
- There is a policy vacuum
- When should a person with a disability cross over from the disability to the aged care system?
A participant nominated to be a contact point for setting up a Steering Committee and interested people could link in to discuss a ‘Terms of Reference’ for the group. DARU agreed to pass on session outcomes to Disability Advocacy Victoria (DAV), the peak body for disability advocacy agencies in Victoria, for further discussion and development of the identified issues.Download presentation by Prof. barbara bowersDownload Presentation by John ChestermanDownload Presentation by Prof. Chris BigbyDownload Presentation by Di Winkler