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Coalition Seeks To Move Young People Out Of Nursing Homes
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 16, 2004

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--There are 6,200 people under age 65 housed in Australia's nursing homes, according to a story in Wednesday's The Age.

"I just have physical problems," wrote 18-year-old Angela Barker, who has been in a nursing home for the past two years since she was beaten by a former boyfriend. "I think the same and want the same company and the same things as I always did."

The National Alliance of Young People in Nursing Homes, a coalition of service providers, families and friends, predicts that the number will jump to more than 10,000 within the next three years if action is not taken.

In a document it submitted to the Senate Inquiry into Aged Care last month, the alliance explained how inappropriate it is for people to spend their young years in such facilities. It also pointed out that the large populations of younger people in nursing homes are crowding out older people who need intensive 24-hour support.

"They want to go out into the community and see their friends but they can't do that because there's no funding to take them out," said Dr. Bronwyn Morkham, the alliance's project officer.

The alliance is calling on state and federal governments to provide community-based alternatives, so that 700 young people can move out of nursing homes.

So far, state and federal governments have tended to blame the problem on each other.

"Marooned among the old" (The Age)

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