Young people in nursing homes denied basic human rights
Research published this week confirms what disability advocates have long known: that young people shouldnt be forced to live in nursing homes. Our joint Summer Foundation and Monash University study found that moving out of nursing homes enriched the lives of people with disability: they went outside more often, had more opportunities to make everyday choices, had more social contact and spent less time in bed.
But these results must be considered in the context of these young peoples lives. Many were living extremely impoverished existences, and the improvement in the quality of life came from a very low baseline. Aged care nursing homes are resourced and designed to cater for people at the end-stage of their life not young people who need support to reach their full potential and the opportunity to maximise their independence.
The five-year national Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) initiative that ended in June 2011 made a tremendous difference to the lives of participants, with some 244 people aged under 50 avoiding nursing home placement. Another 250 young people moved out of nursing homes into largely domestic-scale group homes.
But with the end of the initiative, the system has, for the most part, reverted to the way things were in the past. More than 200 people aged under 50 continue to be at risk of nursing home placement each year in Australia.
The most striking change identified in our study for those whod moved out of nursing homes was the increased opportunity to make everyday choices. This included choosing what to eat and when to go to bed. One participant, Caroline, said: At first I probably missed being told what to do or when to do it because it was so structured I think I got a little bit lost at first, but I think that would be normal for anybody. But now I dont its good. I dont have to have tea at 5 oclock anymore. I can have it at 6.30pm if I want.
The lack of access to adequate equipment in nursing homes also means some young people are denied their basic human rights. Without funding for appropriate wheelchairs with supported seating, freedom of movement is severely restricted, and secondary health conditions are exacerbated. Appropriate seating ensures these young people can swallow safely, sit out of bed without experiencing pain and get outside and into the community.
Its also not uncommon for nursing homes to have locked doors, further denying access to the outside world. Another participant, Nicole, aged 33, explained: When I was told I had the opportunity to move out of a nursing home I couldnt wait I wanted to get out. I couldnt, I was locked in The doors were locked.
Freedom of expression is also limited in the nursing home environment. Prior to the YPIRAC program, there was little or no access to speech pathology services and equipment that would permit the communication of basic needs. Wal, a young man who spent two years without being able to communicate, said after receiving a communication device through the program, Its like going to bed a mute and waking up being able to communicate again. My life has begun again .
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states that all people with a disability should have the opportunity to choose their residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others, and not be obliged to live in particular living arrangements.
The Australian Government ratified this convention in July 2008. But some four years later, the disability service systems in Australia is still not sufficiently resourced to fulfil the obligations agreed to in the United Nations CRDP, especially for people who require access to 24-hour support.
The issue of young people in nursing homes is one clear reason Australia needs a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which is expected to provide the funding for disability supports young people require to live in the community. But the NDIS cannot, on its own, stop the inappropriate placement of young people in nursing homes. We need services that prevent new admissions to aged care, create pathways back to community living and offer age-appropriate supported accommodation options for this group of marginalised people.
As Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes recently said, nursing homes have an important function in our society, but they are no place for young people with disability. While we wait for the implementation of the NDIS, we need to design and develop accommodation and service options that are consistent with basic human rights principles and develop services that bring young people in nursing homes back into the mainstream of society.
Provided by Monash University
- Assisted living options grow, nursing home occupancy declines May 23, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Financial gain from good report cards in nursing homes Oct 29, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Few studies delve into hospice care in nursing homes Mar 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- MRSA carriage rates vary widely in nursing homes, study finds Dec 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- For expert comment: Missouri nursing homes have happy clients, MU researchers say Mar 27, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Research shows that the earlier the age at which youth take their first alcoholic drink, the greater the risk of developing alcohol problems. Thus, age at first drink (AFD) is generally considered a powerful predictor of ...
Health 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
One quarter of British lawmakers believe there is an "unhealthy" drinking culture in the Houses of Parliament, according to a survey published on Friday.
Health 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that the race and sex of study personnel can influence a patient's decision on whether or not to participate in clinical research.
Health 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The processes to allow people to self-manage their own illness are not being used appropriately by health professionals to the benefit of their patients, new research suggests.
Health 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Control of heart disease risk factors varies widely among outpatient practices, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013.
Health 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
15 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |