Younger people in residential aged care – Priorities for action

We are working to stop younger people under 65 going into residential aged care. We are helping younger people consider and access suitable accommodation and support.

About the initiative

We are working across Australian, state and territory governments to ensure no younger person lives in residential aged care, apart from in exceptional circumstances. To achieve this goal, we are working alongside planners, stakeholders, and Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) System Coordinators to help younger people consider and access suitable accommodation and supports.

The number of younger people living in residential aged care has reduced from more than 6,000 in 2017–18 to 2,423 at the end of December 2022.

In response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, we are working to ensure that apart from exceptional circumstances, there are no people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 1 January 2025.

We are undertaking several actions to help meet this target, including:

  • $26.8 million for Ability First Australia (AFA) to establish a national network of up to 40 YPIRAC System Coordinators. The YPIRAC System Coordinators actively engage with younger people under 65 living in, or at risk of entry to, residential aged care to find age-appropriate accommodation and supports.
  • $21.6 million to provide additional capacity to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to help younger National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to source age-appropriate accommodation and services.
  • $2.4 million to commission the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to undertake public reporting about younger people living in residential aged care.
  • $3.6 million [$3 million for our Department and $0.6 million for the Department of Social Services (DSS)] to deliver targeted education and training packages for general practitioners, clinicians, social workers, families and carers, and others that support and influence the decision making of YPIRAC. The education and training packages will promote an understanding of age-appropriate alternatives to residential aged care for younger people.
  • $2.4 million to strengthen entry requirements for residential aged care, ensuring it is only ever a last resort.
  • $1.3 million for DSS to commission an evaluation of actions taken to date to reduce the number of YPIRAC, to inform future initiatives.

Who we work with

The YPIRAC Joint Agency Taskforce is working to achieve the YPIRAC target and reports on progress made towards reducing the number of younger people in residential aged care. 

The YPIRAC Joint Agency Taskforce includes the:

  • DSS (Chair)
  • Department of Health and Aged Care
  • NDIA.

Meeting our goals

The My Aged Care Assessment Manual includes processes the Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) must use before the assessment and approval of any younger person for aged care. This includes referring younger people for NDIS eligibility consideration.

We made changes to the entry pathway for aged care assessments for younger people seeking access to Australian Government-funded aged care services. These changes were introduced in February 2022, and updated in May 2023 to ensure that younger people work closely with either the NDIA or AFA to explore alternative accommodation and support options prior to being referred for an aged care assessment. This also includes supporting younger people to test their eligibility for the NDIS where appropriate. For guidance on the assessment pathway, see the Principles and guidelines for a younger person’s access to Commonwealth funded aged care services.

In May 2023, we amended the Approval of Care Recipients Principles 2014 to strengthen the evidence requirements for younger people who are applying to become approved as a recipient of residential care under the Aged Care Act 1997.

We have established national network of up to 40 YPIRAC System Coordinators to work with younger people and their families to understand requirements and find the supports they need.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) charts progress on reducing the number of younger people in residential care. The AIHW updates the dashboard quarterly and publishes data on the GEN aged care website.

Learn more

To learn more about the support available for younger people, see the webpage on support for younger people in, or at risk of entering, residential aged care.


Younger people in residential aged care contact

Email us with questions about our work to move younger people (under 65 years) from residential aged care to more age-appropriate accommodation and supports.
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