Holiday Resorts for the Injured & Disabled. Current Location: Hell !

Rod Cunich preferred (2)

How would you like to spend your next holiday eating mush in a nursing home canteen with the odour of urine protecting your taste buds from the taste (if any) of your dinner?

Research by the Summer Foundation and Monash University has found that more than 6000 disabled Australians aged 18 to 65 live in nursing homes because they have no other option. They are largely without visitors and rarely if ever get to participate in regular activities let alone leisure activities.

The research pointed to a young 18 year old man admitted to a nursing home after an unprovoked assault resulted in a brain injury. It is “…a sad reality for young members of the community with a disability. It is here where their lives become melancholy. They have low self-esteem and become despairingly miserable.”

The introduction of DisabilityCare will not reduce the number of young people in nursing homes. There is a massive shortage of appropriate accommodation. This remains an exposed and weeping wound not only for the public and private sectors to address, but we the broader community. Not unlike those members of our community recently ravished by fire, these people require our support.

An article recently published in the SMH argued that “In 2008, Australia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These include the right of all people “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” . It’s time to turn this right into a reality.”

Having worked with a number of disability groups over the last 20 years I have no doubt that there is an urgent need for a significant increase in the scale and range of accessible and affordable housing for people with disability. Group homes, when affordable, have a place but are not the answer for everyone.

The Summer Foundation has launched a new model of housing for people with disability providing flexibility and an opportunity to maximise independence within a safe environment.

Lets hope their efforts snowball.

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