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Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) Initiative for Young People With Disability in Residential Aged Care: What Are the Issues for Acquired Brain Injury?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Michele Foster*
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland, Australia. m.foster@social.uq.edu.au
Jennifer Fleming
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland, Australia; Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.
Cheryl Tilse
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland, Australia.
*
*Address for correspondence: Dr Michele Foster, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia.

Abstract

People surviving severe acquired brain injury (ABI) may potentially benefit from the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) 5-year initiative for young people with disability in residential aged-care facilities. Yet critical examination of this policy initiative for ABI population is warranted for 2 reasons. First, reliance on the disability sector to resolve the complexities of long-term care for people with ABI detracts attention from systemic failures at the health/disability sector interface, and notably, debate concerning the role of, and right to rehabilitation. Second, the COAG initiative is being pursued within an extraordinarily complex and variable contemporary care environment, involving multiple services and sectors, and historically, high unmet need. This raises questions as to the adequacy and sustainability of care provided under the responsibility of state-based disability services. In this article, it is argued that long-term care for young people with severe ABI is better served by incorporating a health and rehabilitation perspective alongside a disability support approach. Although the effectiveness of rehabilitation may be contested in some instances of very severe ABI, nevertheless the role of rehabilitation in seeking to reduce the number of young people at risk of entering residential aged care needs to be addressed in policy solutions. It is also suggested that provision of long time care in the contemporary care environment involves a number of challenges due to the complex and changing patterns of need, diverse funding arrangements and mix of government and nongovernment services, and the increasing demand for care.

Type
Articles
Information
Brain Impairment , Volume 8 , Issue 3 , 01 December 2007 , pp. 312 - 322
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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