Thousands of young Australians are trapped in nursing homes.

Young Australians are being forced to live among the elderly so their disabilities can be catered for. Many are struggling to cope.

Australia needs accessible and affordable housing for people with disabilities — and this is why.

(Post continues after video):

More than 6,500 young disabled people are holed up across the country in nursing homes.

They live among sick and elderly people with an average age of 84.

Due to a lack of appropriate facilities. there is literally nowhere else for them to live.

Related: “I have a disability and a girlfriend. But when they see us, people assume she’s my nurse.”

The confronting surroundings, full of strange noises and smells, are leaving these young people lonely, isolated and depressed.

When asked what goes through her mind, Kirby Littley – a 29-year-old who suffered a series of strokes while having a brain tumour removed – told SBS 2’s The Feed the answer was “dying”.

Kirby said she feels “trapped” and “bored” at the nursing home.

Kirby and her parents say this is no way to live. Screenshot via SBS 2.

Her mum, Carol, who visited Kirby up to three times each day, said the facility was depressing.

“There are many times I come and the van is out the front to collect a (dead) body,” she said.

“It’s not the right environment for a young person.”

Kirby, a former teacher of disabled children, said all she wants is “to get better and get back to work”.

James Nutt, 31, had a similar experience.

He spent six years living in aged care facilities following a violent assault at age 18 that left him with an acquired brain injury. At times, he contemplated suicide.


“As the door shut on my bedroom on the very first night, I thought, that’s it. That’s the door of my life closing. This is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life,” he said.

James: “As the door shut on my bedroom on the very first night, I thought, that’s it. That’s the door of my life closing.” Screenshot via SBS 2.

Sam Peterson, 30, can only communicate with the use of a speech-generating device and has spent more than a year in a nursing home.

“I am struggling with where I live, it is not home,” she said.

“Often I want to cry but there isn’t anywhere to do it. The future is so uncertain and I just want to feel at home.”

Sam: “Often I want to cry but there isn’t anywhere to do it.” Screenshot via SBS 2.

Carolyn Finis of Summer Foundation, an advocacy group dedicated to keeping young disabled people out of nursing home, said: “I met a young person recently and she said to me, ‘Today is a beautiful day…I got to see the outside of the nursing home today.’ It had been a full 12 months since she’d not even seen the outside.

“There’s just not enough accessible and affordable housing for people with disabilities.”

But there is hope.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will increase the amount of money available to support people with disability, including young people in aged care.

And a senate inquiry into the lack of affordable housing will report back to parliament next month.

James promises to get young people out of nursing homes. Screenshot via SBS 2.

After six years, James has moved into his own custom-built apartment, giving him the freedom he hasn’t had before.

And he’s making a big promise.

“We’re getting you out, young people in residential aged care,” he said.

“We’re gonna push, push, push. Each year there will be more and more and more getting out, I promise you that.”

If you need help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For related reading, try these articles:

‘To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets.’

Hearing aids, wheelchairs, canes… These dolls with disabilities are incredible.

Candid photos reveal the sex life of people living with disabilities.