mob_btn

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Web Report: Older Australians

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a web report on older Australians, which adopts a person-centred model to report on the demographic profile and health and wellbeing of older Australians.


15 Dec 2021

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a web report on older Australians. It reports on the demographic profile and health and wellbeing of older Australians (persons aged 65 and over and Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over). The web report states that it adopts a person-centred model to explore who older Australians are, how they are changing, how healthy they are and what services they are using.

Key demographics noted in the web report include the following data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

  • At 30 June 2020, 1 in 6 people were aged 65 and over and over half (53%) of older Australians were women

  • At 30 June 2020, Tasmania (20%) had the highest proportion of its population aged 65 and over, followed by South Australia (19%) and New South Wales (17%)

  • By 2066, it is projected that older people in Australia will make up between 21% and 23% of the total population

The web report includes a number of feature articles including on older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people, and older Australians living in rural and remote communities. Highlights from these include:

  • In 2019–20, 3,745 aged care assessments for older Indigenous Australians were conducted, an increase from 3,392 in 2018–19. This continues an overall trend of increasing numbers of Indigenous Australians using aged care services in recent years

  • At 30 June 2020, around 5,300 older Indigenous Australians were using aged care services (home, residential or transition care), which represented 1.6% of all Australians aged 50 and over who were using aged care services

  • At 30 June 2020, around 1 in 3 (36%) older Indigenous Australians (aged 50 and over) using aged care services were living in residential care, and 2 in 3 (64%) were using home care, whereas around 1 in 3 (32%) non-Indigenous Australians (aged 65 and over) using aged care services were using home care, and around 2 in 3 (67%) were living in residential care

  • At 30 June 2020, around 28% of people using home care, 20% of people using permanent residential aged care and 20% of people using respite or transition care were from a CALD background

  • At 30 June 2020, 89% of older Australians living in Very remote areas used home support services, compared with 70% living in Major cities

In addition to other focus areas, the web report contains a section on aged care, which includes statistics such as:

  • In 2019-20, 42% of the aged care target population (all people aged 65 years or over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 50–64 years) assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) entered residential aged care within 3 months of their ACAT approval. The median time elapsed for access to a Home Care Package ranged from 6 months for a Level 1 package to 28 months for a Level 4 package

  • In 2019-20, the majority of older people entering permanent residential aged care and home care (88% and 81% respectively) were aged 75 years and over, and of all people entering aged care 2.3% were people aged under 65 years

  • On 30 June 2020, among people living in permanent residential aged care, 1 in 3 (33%) had high care ratings across all three Aged Care Funding Instrument assessment areas (activities of daily living; cognition and behaviour; complex health care)

  • In terms of leaving aged care, most (84%) exits from permanent residential care were due to death, compared with 34% from home care. The majority of discharges from home care were to residential care (55%). Older people in permanent residential care had the longest median length of stay, at around 21 months, followed by home care (around 15 months), transition care (52 days) and respite care (21 days).

This section on aged care also provides statistics specific to home support, home care, and residential aged care.

The web report also identifies key data gaps, which includes a note that data improvement activities are taking place within the aged care data system in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

For further information, please see the full web report here.



2021-12-17-Partner-Logos-600x600.png