The number of aged care places in Australia is continuing to rise, according to two reports released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The reports, Residential aged care in Australia 2010-11: a statistical overview and Aged care packages in the community 2010-11: a statistical overview, provide comprehensive information on Australia Government-funded aged care.
The reports show the number of residential aged care places grew to 185,482 at 30 June 2011-an increase of 2,632 (1.4%) since the previous year.
The number of care packages, which allow older Australians to receive care in their own homes and communities, grew to 57,922 in 2010-11, a 13% increase over the previous year. These include Community Aged Care Packages, Extended Aged Care at Home, and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia
'The increase in residential aged care services can be attributed to, and is designed to cater for, Australia's ageing population,' said AIHW spokesperson Brent Diverty.
Among aged care clients, the difference in life expectancy between men and women is evident.
'About 70% of permanent residential aged care residents and recipients of Community Aged Care Packages were female,' Mr Diverty said.
There were 2,760 facilities providing residential aged care in 2011, with the majority being operated by not-for-profit organisations.
Most approved providers of community aged care programs were also from the not-for-profit sector.
At 30 June 2011, the aged care provision ratio, for aged care packages and residential aged care places combined, was very close to the Australian Government's target of 113 places per 1,000 people aged 70 and over.
'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in residential aged care had a younger age profile. Indigenous clients aged 60-64 used permanent residential care at a rate of 7.1 per 1,000 compared with 2.5 per 1,000 for non-Indigenous clients,' Mr Diverty said.
'Indigenous Australians also tended to use community aged care services at a higher rate and at younger ages than non-Indigenous people. For example, Indigenous clients aged 60-64 used Community Aged Care Packages at a rate of 18.2 per 1,000, compared with 0.5 per thousand for non-Indigenous clients.'
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.