Featured reports

Older Australia at a glance 

Older people make up a considerable proportion of Australia’s population—in 2017, over 1 in 7 people were aged 65 and over. This report provides an overview of this diverse and growing population group through a range of topics. These outline older people’s demographic characteristics, health status, and service use.

Latest reports

Use of medicines by older people with type 2 diabetes 

This report describes dispensing patterns of glucose lowering medicines and medicines for other conditions associated with diabetes in a concessional population cohort of Australians aged 65 and over diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It uses linked data from the National Diabetes Services Scheme and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to explore medicine supply patterns in 2012 by age and time since diabetes diagnosis. It shows that, in general, the longer the time since diagnosis, the more likely it is that an individual would be supplied with all medicine types and the more intense their glucose lowering treatment regimens would be. This report highlights the complexity of pharmacological management in older people with type 2 diabetes and the diversity of medicine supply patterns in relation to age and time since diabetes diagnosis.

Hospitalised injuries in older Australians: 2011-12 

This report focuses on the most frequent causes of hospitalisations due to injury sustained by Australians, aged 65 years or older, during the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Whilst the vast majority of hospitalisations were due to falls, the report focuses on other injuries (such as unintentional poisoning by medications) and it may be useful for guiding and improving policy aimed at reducing those other injuries and for targeting investment in injury prevention strategies.

Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 1999-00 to 2010-11 

This report focuses on trends in fall-related hospital care for people aged 65 and older from 1999-00 to 2010-11. While age-standardised rates of fall injury cases increased over the 12 years to June 2011, the rate of hip fractures due to falls decreased. The patient days for hospital care directly attributable to fall-related injury doubled over the study period.

The desire to age in place among older Australians 

Many older Australians report a desire to age in place. This bulletin explores the relationship between this desire and the housing circumstances of older Australians of different tenure types; that is, those who own their home outright, those paying a mortgage and those who rent their home either privately or through social housing.

Hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia: 2009-10 

This report is the sixth in a series on hospitalisations due to falls by Australians aged 65 and over, and focuses on 2009-10. The estimated number of hospitalised injury cases due to falls in older people was 83,800 - more than 5,100 extra cases than in 2008-09 - and about 70% of these falls happened in either the home or an aged care facility. One in every 10 days spent in hospital by a person aged 65 and older in 2009-10 was directly attributable to an injurious fall (1.3 million patient days over the year), and the average total length of stay per fall injury case was estimated to be 15.5 days.

Hospitalisations due to falls in older people, Australia 2006-07 

This report is the third in a series on hospitalisations due to falls by Australians aged 65 and older. It focuses on 2006-07 and also examines trends from 1999 to 2007. About 7 in every 10 hospitalised fall injuries occurred in the home or in residential institutions and most were sustained by older females. Age-standardised rates of hospitalised fall-related injury separations have increased over the 8 years to 2007, despite a decrease in the rate for femur fractures.

Hospitalisations due to falls in older people, Australia 2007-08 

This report is the fourth in a series on hospitalisations due to falls by Australians aged 65 and older. It focuses on 2007-08 and includes estimates of the cost to the hospital system due to serious falls. As in the previous reports, most falls were sustained by females. About one-third of all cases were for injuries to the hip and thigh, and a fall on the same level due to slipping, tripping and stumbling was the most common cause of hospitalisation. Acute admitted patient care due to fall injuries in 2007-08 was estimated to have cost more than $648 million.

Hospitalisations due to falls in older people, Australia 2008-09 

This report is the fifth in a series on hospitalisations due to falls by Australians aged 65 and older and focuses on 2008-09. For the first time in this report series, the rate of hospitalised fall injuries involving older females exceeded 3,000 per 100,000 population. The incidence of injury has continued to increase substantially over the decade to June 2009, despite a sustained decrease in the rate of hip fractures due to falls. Of note, falls that resulted in head injuries and those described as an 'other fall on same level' increased significantly over the study period.

Older people leaving hospital: a statistical overview of the Transition Care Program in 2008-09 

Older people leaving hospital: a statistical overview of the Transition Care Program in 2008-09 presents key statistics on the characteristics and services provided to older people who are eligible for residential aged care directly after discharge from hospital. The program aims to improve recipients' independence and functioning. At 30 June 2009 there were 2,228 places providing transitional care to older people leaving hospital. During 2008-09, around 12,600 individuals received just over 14,000 episodes of transition care.

Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 

This report describes the age and geographic distribution of the older Indigenous population, its particular requirements in terms of aged care and support, and the pattern of usage of these services. At the 2006 Census, there were approximately 60,000 Indigenous Australians aged 50 years and over, accounting for about 12% of the total Indigenous population. By comparison, 31% of the non-Indigenous population fell into this age group. However, the number of older Indigenous people is growing and estimated at 76,300 in 2011. Older Indigenous people have poorer health and higher rates of disability than other Australians in the same age group.

Asthma among older people in Australia 

Over 92% of the 402 asthma deaths in 2006 were among people aged 45 years and over. Asthma in older Australians is distinct in many ways. The presence of comorbid conditions makes the management of asthma in older people more complex. The disease itself is also more persistent and severe than in the younger ages.

Hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 2005-06 

This report is the second in a series of biennial reports on hospitalisations due to falls by older people in Australia. The report focuses on hospitalised falls occurring in the financial year 2005-06 and examines trends in fall-related hospitalisations over the period 1999-2006. The number of fall events resulting in hospitalisation due to injury for older Australians remains high and the rate of fall-related injury incidents is particularly high for the oldest group within this population. As in the previous report, older females accounted for most of the hospitalised fall injury cases and a third of cases had injuries to the hip and thigh. Half of all fall injury cases for people aged 65 years and older occurred in the home. Falls in residential institutions were also common. Age-standardised rates of hospitalised fall-related injury separations have increased over the seven year study period to June 2006, despite a decrease in the rate for femur fractures due to falls. The estimated total length of stay per fall injury case has also increased over the period 1999-2006, apparently influenced by increases in the number of bed-days used by episodes of fall-related follow-up care.

Older Australia at a glance (fourth edition) 

Australia's population is ageing and as baby boomers move into old age this trend is set to gather greater momentum over the next three decades. Significant changes will flow to all aspects of social and economic life as both the number and proportion of older people in the community increase. This fourth edition of Older Australians at a glance provides insights into the diversity of the older population of Australia, where they are living, what they are doing, how healthy they are and the services they are using. In 2011 the Department of Health and Ageing asked the AIHW to update tables and figures for three sections of the report: Section 1 - Demographic profile; Section 2 - Social and economic context; and Section 5 – Special population groups. These tables and figures can be found on the additional material tab on this web page. There is no accompanying analysis of the data presented in this material.

Older Australians in hospital 

Hospital use increases with age for both admissions and length of stay. This bulletin examines patterns of hospital use among people aged 65 and over. Hospitalisation, length of stay, diagnosis, type of care and destination on discharge are examined.

Fall-related hospitalisations among older people: sociocultural and regional aspects 

The ageing of the Australian population has enlarged the population at high risk of fall-related injury and population projections imply substantial increase in years to come. A large proportion of Australia's older population were born overseas and changing migration patterns following the Second World War have resulted in an older population which is becoming highly culturally and linguistically diverse. This report examines fall-related hospitalisations for people aged 65 and older for the years 2000-03 according to country of birth and place of usual residence.

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among older people in Australia: deaths and hospitalisations 

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can together be described as obstructive lung disease. This report examines recent data on deaths and hospitalisations among people aged 55 years and over when asthma or COPD are recorded as one of multiple causes of death or hospital diagnoses. The aim is to describe the extent of obstructive lung disease among older Australians, to assess the possibility of misclassification between asthma and COPD and to investigate the association between these diseases and other conditions.

Obesity and workplace absenteeism among older Australians 

This bulletin examines the relationship, as far as Australia’s 2001 National Health Survey (NHS) allows, between obesity and absenteeism from work in almost 10,000 employed men and women who participated in that survey. It also assesses whether the results are consistent with the likelihood of having consulted a health professional and with self-assessed health status. The relationship between obesity and labour force status is also examined.