This report focuses on the residential aged care system in Australia, which is regulated and principally funded by the Australian Government. Some information on community-based aged care is included for context and completeness.
Residential care provision broadly on target
- The number of residential aged care places continues to increase, with over 182,850 operational residential places at 30 June 2010 compared to around 178,300 places in 2009, and an average occupancy over the year of 92.3%.
- The provision ratio for residential aged care places fell slightly compared with the previous year, and is just below the government’s target for 2011. The government has a planning target of 88 places per 1,000 by June 2011. At 30 June 2010, the provision ratio for residential aged care places was 86.8 places per 1,000 people aged 70 years or more, compared to 87.0 places the previous year.
- The provision ratio for residential aged care places and community aged care packages combined was 111.2 places per 1,000 people aged 70 years or over in 2010 compared to 110.1 in 2009. The government’s target is 113 places per 1,000 by June 2011.
Residents—mostly with high care needs and mostly women—over half are 85+
- At 30 June 2010, there were nearly 166,400 residents in mainstream residential aged care services.
- 70% of all residents were female.
- Over half of all residents were aged 85 years or over.
- Seven out of ten permanent residents (71%) were assessed as ‘high-care’ and the remainder as ‘low-care’.
Government spending on aged care services is substantial
- In 2009–10, the total recurrent Australian and state and territory government expenditure on residential aged care services was $7.3 billion, with the Australian Government the dominant funder (estimated $7.1 billion).
- Across jurisdictions, annual recurrent Australian Government expenditure on residential aged care per person aged 70 years and over was highest in South Australia ($3,988), and lowest in the Australian Capital Territory($2,749), compared to the Australian average of $3,367.
Indigenous use of residential aged care
- More Indigenous people use mainstream residential care at younger ages (60–64 years) when compared with the non-Indigenous population, with this trend reversing in older age groups.