Summary

This report presents new data on vulnerability experienced by older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It brings together data from more than 20 sources and shows that many Indigenous people have complex and varied needs. It presents information on potential risk factors, including functional dependency, disability, poor physical health, mental illness, substance use, traumatic events, economic hardship and safety.

Selected data for Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Population size 1.5% of total population aged ≥50 were Indigenous 124,012 30 June 2016

Accessing aged care services

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Aged Care Assessments 1.4% of all Aged Care Assessment Program clients aged ≥50 were Indigenous 2,309 2015–16
Commonwealth Home Support Programme 3.1% of all Commonwealth Home Support Programme clients aged ≥50 were Indigenous 20,102 2016–17
Home Care Packages Program 3.9% of all Home Care Packages Program clients aged
≥50 were Indigenous
2,196 30 June 2017
Residential aged care 0.9% of all aged care residents aged ≥50 were Indigenous 1,679 30 June 2017

Overall hospital service use

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Admitted patient care 3.4% of all hospitalisations for the total Australian population aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 434,598 2014–16
Admitted patient care (excluding dialysis) 1.4% of all hospitalisations (excluding dialysis) for the total Australian population aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 143,963 2014–16
Emergency department presentations 3.1% of all presentations for the total Australian population aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 164,065 2015–17

Mental health service use

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Mental health related admitted hospital care 1.9% of all mental health related hospitalisations among those aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 6,137 2014–16
Mental health related emergency department presentations 6.3% of all emergency department presentations for mental and behavioural disorders among those aged
≥50 were for Indigenous Australians
8,359 2015–17
Community mental health services 3.6% of all community mental health service patients aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 3,457 2015–16

Housing assistance

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Public housing 5.0% of all public housing tenants aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 9,126 30 June 2016
State owned or managed Indigenous housing 85% of all state owned or managed Indigenous housing tenants aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 4,326 30 June 2016
Income support 1.8% of all Australians aged ≥50 receiving income support were Indigenous Australians 59,489 30 June 2016

Alcohol and drug service use

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Emergency department presentations for alcohol/drug abuse and induced mental disorders 18% of all emergency department presentations for alcohol/drug abuse or induced mental disorders among those aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 5,367 2015–17
Hospital admissions —alcohol related 5.3% of hospitalisations related to alcohol use among those aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 2,888 2014–16
Hospital admissions —drug use related 3.7% of hospitalisations related to drug use among those aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 757 2014–16
Specialised drug/alcohol treatment for own use 8.5% of clients aged ≥50 receiving assistance for their own drug use were Indigenous Australians 1,210 2016–17

Safety

Measure Representation of Indigenous Australians (%) (no.) Reference period
Hospital admissions due to non-fatal assault 17% of hospitalisations due to non-fatal assault among those aged ≥50 were for Indigenous Australians 1,025 2014–16
Police recorded— victims of assault 7.2% of all victims of assault aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 868 2016
Police recorded victims of family and domestic violence assault 11% of all family and domestic violence assault victims aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 563 2016
Homicide victims 5.1% of all homicide victims aged ≥50 were Indigenous Australians 83 1989–90 to 2013–14

Notes:

  1. This table presents a summary of information presented across the report. For source information and notes around these datarefer to the relevant chapters.
  2. Data for police recorded victims of assault are not national and are presented for NSW, SA and NT combined.
  3. Proportions among Indigenous population aged 50 and over are calculated excluding not stated Indigenous status.