$10 Billion Spent on Aged Care Services
9 December 2010 at 11:31 am
Spending on aged care services in Australia in 2008-09 was $10.1 billion, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
|Aged care in rural Victoria. Flickr image: Some rights reserved by Ollie-G|
The report Residential aged care in Australia 2008-09, shows that an estimated $6.6 billion (of the $10.1 billion) was spent on residential aged care, with the Australian Government the dominant funder (estimated $6.5 billion).
Vicki Bennett, of the AIHW’s Continuing and Specialised Care Group says the majority of permanent aged care residential places are for those requiring a high level of care, with three-quarters of permanent residents assessed as needing high-care at 30 June 2009 .
Bennett says the Government allocation of residential aged care places is in line with this need, with high-care places outnumbering low-care (3,765 and 1,983 respectively) and overall residential aged care provision has continued to rise.
At 30 June 2009, there were more than 178,000 operational residential places in Australia— over 3,000 more than at the same time in 2008.’
The report says the provision ratio at 30 June 2009 for residential aged care places was 87.0 places per 1,000 people aged 70 years or more; close to the Government’s target of 88 places per 1,000 by June 2011.
Among the residents, women outnumbered men by more than 2 to 1, and most residents were in the older age categories, with over half (55%) of all residents in 2009 aged 85 or over. Usage rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged under 65 were considerably higher than for their counterparts in the non-Indigenous population.
A second report, Aged care packages in the community: a statistical overview, was also released and examines alternatives to residential aged care, whereby older Australians receive care in their own homes and communities.
It says more than 1 in every 3 clients receiving community aged care was born overseas and a higher proportion of people from a non-English-speaking background used community aged care services compared with those from an English-speaking background.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also used more community aged care services than their non-Indigenous counterparts.
The two reports can be downloaded at www.aihw.gov.au