New Report Shows Aussies Living Longer
23 November 2012 at 2:47 pm
A new report has shown Australians are living longer. Photo: seniorshousingonline.com
Older Australians are living longer and without profound disability, according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Changes in life expectancy and disability in Australia 1998 to 2009, reveals that older Australians are getting more years of life without severe or profound limitations to their basic daily activities.
The report shows that between 1998 and 2009, life expectancy at birth has risen from 75.9 years to 79.3 years for males and from 81.5 years to 83.9 years for females.
Almost all of this increase is disability-free years.
“Australian boys born in 2009 could expect to live an average 61.6 years without disability and another 17.7 years with disability, including 5.5 years with severe or profound activity limitation,” AIHW spokesperson Brent Diverty said.
Compared to the boys, the report shows that Australian girls could expect to live longer and live more years with and without disability.
“Girls born in 2009 could expect to live an average 64.3 years without disability and 19.6 years with disability, including 7.5 years with severe or profound activity limitation,” Diverty said.
The report reveals that Australians already aged 65 in 2009 could expect to live longer without severe or profound activity limitations.
Males at 65 years could expect to live an additional 8.2 years without disability, and 10.5 years with disability (3.5 years with severe disability), and females could expect an additional 9.7 without disability and another 12.1 with disability (5.6 years with severe disability).
However, the report also shows that the ageing of the Australian population and increasing longevity are leading to a greater number of older people with disability and severe or profound activity limitation.
“The ‘downside’, if you like, to Australians living longer, is that as the population ages there is expected to be more older Australians living with disability,” Diverty said.
“We expect to see an increasing number of older people in the community with disability and severe or profound activity limitation.
“But it is important to remember that disability does not necessarily equate to poor health or illness.”