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Half of all Permanent Aged Care Patients Have Dementia


8 September 2015 at 11:37 am
Xavier Smerdon
Half of all people in permanent residential aged care suffer from dementia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Xavier Smerdon | 8 September 2015 at 11:37 am


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Half of all Permanent Aged Care Patients Have Dementia
8 September 2015 at 11:37 am

Half of all people in permanent residential aged care have dementia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A report by AIHW, called Residential aged care and Home Care 2013–14, shows that 7.8 per cent of the Australian population aged 65 and over were in residential aged care from 2013 to 2014.

AIHW spokesperson, Justine Boland, said people in residential aged care generally had high care needs.

“At 30 June 2014, 83 per cent of people in permanent care needed a high level of care-compared with 76 per cent in 2008. More than half (52 per cent) of all people in permanent residential aged care had a diagnosis of dementia,” Boland said.

Boland said people in residential aged care also had higher rates of dementia than the estimated prevalence rates for their age.

“For example, in the general population, three per cent of people aged between 65 and 74 are thought to have dementia, but some 43 per cent of people in permanent residential aged care in the same age group had a diagnosis of dementia,” she said.

According to the report there were 173,974 people in permanent residential aged care at 30 June 2014. The majority, 77 per cent, of people were 80 years or older, and the average age was 84.5. Women made up 69 per cent of people in permanent residential aged care, and this disparity increased with age.

At 30 June 2014, there were 263,788 government-funded aged care places across Australia  –  an increase of 3.5 per cent from the previous year.

Three-quarters (189,283) of these places were in residential aged care, while the remaining 66,149 were in the Home Care Packages Program.

The report also revealed that one in four Indigenous people in permanent aged care, 24 per cent, were under the age of 65 at 30 June 2014, compared with three per cent for non-Indigenous residents.

The full report can be accessed here.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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