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Because the care needs of older Australians vary, aged care options must be flexible. The Australian aged care system provides a range of care options including community aged care and residential aged care. Often the cycle of care begins with low-level community care in the home before progressing to high-level care. A person may then continue into a residential aged care facility (formerly known as nursing homes) for low-level or high-level care, usually as a permanent resident. Respite care in a residential aged care facility may be a step along the way to permanent care.
Three types of community aged care provide alternatives to residential aged care offering both low- and high-level care options for those who need support to remain in the community:
Two types of residential aged care provide care within an accommodation setting for those whose care needs can no longer be met within their own homes:
Recent government reforms and initiatives have contributed to the development of an aged care reform package, which aims to continue to meet the needs of a diverse and ageing population.
Efforts are being made to raise awareness of diversity in older Australians who are at risk of being marginalised and possibly encountering difficulties accessing appropriate aged care services.
More detailed information about Australia's aged care system:
Australians are aged 65 years or over. As Australia’s population ages, the demand for aged care community packages and residential services is likely to increase.
as many Indigenous Australians aged under 65 years were receiving community aged care packages, compared with non-Indigenous Australians of the same age.
people needing high level care moved into residential aged care accommodation from an EACH package.
of permanent residents in Australian Government-funded aged care facilities had a diagnosis of dementia.
as many women as men aged 90 or over in permanent aged care.