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More aged care residents need higher levels of care than ever
before, with 70% of permanent residents requiring high level care
compared to 58% a decade ago, according to a report released today
by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
'While 75% of residents are aged over 80, and 54% are aged over
85, there is a small proportion (about 4%) who are aged under 65,'
said Ann Peut, Head of the AIHW's Ageing and Aged Care Unit.
'Among these younger aged care residents - there are just over
6,600 of them - a high proportion are classified as high-care
(77%), even when compared to the very old residents (95 and older)
of whom about 75% require high levels of care,' she said.
The report, Residential Aged Care in Australia 2006-07: a
statistical overview, showed that the average complete length
of stay for permanent residents has increased from 131 weeks a
decade ago to 146 weeks (167 weeks for women and 110 weeks for men)
The allocation of new places in 2006-07 was 4,415 high-care
residential places and 2,110 low- care residential places.
The significant jump in the allocation of high-care places in
2006-07 (42% of the total allocation of places and packages
compared to a range of 19-32% over the last five years) was in line
with increasing dependency levels.
The number of operational residential aged care places increased
to 170,071 (at 30 June 2007) - an increase of 3,780 places compared
with the previous year. In total there were 153,425 permanent aged
care residents at 30 June 2007.
'The provision ratio, that is the number of residential places
per 1,000 persons aged 70 years and over, remained close to the
previous year's provision at around 87 places. This is just shy of
the current planning target ratio of 88 places to be achieved by
2011,' Ms Peut said.
In addition to providing care for permanent residents, aged care
facilities also provide important short-term respite care for older
people living in the community.
During 2006-07 there were 50,987 respite admissions. The average
length of stay was 3.3 weeks.
Thursday 12 June 2008
Further information: Ms Ann Peut, AIHW, tel. 02
6244 1108, mobile 0419 296 053.
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications
Catalogue for the availability of Residential Aged Care in
Australia 2006-07: a statistical overview.