Big increase in Community Care Packages for older Australians

The number of Community Care Packages for older Australians has risen 37% in one year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The Commonwealth-funded Community Care Package program was established in 1992 to help frail older Australians with complex care needs to continue living in their own homes.

Community Care Packages in Australia 1998-99: a statistical overview shows that 13,753 packages were delivered in 1998-99, an increase of 3,707 on the previous year.

The ratio of packages to people aged 70 and over also increased, from 6.3 per 1,000 to 8.4 over the same period.

The report shows rapid growth in the program over its first seven years, from an initial 235 packages in 1992. Head of the AIHW's Aged Care Unit, Dr Diane Gibson, said this growth is expected to continue.

The vast majority of care package recipients (87%) were aged 70 years or more; 58% were aged 80 and over.

About 70% of clients were homeowners, 17% lived in public rental housing, and the remaining 13% in a private rental property or board/lodging.

Other findings in Community Care Packages in Australia 1998-99 include:

  • There were 594 outlets providing community care packages at 30 June 1999, with 266 of these being in rural and remote areas.
  • 10,033 clients were admitted to the program between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 1999. During the same period 6,288 clients left the program, the main reasons being to go to a residential aged care facility (44%) or death (21%).
  • About 1 in 3 clients who left the program in 1998-99 received care for at least one year prior to leaving.

14 July 2000

Further information: Dr Diane Gibson, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1190.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, tel. 02 6244 1032.