In Australia, the aged care system offers a range of options to meet the different care needs of each individual. The desire of many older Australians to remain in their own homes as they age has led to an increasing focus on the provision of aged care services in community settings.
GEN Aged Care Data
A dedicated website providing the latest data and information on aged care in Australia via a range of products and datasets. Managed by the AIHW.
The Australian aged care system provides a range of services that support older people – and a small number of younger people with disability – in both community and residential settings. Aged care in Australia is delivered through a variety of programs:
- Home support – provides entry-level support services (such as personal care, transport, and assistance with food preparation and meals) to help people stay independent and in their homes and communities for longer.
- Home care – offers packages of services at four levels of care to enable people to live at home for as long as possible, with care needs increasing with each increment of level and including clinical services.
- Residential care – provides a range of care options and accommodation on a permanent or respite basis for people who are unable to continue living independently in their own homes.
- Flexible care – in addition to the mainstream programs above, various flexible care programs are available to provide care for special groups or circumstances in mixed settings. Transition care is the largest of these, providing support for people to return home after a hospitalisation.
The use of aged care services is often considered in terms of a progression of care – from low-level or temporary care, to high-level, permanent care – but this is not necessarily the case. People may enter at any level and their progression through the system is not always linear.
While aged care is often thought of as primarily referring to residential aged care, only a small proportion of older Australians access residential aged care in a given year, with most using community packages (such as home support or home care).
Since 2013, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, the AIHW manages the National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse (NACDC) – a central, independent repository of national aged care data. The data mostly relate to government-funded aged care programs operating under the Aged Care Act 1997.