This report presents statistics on the provision and use of Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs), Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) packages and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACH Dementia) packages for the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006. These packages are designed to provide a community care equivalent to residential aged care, in the care recipient’s home.

Provision of packages

The number of operational aged care packages increased from 32,646 at 30 June 2005 to 38,564 at 30 June 2006. Almost 900 of the additional packages in this year were for frail older people with high care needs (EACH packages), and a further 600 were newly-introduced (March 2006) EACH Dementia packages for people who experience behaviours of concern and psychological symptoms associated with dementia.

The provision ratio for operational packages per 1,000 persons aged 70 years and over increased from 17.2 at 30 June 2005 to 19.9 at 30 June 2006 relative to the planning target of 20 operational aged care packages. The provision ratio was lowest in Queensland at 18.9 and highest in the Northern Territory at 121.7. The higher level of provision in the Northern Territory is a consequence of a comparatively young population profile combined with a relatively large Indigenous population.

EACH and EACH Dementia are relatively new programs and there are still only a handful of packages for high care clients in remote areas and none in very remote areas.

Age profile of CACP recipients

The majority of the 31,803 CACP recipients at 30 June 2006 were aged 80 years and over (63%) an increase from 59% at 30 June 2000. However, the strongest growth was in those aged 90 years or older who accounted for 15% of package recipients in 2006 compared with 12% six years earlier.

Reflecting their poorer health status and consequent need for care services at younger ages, the age profile of Indigenous care recipients is considerably younger than that of non- Indigenous care recipients with 5% aged under 50 years and only 44% aged 70 years and over (compared with less than 1% and 90% respectively for other Australian care recipients). Six years ago, 7% of Indigenous care recipients were aged under 50 and 49% were aged 70 years and over.

Usage of CACPs

Indigenous Australians have a higher usage rate of CACPs across all age groups compared with non-Indigenous Australians. At 30 June 2006, the rate of Indigenous Australians receiving packages was 38.4 per 1,000 Indigenous persons aged 65–69 years, 48.3 per 1,000 aged 70–74 years, and 84.4 per 1,000 persons aged 75 years and over. The comparable figures for other Australians were 2.0, 4.1 and 19.1 per 1,000 respectively.

In the younger age groups, people born overseas have a lower usage rate of CACPs. However, for care recipients aged 75 years or older, use of both CACPs and EACH packages by people born overseas in countries where English is not the predominant language is higher than for those born in Australia or other English-speaking countries.

Carer support

For the first time, information is available about the carer support available to high care EACH and EACH Dementia package recipients; 90% of EACH recipients and 97% of EACH Dementia care recipients had a carer. Most carers lived with the care recipient.

Leaving care packages

Almost half (48%) of CACP recipients continued with their package for less than 12 months. The largest proportion of those leaving a CACP (48%) did so in order to enter a residential aged care facility. This proportion was much higher for EACH Dementia recipients (69%) although the numbers involved to date are still small. A larger proportion of EACH recipients no longer received assistance because they died or were admitted to hospital (43%) compared to CACP recipients (24%).