This study of disability and ageing in Australia was commissioned by the National Disability Administrators. The study is designed to provide information to assist disability support service providers and senior policy makers faced with questions about the likely impacts of population ageing on disability prevalence, support services and availability of informal assistance.

This summary draws together the main findings of the study to address the research questions of the project brief.

Report outline

Chapters 1 to 10 focus mainly on literature review. Chapters 1 to 5 present an overview of population ageing and its impact on disability prevalence, expenditure and services for people ageing with a disability. The combined effects of population ageing and de-institutionalisation on informal care are reviewed. Chapters 6 to 10 consider the ageing trends of people with a disability, particularly those with an early onset disability, and outline their special needs for support. Emerging issues related to service needs, and new initiatives in service planning and models, are also discussed.

Chapters 11 to 17 assess information from disability surveys, other population surveys of national significance, and service administrative data. The analysis in these chapters concentrates particularly on data from the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics disability survey (in 1998).

Chapter 18 summarises the main findings of previous chapters and examines the impact of ageing on support service provision, government expenditure and informal assistance for people with a disability. Chapter 19 draws out the most salient information for disability administrators to consider when planning the evolution of services.