Living in private dwellings or cared accommodation

While most people with disability (95%) live at home or in the community, this was not always so. In the past, many, particularly those with severe or profound disability, lived in cared accommodation.

Recent decades, however, have seen a large shift towards supporting people with disability to live at home or in the community. This has mostly been driven by changes for young people with disability. For example, 1 in 500 people aged 5–29 with severe or profound disability lived in cared accommodation in 2015, compared with around 1 in 100 in 2003, and 1 in 7 in 1981 (AIHW 2017).

Younger people (aged under 65) with disability are more likely than older people (aged 65 and over) with disability to live at home or in the community (99%, compared with 90%).

The more severe a person’s disability is, the more likely they are to be living in cared accommodation and the less likely they are to live at home or in the community—86% with severe or profound disability live at home or in the community, compared with close to 100% with other disability (Table 1). This difference is smaller among younger people with disability than older people with disability:

  • 98% of people aged under 65 with severe or profound disability live at home or in the community, compared with close to 100% of those with other disability
  • 73% of people aged 65 and over with severe or profound disability and over do so, compared with close to 100% of those with other disability.

Table 1: People with disability living at home or in the community(a), by age group and disability status, 2015 (%)

Age group

Severe or profound disability(b)

Other disability status

All with disability

Under 65

98.1

99.9

99.3

65 and over

73.4

99.7

90.2

Total

86.3

99.8

95.5

Notes

(a) Living at home or in the community refers to living in private dwellings, including self-cared accommodation for the aged or retired, and other private dwellings.

(b) Severe or profound core activity limitation means always or sometimes needing assistance or supervision with self-care, mobility and/or communication.

Source: ABS 2016; see also Table S1.

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of TableBuilder data.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2017. Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in community living. Cat. no. DIS 67. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/disability-australia-changes-over-time-factsheets/fact-sheets