Palliative care for people living in residential aged care

Note: The information released in May 2021 has been removed due to a recently identified error in the reported data. The process for identifying residents in the aged care data appraised as requiring palliative care under the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) is complex with methods evolving over time to improve accuracy in data processing. More detailed information on palliative care for people living in residential aged care will be released in May 2022.

The Australian Government subsidises residential aged care services for older Australians whose care needs are such that they can no longer remain living in their own homes. Residential aged care services provide accommodation and services to people who require full-time care, including personal and nursing care, due to chronic impairments and a reduced degree of independence in activities of daily living.

This section includes information on permanent aged care residents and new admissions who have been appraised as requiring palliative care services based on the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI; see Box AC.1 for further details).

Key points:

In 2019–20, there were:

  • 244,712 people using permanent residential aged care (PRAC) in Australia, and of these, 4,683 (1.9%) had an ACFI appraisal indicating the need for palliative care (Figure 1).
  • 69,498 admissions to PRAC, 2,501 (3.6%) of which included an ACFI appraisal indicating the need for palliative care.
  • 68,199 exits from PRAC, 4,308 (6.3%) of which included an ACFI appraisal indicating the need for palliative care.

Figure 1: Admissions and people using permanent residential aged care appraised as requiring palliative care and other care, 2016–17 to 2019–20

Figure AC.1: Permanent residential  aged care residents appraised as requiring palliative care by sex and age group, 2019-20

Vertical bar chart showing the number of permanent residents appraised as requiring palliative care, by sex and age group. Females: <65 years, 35; 65–69 years, 49; 70–74 years, 122; 75–79 years, 154; 80–84 years, 275; 85+ years, 918. Males: <65 years, 50; 65–69 years, 79; 70–74 years, 121; 75–79 years, 216; 80–84 years, 336; 85+ years, 823. Refer to Table AC.5.