Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN THE SENATE
Senator for Victoria
6 August 2014
Report highlights increasing demand in aged care
A new report has found more older Australians are accessing aged care services, with the greatest increase in services delivered to people in their homes and in the community.
The report demonstrates that Australia’s ageing population is driving demand and growth in the aged care sector.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Patterns in use of aged care: 2002-03 to 2010-11, found 29 per cent of people aged 65 years and over accessed aged care services in 2010-11, up from 26 per cent in 2002-03.
The greatest increase was in community care programmes, which were used by 79 per cent of all aged care clients in 2010-11, up from 76 per cent in 2002-03, with the vast majority of these people receiving Home and Community Care (HACC) services.
The report shows Australian Government aged care programmes over the last ten years are assisting greater numbers of older Australians, and confirms the Government’s focus on increasing support to help people stay in their homes and communities for longer is well-targeted.
People are living longer thanks to better health and better health care, and we need a sustainable system in the years ahead.
Important changes in aged care designed to achieve a sustainable system came into effect on 1 July. The changes offer choice and flexibility for older people and put control back in their hands, with more support to help people stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.
The Government is increasing the number of aged care places available per 1,000 people aged 70 years and over the years to 2021-22. We are also increasing the number of home care packages by 80,000 over the next ten years.
There will also be a shift towards consumer-directed care for aged care in the home, allowing older Australians to decide for themselves how their care needs are met.
The most important thing older people and their families can do is learn about the choices available, so they can plan and make the right decision.
Consumers now have access to an unprecedented level of information on aged care through the My Aged Care gateway, where people can find out about their care options, compare residential care prices and features and use an online fee estimator for an idea of what they can expect to pay for their care.
People can contact the My Aged Care gateway on 1800 200 422 to speak to a real person, or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.
Media contact: Lydia Bevege | 0409 792 081 | firstname.lastname@example.org