Aged care services 'in high demand'

08 August, 2014

More older Australians are accessing aged care services, with the most significant increase in services delivered to people in their homes and in the community, a new report has found.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Patterns in use of aged care: 2002-03 to 2010-11, found that 29 per cent of people aged 65 years and over accessed aged care services in 2010-11, as compared to 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 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.
Important changes in aged care designed to achieve a sustainable system came into effect on 1 July. The changes hope to offer flexibility for older people and 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 to 2021-22.
There will also be an increase in the number of home care packages by 80,000 over the next ten years, these changes will aim to encourage consumer-directed care for aged care in the home.
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 can find more information about care options through the My Aged Care gateway, there is also an online fee estimator for an idea of what they can expect to pay for their care.