Most Older Australians Do Not Use Aged Care

By Andrew Heaton

(inmage via Houselanger and Kassnove Podiatrists)

Whilst aged care services provide an essential service, the majority of older Australians remain outside of the aged care system, according to the latest report.

Releasing its latest snapshot of Australians aged 65 or older, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that around 2.4 million of those who fell into this age group are not as of yet using aged care services – around 67 percent of the total of all Australians within this age group.

The report also revealed that most older Australians maintain healthy lifestyles and that an increasing number remain engaged within the workforce.

In respect of health, around 93 percent of all older Australians are not current smokers whilst around 41 percent had been sufficiently active over the past week and 51 percent were fully vaccinated.

In addition, the proportion of people who were aged over 65 and were engaged in paid employment stood at 13 percent in 2015 (453,000), up from five percent twenty-five years earlier in 1990.

The latest data comes as the population of older Australians continues to grow.

In 2016, the number of Australians aged 65 or older stood at 3.7 million or 15 percent of all Australians – up from around 10 percent 30 years ago in 1986.

By 2056, this number is expected to rise to 8.7 million or 22 percent of the population.

Whilst most older Australians remained outside of the aged care system, those within the system generally had extensive needs.

All up, eight in ten people within residential aged care were classified as high care recipients.

Within the broader health system, older Australians accounted for eight in ten community care recipients, two in ten emergency department presentations and three in ten Medicare claims for unrefereed general practitioner attendances.

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