More people live in community care

More people are choosing to age ‘in place’ in the community, rather than in residential care, new figures show.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) this week released figures showing 25 per cent of government-subsidised aged care places in June 2013 were for community-based care, up from 20 per cent five years ago.

“This is consistent with our understanding that most older Australians prefer to remain in the community as long as possible,” said AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury.

The shift was expected to continue, with long-term aged care planning for an expected one in three aged care places allocated to community care by 2025.

At 30 June 2013, nearly 57,000 people were receiving care packages to help them stay living in the community, including more than 14,000 people receiving high-level care.

Two out of three recipients of community care were women, and two in five were aged 85 years or older.

Cooper-Stanbury said that the residential aged care sector was also growing, but at a slower rate than community-based care.

In 2013, there were more than 186,000 places available for residential care, compared with nearly 176,000 five years earlier, he said.

“And there is a shift to fewer, larger residential facilities.

“In the 10 years to June 2013, the proportion of residential facilities that had 60 or more places rose from 28 per cent to 48 per cent,” Cooper-Stanbury said.

Among permanent aged care residents, over two-thirds were women, although there were more men than women aged under 70.

More information is available at the website.

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