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Younger people in residential aged care: Update to March 2021

The Australian Government has a strategy to reduce the number of younger people (under the age of 65) going into residential aged care, and to help younger people who are already in residential aged care to move into age-appropriate accommodation with the supports they need.


27 Jul 2021

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has a ‘Younger People in Residential Aged Care’ dashboard that tracks the progress being made towards these targets, using the most recent data available. A factsheet is also available here.

 

Key data on the targets in this latest update shows a downward trend:

  • Target 1 – No. people under the age of 65 entering residential aged care by 2022: During January to March 2021, 164 people under the age of 65 were admitted into permanent residential aged care in Australia. This is a 42.3% decrease from the same period in 2020.

  • Target 2 – No. people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care by 2022: At 31 March 2021, there were 105 people aged under 45 living in residential aged care in Australia. This is a 24.5% decrease from the same date in 2020.

  • Target 3 – No. people under the age of 65 living in residential aged care by 2025: At 31 March 2021, there were 4,106 people aged under 65 living in residential aged care in Australia. This is a 19.7% decrease from the same date in 2020.

 

Further, in the year from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, 968 younger people exited from permanent residential aged care. More than two thirds (68%) of exits from permanent residential aged care (655 people) had death recorded as the reason for leaving. Among the remaining exits, 61% (192 people) returned to family or home, 9% (29 people) exited to hospital, and 29% (92 people) exited to a destination recorded as another location.

 

It is also noted in the factsheet that there appears to have been an increase in the number of younger people who returned to family or home during July to September 2020. It is posited by AIHW that this may have been a response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation at that point in time. AIHW also note that access to NDIS supports may also have contributed to the ability of younger people to exit permanent residential aged care to the family home, although the available data do not yet support analysis of this.

 

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