As Australia’s veteran community ages, it is turning more and more to residential aged care.
A report on veterans’ use of health services conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that between 2001-02 and 2003-04, the number of gold cardholders aged 80 or over increased.
At the same time, an increasing number of gold cardholders spent time living in permanent residential aged care.
Between 2001-02 and 2003-04, the proportion of gold cardholders in nursing homes and hostels increased from 8 to 10 per cent.
Female gold cardholders tended to be older than male veterans and were increasingly more likely to live in residential facilities.
While 95 per cent of women with a gold card were 65 or older, only 84 per cent of male cardholders were.
In 2001-02, there was an equal proportion of male and female veterans in aged care but four years later, 54 per cent of cardholders in nursing homes and hostels were women.
Between 2001-02 and 2003-04, the average age of gold cardholders living in the community increased from 75.4 years to 76.7 years.