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Public spending on aged care up as sector expands

Government spending on aged care increased by 44 per cent between 2009–10 and 2014–15, while the number of places rose dramatically under the reforms, figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show.

Recurrent government spending on aged care reached $15.8 billion in 2014-15, of which two-thirds ($10.6 billion) was spent on residential care, $1.9 billion on home support and $1.3 billion on home care.

The number of places in residential aged care increased 7 per cent between 2010 and 2015, up from 180,000 beds to 192,000, while the number of home care places rose by 43 per cent as the government ramped up the allocation of packages under the Living Longer Living Better reforms.

The number of operational home care packages reached 72,700 in 2015, up from 50,800 in 2010, according to the AIHW’s Residential aged care and home care 2014–15 report.

The number of home care packages is slated to increase to 100,000 by 2017-18 under the LLLB reforms.

The AIHW's report details growth and spending in aged care

The AIHW’s report details growth and spending in aged care

Throughout 2014-15 the aged care sector provided care to almost 400,000 older people across residential, home and transition support. According to the figures:

  • 231,000 people were in residential aged care
  • 53,000 people were in respite residential aged care
  • 84,000 people received a home care package

Admissions up

Between 2009–10 and 2014–15, the number of admissions into residential aged care rose 6 per cent, from 129,000 to 137,000, while admissions into home care increased 23 per cent over the same period, from 26,800 to 32,900.

Two-thirds of admissions in home care were for Level 2 packages.

In residential aged care, 27 per cent of residents were rated as needing a high level of care across the three ACFI domains – activities of daily living, behaviour, and complex health care.

There were almost 89,000 people with dementia living in residential aged care in June 2015, representing 52 per cent of residents, the figures showed.

Provider numbers        

In terms of provider make up, the report showed that there were 972 residential service providers operating 2,681 aged care facilities, and 504 home care service providers operating via 2,263 service outlets.

Some 52 per cent of the residential facilities had 60 or more beds, while 52 per cent of the home care service outlets had 20 or fewer operational places and 24 per cent had between 21 and 40 places.

Read the full AIHW report here

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