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Respite care access on the rise and residential care admissions down


The number of people accessing aged care services has increased by more than 12,000 people in a year, a new government report shows.

The total number of admissions into residential aged care, home care and transition care across Australia is up from 216,500 in 2016-17 to 229,471 in 2017-18, according to the GEN Aged Care Data report released this month.

The report shows that there has been a decrease in the number of admissions into permanent residential aged care, down from 73,100 in 2016-17 compared to 71,928 in 2017-18, however the number of people accessing respite residential care is up from 75,338 in 2016-17 to 79,099 in 2017-18.

The number of people accessing home care has also increased to 52,666 in 2017-18 compared to 43,173 the previous year.

Access to transition care is slightly down at 24,778 in 2017-18 compared to 24,889 the previous year.

The most common age at admission was 85-89 years among both men and women, followed by the 80-84 age group in 2017-18. Women made up 60 per cent of admissions into aged care services.

Over 30 per cent of people admitted into permanent residential aged care were born overseas and 1 per cent identified as being indigenous Australians.

Victoria had the highest rate of entries into permanent residential aged care (19.2 per 1,000 people) and South Australia had the highest rate of entries for respite residential care and transition care (27.8 and 7.3 per 1,000 people respectively).

Queensland had the highest rate of entries into home care (16.3 per 1,000 people).

People leaving aged care

Elsewhere, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also released new data on people leaving aged care, showing almost 199,000 exits from residential aged care, home care and transition care in 2017-18.

This figure is down from 206,000 exits in 2016-17.

The majority of exits in aged care were people were from respite care (53 per cent), followed by people leaving residential aged care (47 per cent) at 148,500 in 2017-18, compared to 145,000 the previous year.

The average length people who left permanent residential care in 2017-18 was 2 and a half years, which is the same as the previous year.

On average, women stayed in permanent residential care (2 years and 10 months) almost a year longer than men (2 years).

The most common reason for leaving permanent residential care was due to death (83 per cent), which has increased by one per cent on the previous year (82 per cent).

Other reasons for leaving permanent residential care includes people moving to another facility, which has decreased slightly from 10 per cent of exits in 2016-17 to 9.8 per cent in 2017-18.

This suggests that people are more likely to stay in one aged care facility rather than move between providers, the report said.

Access the Admissions into aged care report here and the People leaving aged care report here.

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