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Explore people using aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available at 30 June 2017. You can download data directly from the visualisations by clicking in the graph area and using the 'download' menu.

In this section you can explore more about people using residential care, home care and transition care, including information about their age, sex, Indigenous status, and where people live.

More people are using aged care

The number of people using home care, transition care, and residential care at 30 June has increased over the last 10 years.
  • Home care has seen the greatest growth in users, increasing from almost 39,000 people on 30 June 2007 to over 71,000 people on 30 June 2017. This represents an increase of 84%.
  • At the same time, the number of people using permanent residential aged care increased by 17%.
  • The numbers of people using transition care and respite residential care have also grown over this period.
A stacked bar graph shows a time series of the number of people using aged care services by the type of aged care service. The number of people using all types aged care has increased over the past 10 years in accordance with the growing older population. The majority of people using aged care services were using permanent residential care, which was consistent across all years. There was a 17% increase in the number of people using permanent residential care and an 84% increase in the number of people using home care services between 2007 and 2017.

There are more women using aged care services than men

Women in Australia have a longer life expectancy than men. For example, at the age of 75 years, the average woman in Australia can expect to live another 14 years, compared with 12 years for men (ABS 2016). Hence, women are more likely to receive aged care services and receive these for longer than men.

As at 30 June 2017:

  • There were more women than men in both residential and home care across all of the states and territories per 1,000 people in the target population (that is, all people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50–64 years).

  • In residential care, South Australia had the highest total usage rate, and also the highest rates for both men and women. There were 36.5 women and 16.4 men in residential care for every 1,000 people in the target population in South Australia, compared with national usage rates of 31.8 and 15.5. This reflects the fact that South Australia has the highest provision of residential care places.

  • The Northern Territory had the highest rates for home care usage. There were 17.8 women in home care for every 1,000 people in the target population, and 10.4 men. The rate of men using home care in the Northern Territory is almost double the national figure. These high usage rates for home care reflect the Northern Territory’s focus on provision of care in the community setting.

  • The usage rates for transition care vary across the states and territories, with the highest total usage rate being in the Northern Territory (1.1 users per 1,000 people) and the lowest in Tasmania (0.7 users per 1,000 people). Across Australia, there were 0.6 women and 0.3 men using transition care for every 1,000 people in the target population.

A stacked bar graph shows the number of people using aged care services per 1,000 people in the target aged care population by sex, state and type of aged care service. Women made up the majority of aged care service recipients across all aged care service types and all states and territories.

People in major cities use permanent residential care at higher rates than people in rural areas

Most residential care services are located in major cities. This is reflected in usage rates—people of all ages use permanent residential aged care at higher rates in major cities than in other remoteness regions across Australia, although usage rates increase the most sharply with age in major cities.
 
Regional and remote areas have lower usage rates of aged care services, partly because people may move to access aged care services. Home care services do not show as much difference between rural and urban areas, suggesting more even usage across the remoteness regions.

A line graph shows the rate of usage for permanent residential care and home care services per 1,000 people in the population by remoteness and age group. The graph shows that rates of usage increase sharply in older age groups for both types of care. Major cities had the highest rates of usage for permanent residential care, whereas there was a similar rate of usage for home care services between major cities and very remote areas.

Explore the characteristics of people using aged care services across Aged Care Planning Regions and Primary Health Networks

Urban areas have the highest numbers of people in aged care services per 1,000 of the target population (that is, all people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50–64 years). The use of home care is more evenly spread across Australia. The Northern Territory has particularly high numbers of home care recipients per 1,000 people in the target population.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are represented in aged care services at higher rates in regions in the north of Australia.

Cities have higher usage rates among people who were born in non-English speaking countries and who prefer to speak languages other than English.

Among people who were born in Australia and prefer to speak languages other than English, the highest usages rates of aged care are found in the north and west of Australia, reflecting the distribution of speakers of Indigenous languages.
A map of Australia shows the number of people using aged care services per 1,000 people in the target aged care population. The map allows the user to filter the data by characteristics such as level of geography, aged care service type, age group, sex, Indigenous status, preferred language and country of birth.