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Explore people using aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available at 30 June 2019. 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 aged 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 aged care at 30 June has increased over the last 10 years.

  • Home care has seen the greatest growth in users, increasing from almost 44,100 people on 30 June 2009 to over 106,700 people on 30 June 2019—an increase of 142%.
  • The number of people living in permanent residential aged care increased by 15% (from 158,800 to 182,700).
  • The numbers of people using transition care and respite residential aged 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 15% increase in the number of people using permanent residential care and a 142% increase in the number of people using home care services between 2009 and 2019.

There are more women using aged care services than men

Women in Australia have a longer life expectancy than men. For example, in 2016–2018, at birth, the average woman in Australia could expect to live to 84.9 years, compared with 80.7 years for men (ABS 2019). This longer life expectancy means in general women are more likely to receive aged care services and to receive these services for longer than men.
 
 As at 30 June 2019:

  • There were more women than men using residential aged care, home care and transition care across all 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 aged care, South Australia had the highest total usage rate, and also the highest rates for both men and women. There were 34.7 women and 16.2 men in residential care per 1,000 people in the target population in South Australia, compared with national usage rates of 30.3 (women) and 15.2 (men). 
  • Victoria had the highest total usage rate for home care. There were 17.5 women in home care and 9.6 men 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—generally, people of all ages live in 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, which may be because people move to access aged care services. Home care services do not show as much difference between remoteness areas, suggesting a more even usage.

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.

Characteristics of people using aged care services across Aged Care Planning Regions and Primary Health Networks

Urban areas have the highest numbers of people using aged care services per 1,000 in the target population (that is, all people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50–64 years).

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are represented in aged care services at higher rates in regions in the northern areas 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 northern and western areas of Australia, reflecting the higher distribution of speakers of Indigenous languages.

The map of Australia below shows the number of people using aged care services per 1,000 people in the target aged care population. You can 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.

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.