How can we make quality aged care services more affordable, accessible and flexible?

What’s the problem?

An older population means more people will need access to services such as health care, aged care, and public housing.

Alt text The challenge is to provide quality services and care that older people need, in a way that they (and their families) can afford. As areas where government traditional provides a significant amount of funding, providing this care has significant budget implications for Government as well as families. According to the Productivity Commission, the challenge for the aged care system is for it to become:

  • affordable, for both those requiring care and for society more generally
  • easy to navigate, with older Australians knowing what care is available and how to access those services
  • flexible, ensuring that all older Australians have access to services that can change as their needs change

Seven things you need to know

  • The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double in 2055 compared with today.

  • The number and proportion of Australians aged 85 and over will also grow rapidly. In 1974–75, this age group represented less than 1 per cent of the population (around 80,000 people). In 2054–55, it is projected that 4.9 per cent of the population, or nearly 2 million Australians, will be aged 85 and over.

  • In 1974–75, there were 122 Australians aged over 100. This number is project to grow to 40,000 in 2055.

  • 7.8% of the Australian population aged 65 and over were in residential aged care at some point over the 2013–14 financial year.

  • 2 in 3 people in permanent residential aged care at 30 June 2014 (69%) were women. The average age for women was 85.8, compared to 81.6 for men.

  • Australian Government expenditure on aged care has nearly quadrupled since 1975. Expenditure is projected to nearly double again as a share of the economy by 2055.

  • In today's dollars, per person spending on Age and Service Pensions is projected to increase from almost $2,000 in 2014–15 to around $3,200 in 2054–55.

Want more? Watch our infographic video about caring for the elderly here.

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