Fewer younger people living in residential aged care

The new `Younger people in residential aged care’ report is showing that the number of Australians aged under 65 living in permanent residential aged care fell by 20% from almost 4,600 in September 2020 to around 3,700 in September 2021. It also indicates that the number of Australians aged under 45 living in residential aged care fell by 24%, from 120 to 91 during the same time period.

The report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows the number of younger people in permanent residential aged care decreased in every state and territory between 2020 and 2021.

“The Australian Government has set targets to have no people under the age of 45 living in residential aged care by 2022, and under the age of 65 by 2025 (other than in exceptional circumstances), through the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020–25, released in September 2020. Today’s [Thursday 10 Feb] report tracks progress against these targets over the past year,” says AIHW spokesperson Louise York.

“The goal of the Strategy is to reduce the number of younger people entering residential aged care and support those already living in residential aged care to move into age-appropriate accommodation with the supports they need.”

From July to September 2021, 151 people aged under 65 entered permanent residential aged care, a 30% decrease from the same period in 2020. The decrease in admissions has resulted in lower overall numbers of younger people living in residential aged care.

The number of younger people living in residential aged care ranged from 10 in the ACT to 1,184 in New South Wales.

In September 2021, just over half (53%) of the younger people living in residential aged care were male and 10% were identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The majority (59%) of younger people living in residential aged care were aged 60–64. Nearly four in 10 (39%) were aged 45–59, and 2% were aged 18–44.

The AIHW will continue to report on the number of younger people living in permanent residential aged care on the GEN Aged Care Data website.

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