According to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of younger people in permanent residential aged care decreased in every state and territory between 2020 and 2021.
The report, Younger people in residential aged care, discovered 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. The number of Australians aged under 45 living in residential aged care fell by 24%, from 120 to 91 during the same time frame.
AIHW spokesperson Louise York said that the Australian Government aims to have no people under the age of 45 living in residential care by 2022 and under the age of 65 by 2025.
“The goal is to reduce the number of younger people entering residential aged care,” she said.
“Those already living in residential aged care to move into age-appropriate accommodation with the supports they need.’
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 4 in 10 (39%) were aged 45–59, and 2% were aged 18–44.
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.