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Aged care royal commission releases second background paper


Paul Hayes


2/05/2019 12:07:35 PM

The paper ‘puts Australia’s ageing population under the microscope’.

Elderly man
The number of Australians aged 85 and older will increase to more than 5.8 million – 3.7% of the population – by 2050.

The impacts of Australia’s ageing population will require ‘significant adjustments to the Australian economy and systems that support older people’, according to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s second background paper, Medium- and long-term pressures on the system: The changing demographics of aged care.

According to the paper, the number of Australians aged 85 and older increased significantly in absolute terms and as a share of the Australian population over the last four decades –from 91,640 in 1978 (0.6% of the Australian population) to 503,685 (2% of the population) in 2018. On current demographic projections, the paper states, the number of Australians aged 85 and older will increase to more than 1.5 million in 2058 (3.7% of the population).
 
The background paper examines issues such as changing patterns of disease and dependency, the rising incidence of dementia, and Australia’s changing expectations and cultural profile. It also explores current arrangements, future pressures and a greater need for preventive and restorative health.
 
‘The total supply of care will need to increase, with large absolute rises being required in the level of provision in each part of the aged care spectrum,’ the paper states. ‘At the same time, the structure of supply will need to shift, with larger increases in community care on the one hand and high-level care on the other.’
 
The paper examines a changing aged care workforce and the need for the sector to act more flexibly, which will help to ‘ensure care is focused on the individual and … provide a broader range of care options’.

Correction: This article previously stated the number of Australians aged 85 and older will increase to more than 5.8 million – 3.7% of the population – by 2050.



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Danny Byrne   3/05/2019 9:49:27 AM

OMG. I just realised I will be one of those over 85 year olds in 2050!


Daniel Byrne   3/05/2019 9:53:49 AM

Correct quote from the Royal Commission paper is
“In the last 40 years, the number of Australians aged 85 years and over increased significantly in absolute terms and as a share of the Australian population—from 91,640 in 1978 (0.6% of the Australian population) to 503,685 (2.0% of the Australian population) in 2018. On current demographic projections, the number of Australians aged 85 years and over will continue to increase to more than 1.5 million in 2058 (3.7% of the Australian population).”


Dominic Barnes   3/05/2019 10:48:11 AM

Thanks for the correction - for 5.8m to be 3.7% of the population, the overall Australian population would need to increase 120+m in the next 30 years. Literacy and numeracy don't always travel together.


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