According to an Access Economics study parts of the country have the worst projected shortfalls in aged care beds and community care packages. The study has predicted that a nationwide shortfall of 279,000 places needed to care for the elderly and infirm in 40 years’ time, with the lack concentrated on the most populous states of NSW and Victoria.
On a state by state level, NSW and Victoria have the worst shortfalls, at 95,200 and 72,000 missing places respectively. They are followed by Queensland (50,300), South Australia (25,400), WA (24,100), Tasmania (7300), the ACT (3200) and the Northern Territory (1600).
The study also outlined the top five federal seats in terms of these missing care places. These are;
- Paterson in NSW (a shortfall of 2943 places by 2050)
- Mayo in South Australia (2883)
- Lyne in NSW (2873)
- Flinders (2872)
- Lalor (2857)
The study was commissioned by Alzheimer’s Australia, and president Ita Buttrose said it showed the nation was not on track to adequately care for its rising number of people with dementia. She added that the number of Australians with dementia is projected to grow to almost one million by mid-century.
The big aged care company Bupa Care Services said that 65 per cent of its nursing home residents have a diagnosis of dementia. Ms Buttrose said, “The under-supply of residential and community aged care places can be attributed in large part to the increasing numbers of those over 85 years and the growth in the number of people with dementia… These numbers show that dementia care is core business for aged care.”