Australia to face aged care crisis by 2050:report


Alzheimer’s Australia chief executive Glenn Rees says the peak body commissioned the report to help steer future health planning.

“The key things that it has found are that by 2050 there will be a shortfall in aged care places – both community care places and residential care places – of about 280,000 places,” he said.

“What that means in simple terms is that we would have to double the increase in the supply of community care packages and residential care packages every year for the next 40 years.”

The report points to a huge increase in the number of people predicted to have dementia in 40 years time, which means an increased need not only for aged care places, but the services that these people will need.

“This report finds that by 2050 the numbers of people with dementia will be about 1 million. That is an increase of four-fold from today’s numbers,” Mr Rees said.

The peak body says the current basis for planning for Australia’s aged population is to look at the number of people who will be more than 70 years old.

Mr Rees says this system does not work, and it needs to be either pegged to the growth in dementia or the number of Australians who will be more than 85 years old.

The results of the study will be presented to the Productivity Commission inquiry into aged care.

Mr Rees says so far the Federal Government and the Opposition have focused on moving money around for short-term gain, and much bigger commitments to reform and funding are needed.

“There is no real indication in what has been said in this election that either major party understands the extent of the reforms needed in aged care,” he said.

Aged care provider Bupa Care Services’ managing director, Paul Gregerson, says the study’s findings will add to the anxieties of ageing Australians.

His company conducted a survey of 1,200 people over the age of 50 to find out what Australians worry about as they are getting older.

“One of the significant things that we found was that people worry more about dementia now than they do about stroke and heart disease,” he said.

“We found that cancer is the thing that Australians worry most about. The second most thing that they worry about is dementia and losing their mental independence.”

Tags: community-and-society, aged-care, health, disabilities, healthcare-facilities, mental-health, older-people, health-policy, australia

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