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Services and places in aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available at 30 June 2017. You can download data directly from the visualisations by clicking in the graph area and using the 'download' menu.

Australian aged care services offer care in different settings. Home support and home care services provide care in the community for people living at home. Residential aged care services provide care in residential facilities, both for permanent and short-term respite stays. Flexible care services deliver care in a range of settings.

1,523 organisations were funded to provide home support in 2016–17.
702 organisations were funded to provide home care on 30 June 2017.
2,672 services delivered residential aged care across Australia on 30 June 2017.
92% occupancy rate in residential aged care in 2016–17.
200,689 places in residential aged care at 30 June 2017.
56% of places in residential aged care at 30 June 2017 were managed by not-for-profit organisations.
  • Across Australia on 30 June 2017, there were 902 organisations providing residential aged care through 2,672 services. There were 702 organisations providing home care services.
  • 1,523 organisations were funded to provide home support over 2016–17 through 3,308 services.

  • Residential aged care is delivered across Australia through an allocation of places. The number of places has increased from approximately 182,000 on 30 June 2011 to 201,000 on 30 June 2017.

  • Not-for-profit organisations manage more than half of the places in residential aged care (56%).
  • From February 2017, government funding for home care is no longer attached to a place in a particular service. This affects some of the time series data in this topic.

Where are aged care services based?

The map below shows where Australia’s aged care services are located. Each dot represents an aged care service, and the colour reflects the type of care it offers (see the next section for a description of these types of care).


  • Residential care services are concentrated in more densely populated urban areas, with around 3 in 5 (62%) of facilities located in Major cities.

  • Transition care services tend to be located near hospitals, so they too are based mainly in cities (64%).

  • Other flexible care services that target particular communities are often located in rural areas—for example, fewer than 1 in 5 (19%) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program services are located in cities.

The location of the service is a base from which care is delivered, so services for home care and home support can deliver care some distance away from the physical location of the service marked on the map (please note: home support services on this map are shown if they were active during the financial year 2016–17, while all other services are as at 30 June 2017).

A map of Australia shows where different types of aged care services are located. The map shows that the majority of residential care services were located in densely populated urban areas, and were much less concentrated in rural parts of Australia. Community-based care services such as home care and home support services were much more common in rural areas.

What types of care are available?

Government-funded programs offer different types of aged care.

Mainstream types of care are:

  • Residential care, which offers long- or short-term stays in an aged care facility
  • Home care (Home Care Packages Program), which provides different levels of aged care services for people in their own homes
  • Home support (Commonwealth Home Support Programme), which provides entry-level support at home.

Flexible care consists of:

  • Transition care, which provides short-term care to restore independent living after a hospital stay

  • Short-term restorative care, which expands on transition care to include anyone whose capacity to live independently is at risk

  • Multi-purpose services, which offer aged care alongside health services in regional and remote areas

  • Innovative Pool, which pilots new approaches to providing aged care

  • The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Care Program, which provides culturally-appropriate aged care at home and in the community.


How is aged care delivered?

Aged care services are managed by not-for-profit organisations, government organisations, or private companies. In most cases, the Australian Government contributes towards the costs of care—you can read more about this in the Spending section. Each organisation can operate a number of different services, sometimes across different aged care programs.

  • There were 902 organisations that operated 2,672 services in residential aged care, with an average occupancy rate of 92% across 2017.
  • 702 organisations provided home care services at 30 June 2017.
  • In 2016–17, 1,523 organisations were funded to provide home support services. Funding was also provided to 372 organisations in Victoria to transition from Home and Community Care (HACC) services to home support, and a further 98 organisations delivered HACC services in Western Australia.
A table shows the number of aged care organisations, services and places for each type of aged care services. The largest number of aged care organisations was for home support, with 1,523 organisations. Residential care had the second largest number of service organisations, 902, and had the largest number of places of any type of aged care service.

Where are aged care places located?

Some aged care programs are allocated a set number of government-funded places. An allocated place becomes operational when it is made available for someone to take it up.

  • There were almost 201,000 places in residential care at 30 June 2017. The 3 largest states—New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland—collectively accounted for about four-fifths of these places.
  • Short-term restorative care was introduced in 2017 with 400 places, alongside the existing transition care program which offered 4,019 places. The 3 largest states accounted about four fifths of these places.
  • Multi-purpose services delivered care through 3,636 places and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program through 820 places. More than 2 in 5 places in this program were operational in Northern Territory (43%).
A stacked bar graph shows the number of available places for each aged care program type by state and territory. The majority of aged care places were in residential care, and the larger states had more places than smaller states and territories.

In the next section you can explore more about places in residential aged care and flexible care, such as their geographical distribution.