Unmet needs in aged care: How long did Australians wait for aged care services?
Australia’s aged care system comprises a range of services from basic supports to enable people to remain independent at home, through to living in a residential aged care facility with access to full-time care. Over one million people received support from aged care services in Australia in 2019–20. The majority of aged care is provided to people in their homes (or elsewhere in a community setting), reflecting people’s preferences to remain living in their community for as long as possible.
While Australian aged care services and programs have been regularly reformed to meet the care needs of the population, there are areas where needs may not be met. One source of unmet need, documented in the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report (2021), is the amount of time people wait to access care.
This analysis used the Pathways in Aged Care (PIAC) 2020 link map including comprehensive aged care eligibility assessment data from the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF). We examined the outcomes after approval for a home care package or permanent residential aged care (or both) for everyone approved for care in the 2017–18 financial year.