Over-65s increasingly using aged care services

MORE older Australians are using aged care services after their 65th birthday, with new figures showing a one-third jump in service use between 2002-03 and 2010-11.

A report on the patterns of aged care use by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed the number of over-65s using such services grew from 642,000 to 874,000.

The rise, the report shows, was not just due to the nation's ageing population, but growth in the number of elderly Australians using community care programs.'

Over the nine year study, the institute's research showed on a standard day one in six Australians aged 65 or older used aged care services, with about 5% in residential care.

But that figure rose as people got older, with about 58% of those aged 85 or older in September 2010 accessing aged care services, and about 25% of those already living in residential care.

Similarly, the data confirmed more elderly Australians were moving into residential care accommodation in the year before their death, with 75% of people who died in 2010-11 living in residential aged care centres.