Aged care: growing diversity poses new challenges

The Federal Government’s Productivity Commission has released the report, Trends in aged care services: some implications, to identify challenges arising from shifting demand and supply influences in the aged care sector. 

The report shows the profile of the aged is becoming heterogenous with diversifying backgrounds, needs and expectations, including an increased preference for independent living arrangements.

To better respond to the changes, it highlights the need to assess the current residential care provisions and aged care workforce, along with the feasibility of introducing 'consumer-oriented' care arrangements to widen the scope of care services and lift productivity growth. 

“It is clearly important that our aged care sector is able to meet these challenges in ways that promote the wellbeing of the oldest generation, while being cost effective for the community as a whole,” the commission’s chairman Gary Banks said in the report.

Commissioner Mike Wood said grasping the implications of the shifting demographic landscape was crucial for the sector in order to provide more equitable and sustainable services.

“These emerging challenges on the demand-side of the aged care market are creating pressure for the supply-side to be more flexible, responsive and efficient,” Mr Wood said.

The research builds on the commission’s earlier work in the areas of demographic change, health and aged care.

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