Aged care data reveals shift to home care

Older Australians are choosing home care packages over aged care facilities, according to newly published federal government aged care data. The data forms part of six releases published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on 8 July. The reports provide detailed data outlining the current trends in our aged care preferences.

The reports reveal a strong trend towards home care over the past decade. Analysis shows that the number of admissions to home care has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years.

Meanwhile, admissions to aged care facilities have also risen over the decade, but at a slower rate. An overall rise in care admissions is no surprise. The population of Australians aged 65 and over has grown by 32 per cent over that period. Perhaps more of a surprise is the astronomical rise in home care admissions. 

Does the aged care data tell us what’s driving the rise?

The propensity for choosing home care over an aged care facility is not surprising. Most would prefer to continue living the life they have been used to for years, if not decades. Even so, the 10-year spike has surprised some. The peak rise came between 2018–19 and 2019–20.

In that 12-month period, the number of admissions to home care increased by almost 27,000. That represents a 57 per cent jump, the greatest year-on-year increase in admissions for home care on record.

A closer look at the overall aged care numbers perhaps provides another clue. The data shows that admissions to transition care decreased by 22 per cent between 2021–22 and 2022–23.

Transition care provides short-term care for older people leaving hospital, delaying entry into residential care. The Transition Care Programme was introduced in Australia in 2004–05 and provides care for up to 12 weeks in either a community setting or a residential care setting, or a combination of both.

Though the years of the home care admissions spike and the transition care admissions fall don’t quite align, it suggests a preference for going home – and staying home for as long as possible.

The numbers for the full 10-year period bear that out. In the10 years from 2013–14 to 2022–23, the number of home care admissions increased by 267 per cent. Respite residential care rose by 48 per cent, while admissions to transition care decreased by 42 per cent.

What else does the data reveal?

Another notable finding in the data was the number of women taking up aged care. Three out of every five admissions in the 2022–23 year were women.

Although there’s a strong trend towards a home care environment overall, it apparently becomes less prevalent the older we get. While 57 per cent of residential admissions were people aged 85 and over, the home care admissions figure for the same age group was only 38 per cent. 

Interestingly, more older women enter permanent residential aged care than men, while a more or less equal number of older men and women enter home care. Around 61 per cent of permanent residential aged care admissions for women were aged 85 and over. For men, the over 85 age group entering permanent residential aged care was 51 per cent.

In the case of home care, the figure for both men and women aged 85 and over was 38 per cent. 

The full suite of aged care data reports is available through the AIHW website.

Are you surprised by the aged care data findings? Have your aged care preferences changed in recent years? Let us know via the comments section below.

Also read: Why aged care facilities have younger Aussies

Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.


  1. I once thought I’d accept it gracefully if I needed to move into aged care. Not now. The dreadful COVID illnesses and deaths in aged care over recent years, which are continuing, is nothing short of criminal. I’d fight tooth and nail to keep out. The lack of care from aged care facilities and governments is reprehensible.

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -