Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2000   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

SUPPORT FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Growth in the number of older Australians, along with an increasing prevalence of disability, has seen many older people turn to support services for assistance. According to the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 12% of Australians (2.3 million) were aged 65 years and over in 1998, and 1.2 million of these had a disability. The survey also indicated that 888,000 older people required assistance with common daily activities, because of disability or age.


A major aim of aged care policy is to meet the preference of older people to remain in their homes by providing assistance with activities such as personal care, health care, and household tasks. Government agencies may provide services directly or purchase them from other formal providers. The activities most commonly supported by formal providers were property maintenance, health care and housework. Table 7.17 illustrates the range of activities supported by formal providers and the number of older Australians who received assistance with these activities.

7.17 OLDER PERSONS(a), Formal Assistance by Activity - 1998
Government
Private non-profit
Private for profit
All receiving
formal
assistance(b)
All needing
assistance
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

    Activities
    Self care
23.2
7.5
*6.3
35.3
155.0
    Mobility
32.7
11.3
9.4
51.1
275.0
    Communication
n.p.
n.p.
28.3
    Health care
105.9
14.4
132.2
238.6
376.0
    Transport
38.5
18.5
11.9
64.9
453.9
    Paperwork
*4.4
**2.1
*4.6
11.0
144.3
    Housework
108.1
13.6
59.8
177.5
403.9
    Property maintenance
42.5
24.5
234.5
284.9
626.1
    Meal preparation
20.0
12.3
*7.6
39.2
142.2
    One or more activities(c)
237.5
74.6
350.1
506.7
887.9
    All receiving any assistance(d)
. .
. .
. .
853.3
. .

          (a) Aged 65 and over, living in households.
          (b) Total may be less than the sum of the components as persons may receive assistance from more than one provider.
          (c) Total may be less than the sum of the components as persons may need or receive assistance with more than one activity.
          (d) Persons receiving formal and/or informal assistance.

          Source: Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia (4430.0).


While a large number of people received help from formal providers, more older people received help from informal providers, such as family members or friends, for most activities. As well as being the most likely source of assistance with personal tasks (self care, communication and mobility), friends and relatives also provided help with a full range of other activities. Table 7.18 illustrates the range of activities supported by informal providers, the relationships of providers to older persons receiving assistance, and the number receiving assistance.

7.18 OLDER PERSONS(a), Informal Assistance by Activity - 1998
Relationship of informal provider to older person receiving assistance
Partner


Child


Other relative or
friend

Female
Male
Daughter
Son
Female
Male
All receiving
informal
assistance(b)
All needing assistance
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

      Activities
    Self care
46.3
33.9
39.4
*7.5
9.3
*3.5
127.4
155.0
    Mobility
50.9
47.5
84.6
39.2
55.9
30.3
246.4
275.0
    Communication
9.5
*3.1
11.3
**1.8
*5.0
**2.6
25.2
28.3
    Health care
65.7
29.7
50.0
16.8
18.4
*3.5
172.6
376.0
    Transport
40.8
63.2
132.8
62.1
85.4
58.8
372.8
453.9
    Paperwork
36.5
19.4
49.2
17.8
16.7
*5.5
133.7
144.3
    Housework
59.5
85.9
90.0
37.8
35.1
10.7
281.0
403.9
    Property maintenance
66.8
91.8
77.6
116.7
35.9
114.8
422.4
626.1
    Meal preparation
33.6
25.5
38.3
10.7
13.1
*3.1
115.7
142.2
    One or more activities(c)
143.2
151.7
222.9
170.6
155.7
171.7
710.9
887.9
    All receiving any assistance(d)
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
853.3
. .

          (a) Aged 65 and over, living in households.
          (b) Total may be less than the sum of the components as persons may receive assistance from more than one provider.
          (c) Total may be less than the sum of the components as persons may need or receive assistance with more than one activity.
          (d) Persons receiving informal and/or formal assistance.

          Source: Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia (4430.0).


Of the 853,000 people who received assistance with one or more activities, 59% had some of their needs met by formal providers and 83% were assisted by family members or friends. This illustrates the complementary roles that different providers play in attempting to meet the needs of older people in the community.

The majority of people who required help received some support, but not always as much as they would have liked. The activity for which there was the greatest unmet need was transport.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.