Young People in Residential Aged Care in Australia, 2019-2020

This report utilises the available administrative data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the NDIA to describe the characteristics and geographical distribution of young people in permanent residential aged care (RAC) in Australia in 2019-2020. It finds that as at 30 June 2020, 4,860 people under 65 years, including 130 people under 45 years, were living in permanent RAC. They accounted for 2.6% and 0.1%, respectively, of all residents in permanent RAC. The number of young people under 65 years residing in permanent RAC decreased by 13.3% compared to 12 months prior.

Most young people living in permanent RAC have a disability and thus may be eligible for NDIS funding. However, when comparing the number of young people living in permanent RAC to the number of young people who were active NDIS participants, it was found that almost one quarter were not participants in the NDIS. The issue of young people living in permanent RAC is a complex issue, evidenced by considerable movement in and out of the aged care system by young people. Focusing on preventing new admissions to RAC has the potential to make the greatest shift; however, substantial effort must be given to enabling young people to exit from RAC with the supports they require to live successfully in the community.