Sydney to Katoomba. Melbourne to Ballarat. Perth to Waroona.
Those are the kinds of distances people in non-metropolitan areas travel from their home to enter residential aged care.
New research, released by the royal commission, revealed that many Australians move more than 100 kilometres from their home or drive for more than 60 minutes when beginning permanent residential aged care or using respite at a facility.
Between 10 and 16 per cent of people in regional and rural areas who entered permanent residential care moved over 100km. That share increased to just over a third (34 per cent) among those living in remote regions and just over half (53 per cent) among those in very remote areas.
The story was similar for people who used aged care facilities for respite.
By comparison, almost all people who were living in metropolitan areas stayed close to home when they entered residential care.
“People who need aged care are better able to maintain social connections with family and friends, informal support from these people, and connection with Country if they can access aged care services near to the place they live,” a report on the study read.
“How far people move to access aged care can be a useful indicator of how well the aged care system meets the needs of different regions and groups of people, though people may have moved for a variety of reasons other than aged care, such as returning to live closer to their loved ones.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tended to move further than other people to enter residential aged care if they were living in metropolitan or rural areas, but moved less distance if they were living in remote or very remote regions.
With the exception of those living in very remote areas, younger people tended to move further than older cohorts.
The findings were based on people accessing aged care services on 30 June 2019.
The Office of the Royal Commission said data on reasons behind moving would help assist with future planning and development of aged care services.Do you have an idea for a story?
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