This paper outlines how demographic, social and economic pressures will impact on aged care in Australia. It has been prepared by Dr David Cullen with the support of staff of the Office of the Royal Commission for the information of Commissioners and the public. This paper does not represent a direction or position of the Royal Commission in relation to these areas. Any views expressed in it are not necessarily the views of the Commissioners.
Ageing affects every person throughout their lifespan at different rates and in different ways as every individual is unique. It is inescapable, normal and not necessarily an indication of frailty. Normal ageing slows functionality, but age-related physical, emotional and social changes can be anticipated and managed by understanding the ageing process, adopting a healthy approach to ageing throughout life, and adapting to specific changes. Care available from within the community can support adaptation. However, chronic conditions such as obesity, dementia, and arthritis can diminish functionality. Supportive environments and
integrated care systems can help ensure that older people whose capacity has diminished live with dignity and grow personally.
SOURCE: Royal Commission into Aged Care. “Medium- and Long-term Pressure on the System: the changing demographics and dynamics of aged care.” Commonwealth of Australia, May 2019.
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