Future challenges include the increasing numbers and expectations of older people, a relative fall in the number of informal carers, and the need for more workers. By 2050, over 3.5 million Australians are expected to use aged care services each year.
The Productivity Commission has released its report into the aged care system, Caring for Older Australians. The aged care system suffers key weaknesses. It is difficult to navigate. Services are limited, as is consumer choice. Quality is variable. Coverage of needs, pricing, subsidies and user co-contributions are inconsistent or inequitable. Workforce shortages are exacerbated by low wages and some workers have insufficient skills. The Commission's proposals address these weaknesses and challenges, and aim to deliver higher quality care.