Today’s elderly need more care than before: study

June 14th, 2008 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 14 (IANS) The elderly are more infirm today than they were a decade ago, says a study that found that octogenarians now need more care than their counterparts of the 1990s. According to the Australian study, as many as 70 percent of those over 80 require more intensive care today as compared to 58 percent a decade ago.

The study had a sample where 75 percent were aged over 80 and 54 percent were over 85, but a small proportion of about four percent were under 65.

“Among these younger aged care residents, a high proportion are classified as high-care (77 percent), even when compared to the very old residents (95 and older) of whom about 75 percent require high levels of care,” said Ann Peut, who led the study.

The report showed that the average complete length of stay at age care centres for permanent residents has increased from 131 weeks a decade ago to 146 weeks now.

The allocation of new places in such centres in 2006-07 was 4,415 high-care residential places and 2,110 low-care residential places.

The significant jump in the allocation of high-care places in 2006-07 (42 percent compared to 19-32 percent over the last five years) was in line with increasing dependency levels.

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