The number of persons aged 65 years and over in Australia is set to more than double by 2056. This means nearly one quarter of the population will be 65 years and over, and it is forecast there will be significant growth in the nation’s population aged 85 years and over www.aihw.gov.au/ageing/older-australia-at-a-glance/.
As well as growing in number, we also know that the needs and preferences of people over 65; and how and where, they live their lives has changed dramatically from previous generations. Operating in tandem with these individual life choices, is the approximately 30 years added to the average life expectancy. Recognising these profound changes, the Australian Government has implemented reforms away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ supply approach to aged care service provision to one of person centered, or consumer directed care (CDC).
This model of aged care provision is a fundamental shift in the way assistance is funded and provided to older Australians. The promise of CDC is that it embraces choice and control for older people to decide on the services they want to use, who will provide them, and at what time and location. The goal is for greater flexibility in service provision to better match what individuals need – and to adjust services as their needs change.