Introduction: This paper examines aged care issues and the provision of aged care services in Australia.Materials and Methods: A Medline search and review of Australian government publications was undertaken and complemented by a review of local Australian resources. Results: Australia has seen major development of aged care services over the last 60 years. These services were originally focused on a residential care model, but have since evolved to become a mixed provision of services that are shaped by legislative or regulatory requirements. Geriatric health services are well-developed in some parts of Australia, with a comprehensive regional service that includes hospital-based and community-based components (including an Aged Care Assessment Team). Conclusion: The rapidly ageing population in Australia is exerting pressure on the aged care system and geriatric health services. A major identified problem with available services is their fragmentation and limited co-ordination.
In Australia, the number of elderly people is increasing rapidly. In 2001, the population of Australia was approximately 19 million people and about 12.6% of this population were >65 years old.
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