Who is using aged residential care?
About 33,000 New Zealanders use aged residential care (ARC) services every year, including dementia and psychogeriatric care. The focus of this care is to provide residents with a good quality of life, and to meet their care needs as they age.
While the total number continues to increase, the proportion of older people entering ARC has decreased over the last five years. This is mainly due to successful ‘ageing in place’ initiatives that have increased community care for frail older people, as well as options for alternate housing such as retirement villages.
This means that the ARC population is entering care at an older age when they are often more dependent and more likely to be unwell. Most people in ARC settings have some degree of dementia and chronic disease.
The diversity of the aged care population is increasing. Nationally 4 percent of long-term care assessments were undertaken on Māori residents, with two percent Pacific and two percent Asian.