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Mental health conditions in aged care service users

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The prevalence of mental health conditions as identified in aged care assessment data was examined for all people using a home care package or permanent residential aged care from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

Prevalence of mental health conditions

Between 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022:

  • Of the 289,763 people included that entered a home care package, 66,997 (23.1%) were recorded as having at least one mental health condition.
  • Of the 296,217 people included that entered permanent residential aged care, 171,005 (57.7%) were recorded as having at least one mental health condition on an assessment. 
    • There were differences in the assessed prevalence of mental health conditions according to data source. The assessed prevalence of all conditions was higher when assessed using ACFI compared to aged care eligibility assessments using the NSAF. This difference may be because an ACFI assessment occurred on average 2.3 days (standard deviation 18.3 days) before or after entry to permanent residential aged care, while a comprehensive assessment occurred on average 244.3 (standard deviation: 356.8 days) days before or after entry to permanent residential aged care. However, it may also be due to differences in data collection (see webpage 'What is available in aged care data about mental health?').

Prevalence of mental health conditions by age and sex

In both men and women, the proportion of people receiving home care packages and permanent residential aged care who were recorded with an assessed mental health condition at the time of their assessment decreased with increasing age.