Demand for In-home care outstrips other services

The Inside Aged Care report, produced by Faster Horses Consulting, an insights agency in Perth, Sydney and Canberra, has highlighted that the service in most demand in the aged care industry is in-home care.

The 2nd edition of the report is to be released in September 2019.

The report also revealed low levels of trust in the industry. Less than 1 in 5 Australians indicate that they have a high degree of trust in the industry. The report also highlights that half of Australians think that the industry lacks transparency and is poorly regulated.

To add to this, there is a high level of uncertainty in relation to the quality of services provided by aged care organisations.

It is perhaps these perceptions that are leading Australians needing care to want to stay at home, and receive care in a familiar environment. This preference is also true for families of those needing care.

Have a look at the chart below – it shows clearly that the service in most demand in the near and medium future is in-home care. Around 1 in 5 Australians indicate that they have a parent or close family member needing in-home care in the next 1 to 5 years.

This preference is not surprising. One on one discussions with elderly people reveals clearly that being in a familiar environment is important. Creature comforts, and not having to move eases feelings of anxiety, which are high when the realisation that care is required kicks in.

This can be seen in the following chart:

Demand for every type of care ticks up sharply among people in their 80s and 90s. Are you surprised that demand only escalates when people reach their 80s and 90s? We were. But one on one conversations show that even those in their 80s and 90s feel that they are still young. Why contemplate care services until you absolutely need them? This indicates that it’s likely to be a negative trigger that results in service being required.

When we look at the in-home care data, we can see that demand in the next 1 to 2 years outstrips that of all other care types for those in their 80s and 90s, shortly followed by residential aged care.

What this tells us is that when those needing care begin engaging with the category, they are more likely to be at the older end of the age scale. They are likely to be at their most vulnerable, and most set in their ways. It makes sense therefore that in-home care is what they’d prefer.

The industry needs to recognise this dynamic and make sure that staff are trained to consider the human side of the people they are catering to, acknowledging their need for comfort and familiarity, and the resistance to change that they are bound to be feeling. For more information on the Inside Aged Care report 1st and 2nd Edition, please contact Veronica Mayne (veronica@fasterhorses.consulting