Aged and Health Care Service Utilization by Older Australians Receiving Home Care Packages

Kailash Thapaliya, Victoria Cornell, Catherine Lang, Gillian E. Caughey, Anna Barker, Keith Evans, Craig Whitehead, Steve L. Wesselingh, Maria C. Inacio

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the (1) cohort of individuals living at home with Home Care Packages (HCPs) in 2016, (2) their access to other aged care services after HCP commencement, and (3) their hospital and ambulance service utilization. Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted using integrated aged care and health care data contained within the National Historical Cohort of the Registry of Senior Australians. Setting and Participants: This study included people who accessed HCP between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Methods: The access to permanent residential aged care, transition care, respite care, hospital and ambulance services among Australian HCP recipients ≥65 years old in 2016 was evaluated. Descriptive statistics were employed. Results: In 2016, 84,681 individuals received HCPs, of which 68.4% (n = 57,942) accessed HCP levels 1‒2, 26.0% (n = 22,057) accessed HCP levels 3‒4, and 5.5% (n = 4682) accessed both care levels within the year. Of the individuals receiving HCP, 34.0% (n = 27,787) started services that year and 16.7% (n = 14,117) moved to permanent residential aged care, 18.4% (n = 15,592) used respite care and 5.8% (n = 4937) used transition care that year. Emergency department (ED) presentations [43.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 43.3‒44.0] were the most common hospital encounters, followed by inpatient hospitalizations for any reason (43.3%, 95% CI 42.9‒43.7), and unplanned hospitalizations (38%, 95% CI 37.6‒38.3). Forty-four percent (44.5%, 95% CI 43.9‒45.0) of individuals utilized ambulance services. ED presentations, hospitalization for any reason, and unplanned hospitalizations were more common in individuals receiving HCP levels 3‒4 compared with those accessing HCP levels 1‒2. Conclusions and Implications: HCP recipients in Australia have frequent hospitalizations, including ED presentations. In addition, almost 1 in 5 access respite care and 16.7% transition to permanent residential care each year. As the population accessing HCP is increasing, adequate support for these individuals to live well at home and avoid health events that lead to hospitalizations are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-399.e2
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 2023


  • Home care packages
  • aged care services
  • emergency department presentation
  • hospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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