Many people in non-metropolitan regions move more than 100 kilometres when they begin permanent residential aged care, according to new research by the aged care royal commission.
Other elderly drive more than an hour to enter nursing home respite services.
The research is based on people accessing aged care services on June 30, 2019. The findings are presented in Research Paper 16 - How far do people move to access aged care? which is available on the royal commission's website.
In regional and rural areas the share of people that moved over 100 kilometres to enter permanent residential care varied between 10 per cent and 16 per cent. The share increased to 34 per cent among the people who had been living in remote regions and 53 per cent among those who had been living in very remote regions.
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tended to move further than other people to enter residential aged care if they were living in metropolitan or rural areas, but moved less distance if they were living in remote or very remote regions.
Younger people living in residential aged care facilities tended to have moved further than older people in all regions except for very remote communities.
The research used data that is routinely collected by the Department of Health and the study says it could be updated annually to assist with planning to make aged care services more accessible to people in different communities.