A total revenue of $142.8 billion for the charity sector was reported by the ACNC for the 2016 year.
“Australia’s aged care industry supports Over 1.3 million older people are supported in Australia’s aged care industry and is rapidly growing,” Ms Pascoe said.
In 2015, only 2.9% of all charities (51,679) in Australia covered the aged care sector as their main activity. These charities performed a wide range of activities that benefited the older people, however, many participated in the national aged care system delivering home care services and residential care services. These services provide a wide range of activities including, social and religious services, cultural and recreational opportunities.
A relatively small proportion of the overall income of aged care charities is made up of donations and bequests.
In the 12 month period of 2014 – 2015, the service providers employed over 350,000 aged care workers, including personal care workers, nurses, support staff and allied health professionals. A significant contribution was also made by volunteers.
Charities are very important participants within the aged care industry. They account for 54% of providers. In the next decade, the proportion of people aged 65 years or over is projected to increase from 15 – 18%, compounding the financial burden upon the Australian community.
As Australia’s population continues to age, so it is also expected that 76,000 additional care places in the next decade will be required. The higher cost of services is more likely to be experienced by care providers in the next decade in rural and remote areas.
Geographical isolation affects workforce costs to access allied health professionals, to engage and retain staff, freight, travel, and limited internet coverage. Smaller catchment areas in remote isolated areas increase cost pressures of small-scale facilities and services.
54.2% of aged care charities were geographically located in major cities of Australia, while 26.9% were situated in inner regional, 15.8% were outer regional and 3.2% were located in areas classified as remote or very remote areas such as Torres Strait.
Cutbacks to the aged care sector made by the Federal Government are hitting their mark. Lobbyists are calling for the budget to have an emergency injection of aged care funds. StewartBrown, auditors who specialise in the sector, said that there is –
“a major concern for the sector and its ongoing financial viability”.
It said the balance sheets of 41% of them were bleeding with red ink, that is, they were losing a lot of money in comparison with 31 per cent last year.
21% of facilities undergoing a cash loss are performing much worse than before the clampdown of the government on subsidies for aged care services, as reported by Your Life Choices.
The report said,
“ … the highest portion of the facilities recording a (cash) loss are those located in the outer regional/rural/very remote geographic areas”
Stewart Brown reported a
“declining performance will continue into the next two quarters (through to June 2018) leading to a very concerning fiscal year for many residential aged care facilities”.