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The ageing of Australia’s population will call for the provision of aged care services to much larger numbers of people over the next few decades. Services will also need to meet the challenges posed by the increasing diversity of older people in terms of their care needs, preferences and affluence. It is clearly important that our aged care sector is able to meet these challenges in ways that promote the wellbeing of the oldest generation, while being cost effective for the community as a whole.

This study seeks to make a contribution to this by analysing major trends in both demand and supply over the next 40 years. The study then draws some implications for the future structure and mix of aged care services, the aged care workforce and for the capacity for greater productivity in the sector. The associated policy issues are complex. However, some prospective directions for reform have been identified which warrant further, more detailed analysis.

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