Australia’s 5.2 million Baby Boomers have become keener on home care as a result of COVID-19 and are likely to demand better food and facilities if they do need to enter a care facility, a new report has found.
RSL LifeCare used an independent third-party research house to survey a nationally representative group of more than 1,000 Australians who are aged 56-74 and are part of the Baby Boomer generation.
“Our research shows when care is needed, more than three quarters of Baby Boomers want to stay in their own homes with occasional nursing visits, while only three per cent want to enter communal aged care in its current format,” said RSL LifeCare CEO Graham Millett.
“COVID has likely further validated people’s attitudes towards aged care services.
“Almost a quarter of Baby Boomers feel more negatively towards residential aged care than before the pandemic, while 14 per cent feel more positive towards occasional home visits.
“This reflects the rolling lockdowns of communal aged care facilities that have prevented family visits, along with communal outbreaks (particularly in Victoria) which have seen hundreds of Australians die in formal aged care facilities after catching COVID.”
Hear Downsizing.com.au editor Mark Skelsey talk to RSL LifeCare CEO Graham Millett about the survey results
While only three per cent of Baby Boomers said they wanted to live in an aged care facility "as they are today", that number jumped to 12 per cent if the option was a 'futuristic' aged care facility with the latest technology and bespoke wellbeing and entertainment programs
To this end, the RSL LifeCare survey findings report that: “When it comes to aged care services, Baby Boomers want to be well fed, well supported, and well-travelled.”
“High quality food, wellness support and excursions are the three most important service provisions when considering which aged care home to live in.”
Commenting on this finding, Mr Millet said: “This is the generation that doesn’t want to age like their parents and grandparents...they want to balance lifestyle, socialising with personalised high-quality care.”
The report also found that:
- 63 per cent of Baby Boomers are not sure or have no knowledge of aged care costs, with residents of Tasmania and Western Australia most likely to be in the dark on this issue.
- 91 per cent believe their overwhelming wellbeing is good, very good or excellent, with Queenslanders and South Australians most likely to be pessimistic about their wellbeing
- Only 55 per cent of Baby Boomers in Sydney are retired (a national low), compared with 76 per cent in Canberra (a national high)