Nursing homes and care homes across Australia are struggling to compete with one another in the market for nursing homes.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the Australian nursing home industry is down 9.6 per cent over the past year.
There were around 1.7 million registered nursing homes in Australia, up from 1.2 million a year ago, according to the latest Australian Nursing Home Association statistics.
That’s down from 1 million registered in 2009, according the organisation.
However, there were around 5.3 million people in nursing homes at the end of 2017, up 7.1 per cent from the year before, according data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
In terms of number of registered residents, the number of people aged 55 and over increased by 8 per cent to 7.3 per cent, but there were 4.3 fewer nursing homes than there were in 2017, according ANHWA.
It said the rise in the number nursing homes is also reflected in the decline in the proportion of registered people aged under 25 years old who live in nursing home accommodation.
“While the number is down, the proportion in nursing facilities has remained relatively stable since the end last year,” ANHSA chief executive officer Rob McKean said in a statement.
“(It) suggests there’s a fairly steady supply of nursing homes across the country.”
The number of licensed nursing homes also increased to almost one million from 603,000, ANHW reported.
Rural and remote communities have also been hit hard by the downturn.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council said the organisation is not able to comment on the nursing home market because it is an industry-specific survey.
While the nursing homes are struggling, there are some positives.
For one, the increase in the supply of residents is helping offset the decline of the number.
But the industry is also struggling because of a lack of investment in facilities, McKeaan said.
And while the industry has been struggling for the past 12 months, the industry itself is on a steady growth path, according Mr McKeans.
He said the industry will continue to have a positive impact on the health of the community, while also providing a strong source of income for the sector.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,health,nurses,health-administration,care-facilities,nhs,government-and/or-politics,healthcare-administrative,government—organisations,healthpolicy,nsw,aurora-4300,australiaContact Ashley DicksonMore stories from New South Wales