Only 1% of Baby Boomers want to enter residential care in its current format – but 67% want continuum of care: RSL LifeCare research

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75% of Baby Boomers want nursing care at home – and are looking to ‘lifestyle’ options rather than ‘care’ if they do need to enter residential care – according to brave new research by the Not For Profit that would effectively depopulate their aged care homes if it proves correct.

The provider hired a third-party research house to conduct the survey of over 1,000 Australians aged between 56 and 74.

Many said they would only move into care if their physical or mental needs forced them to, or they became a burden on their families.

Assisted living the preferred choice

Critically, a majority (67%) said if they had to move into communal living, they wanted to live in a small assisted living village with onsite care – like the New Zealand continuum of care model offered by operators including Ryman, Summerset and Arvida.

The next highest response was 11% who said they would prefer a larger assisted living facility with care.

Smaller aged care facilities were then preferred, followed by larger aged care homes.

Respondents’ priorities for residential care were also different from previous generations, with quality of food, followed by access to exercise opportunities, ‘wellness support’ and then excursions listed as the most important.

When it came to priorities for communal living, ‘the level of care offered’ was most important, followed by ‘being independent’, ‘wellbeing and lifestyle facilities and activities’, ‘a pleasing physical environment’ and ‘privacy’.

Over 50% don’t know how they will fund their care needs

Only 7% of Boomers believed that the aged care system is adequately funded, with 67% believing it lacks the necessary financial support.

However, respondents were largely unsure about how to prepare for the transition to old age, with 57% admitting they don’t know how much care will cost them.

RSL LifeCare CEO Laurie Leigh said the findings show that Baby Boomers will change the face of aged care.

“Our research has found they are turning their backs on the concept of generic group living, and ‘slowing down’, and are looking for more bespoke services that help them through their entire life,” she said.

There are 5.2 million Baby Boomers in Australia – around 24% of the population.