$2.4bn Required for Future Aged Care Facilities
Perth’s ageing population is set to redraw the city’s demographic map as the number of people aged over 70 is set to boom in coming years.
“The State Government needs to shift its policies around aged care facilities, if we are going to keep up with growing demand,” Property Council WA Executive Director Joe Lenzo said.
The issue of aged care places is becoming a hot topic for industry and the public, shown by a record number of attendees at the recent Property Council’s Aged Care Hotspots seminar.
Speaking at the seminar, Brent Thomas Sector leader Civil and Urban Division for Calibre Consulting said: “Knowing where the concentrations of people aged over 70 will appear will help the industry to identify future concentrations of demand; it can assist health and urban planners to understand the future needs of the Perth populations.”
The 2015 population of residents aged over 70 in Perth is just below 180,000. By 2026, this is predicted to rise to about 286,000.
“Future development of aged care facilities is essential to adequately house Perth’s ageing population,” Joe Lenzo said.
According to research by Calibre Consulting, there will be demand for 141 new aged care facilities by 2026, or 9750 additional beds.
“Identifying sites for new supply continues to be the largest problem most aged care operators and developers face,” Brent Thomas said.
“As a result, we are finding that operators are scouring markets for opportunities on land currently occupied by shopping centers and sports facilities.”
“A quiet apartment market means that some sites previously destined for high density apartments, will become affordable options for multi-level aged care and retirement living.”
“There is even talk of examining options for conversion of empty office buildings into multi-unit aged care and retirement facilities. Most of these new approaches are being explored by private groups, but up to 60% of aged care needs are provided by religious, charity and not-for-profit groups.”
“Increasingly, these groups are turning to partnerships with private developers in order to provide the necessary supply before they become unable to keep up with the growing demand,” Brent Thomas said.
“Government polices around aged care funding will have to change, to provide aged care housing for low income earners. Private operators will have to define new approaches to providing care for low income or pension reliant seniors, so nobody would be priced out of aged care housing,” Joe Lenzo said.
Media contact: Joe Lenzo | M 0419 044 768 | E [email protected]