Meeting ‘hidden’ household costs of care in the home: Impacts of the presence of disability on expenditure patterns of older Australian households.

Xiaodong GONG, Laurie BROWN, Linc THURECHT

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The true cost-of-living pressures on Australian seniors (those aged 50 or more) are likely to be
underestimated if the levels of household expenditure do not take into account that many older
Australians have disabilities and chronic illnesses that require additional care and support in the
home. In 2011, more than 560 000 seniors with severe or profound disability needed assistance
with a core activity (defined as self-care, mobility or communication) to live in a private dwelling.
The majority of these individuals lived in one family couples (either with or without children) or
single-parent households and received care from a family co-resident.
This report addresses the key issue of the financial burden placed on older households through
out-of-pocket expenditure on care needs in the home. The costs of care tend to be hidden in
the day-to-day spending patterns of older households. In particular, the study focuses on how
household expenditure on different goods and services is impacted by the presence within the
household of a person who needs care because of a disability. This is known as consumption
Original languageEnglish
Publisher National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre
Commissioning bodyNational Seniors Productive Ageing Centre
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)978-0-9923781-7-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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