Modelling Spatial Distribution of Disability in Older Persons and the Need for Aged Care in New South Wales

Laurie Brown, Mandy Yap, Sharyn Lymer, Ann Harding, Mohan Singh

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper


Estimating disability levels in older Australians and their demographic and socio-economic profiles is essential for identifying the need for aged care services and for the development and implementation of effective social policy on ageing. However, there is a paucity of such projections in Australia especially at regional levels such as Statistical Local Areas (SLA). This paper describes the spatial microsimulation modelling and small area estimation techniques developed to estimate disability levels and need for aged care in persons aged 55 years or above living in NSW, and presents preliminary results on the geographical variation in these parameters across NSW. Small area estimates are produced by the spatial microsimulation model ‘CareMod’ which is based on the 1998 ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), up-rated to 2001. Estimates are generated by reweighting the SDAC confidentialised unit record file to create ‘synthetic’ datasets for each SLA in NSW. The SDAC is reweighted using the ABS optimisation algorithm GregWt against a range of ‘benchmarks’ from the 2001 census. Disability levels and need for age care can be analysed by a wide range of person and family level demographic and socio-economic variables. Additional estimates of individual wealth have been added since it is well known that elderly Australians are usually cash poor but assets rich. The results show that there are significant variations across NSW in disability levels and the need for aged care services by older persons, and that these individuals have differing levels of social and financial support available to them in their older age. The research findings should assist in the strategic planning and improved targeting of aged care services, especially in identifying areas of unmet need at the small area level.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAustralian Social Policy Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 20 Jul 200522 Jul 2005


ConferenceAustralian Social Policy Conference


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