Published Papers - Abstract 1037

Yu S & Byles J. Waiting times in aged care: What matters? Australasian Journal on Ageing, 2019; :

Objective: To assess consumer-level socioeconomic factors associated with waiting times for access to aged care services, specifically community-based care and permanent residential care.Methods: Administrative data on assessment outcomes and admissions to services were linked with survey data at the person-level and were used to implement a competing risks regression model. We estimated the association between health needs, and socioeconomic variables and subsequent waiting periods for individuals with approval for access.Results: The main consumer-level factors driving waiting time were the individual's assessed needs, including health status, whether they lived alone and age. We found no evidence that socioeconomic status was associated with waiting times for community-based care; however, admission to residential care reflected socioeconomic factors including education levels and geographical isolation.Conclusion: This paper provides baseline evidence for factors affecting wait times in aged care, essential for evaluating subsequent policy reforms aimed at reducing wait times and increasing equity of access and consumer choice.