People under 60living in aged care facilities in Victoria Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: To describe the characteristics of people under 60 years of age living in residential aged care in Victoria and to examine the occupational participation of younger residents in aged care facilities by measuring their social contact, participation in recreation and community access. Methods: A survey was sent to the Directors of Nursing at all 803 Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care registered aged care facilities in Victoria. Results: The survey had a 78% response rate and information was provided about the characteristics of 330 people under 60 years with high clinical needs residing in aged care facilities. This sample was extremely isolated from peers, with 44% receiving a visit from a friend less often than once per year. Sixteen per cent of residents participated in a recreation activity less than once per month and 21% went outside less than once per month. Of the sample, 34% almost never participated in any community-based activities such as shopping, leisure or visiting friends and family. Conclusion: Over one third of younger people in aged care are effectively excluded from life in our community. Most younger residents are socially isolated and have limited opportunities for recreation. Placement of younger people in aged care facilities is inappropriate, and alternative care models and settings are required.

publication date

  • 2006