Modelling demand for disability services

Community services

Client

City of Wyndham

Challenge

To estimate the current and future need for aged and disability services in local government areas.

Highlights

Using three data sources, .id had developed a model to forecast future demand for disability services in Wyndham.

Results

Councils are able to plan their aged and disability care services and provide guidance to other providers as well.

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Quantified the number of people in Melbourne’s City of Wyndham who will require aged and disability care services in the future, so the council can plan their service response and provide information to external providers about the likely demand for these services.

Challenge

One of the most common questions we are asked is “Do you have any information on the number of people with a disability?” There is some information in the Census, but it’s fairly basic, just a Yes/No response designed to measure severe or profound disability.

The City of Wyndham approached .id to do some modelling, to estimate the likely current demand for aged and disability services in their municipality, and importantly the likely future need. What the council really wanted to know is, “What will our future rate of need for assistance be?”

.id solution

.id developed a model for more accurately quantifying this important population. Using three data sources – The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, the Census, and .id’s suburb-level population, .id was able to model the demand for disability services from now until 2034 for the City of Wyndham.

Outcome

Due to the substantial population growth expected in Wyndham, and the considerable ageing that goes with it, most forms of disability are expected to more than double in 20 years, with the largest increase being among those needing help with their Household Chores or Property Maintenance.

  City of Wyndham

2014

2034

Change 2014-2034

  Modelled propensity for need for assistance by forecast year

No.

%

No.

%

  Self Care or Health Care

     12,033

6.3%

   26,829

7.3%

14,796

  Oral Communication or Cognitive tasks

     12,183

6.3%

   25,234

6.9%

     13,051

  Household Chores or Property Maintenance

     11,666

6.1%

   26,488

7.2%

     14,822

  Mobility issues

       9,958

5.2%

   21,678

5.9%

       11,720

  Meal preparation

       2,595

1.3%

       5,627

1.5%

       3,032

  Reading or writing

       3,573

1.9%

       7,753

2.1%

       4,180

  Private transport

       6,349

3.3%

   14,134

3.9%

       7,785

  Total need for assistance (includes multiples)

     17,696

9.2%

   38,729

10.5%

     21,033

  No need for assistance

   174,624

90.8%

328,382

89.5%

153,758

  Total forecast population

   192,320

100.0%

367,111

100.0%

174,791

The modelling shows that over 17,000 people currently need assistance. This is much higher than the Census count, partly due to a difference in scope (the survey includes all need for assistance, while the Census is designed to measure those with a severe or profound disability), and partly due to a net under count from the Census question.

This growth is not evenly spread through the City of Wyndham. Areas which developed through the 1970s and 1980s are currently ageing rapidly and have the largest proportion of need for assistance now. But current growth areas which are just finishing up, like Point Cook, currently full of families, will have the largest increase in those aged 65+ over the next 20 years, and as a result, the largest increase in people with a need for assistance.

This analysis can be done for any area in Australia, and can logically be extended to any survey data where detailed demographic data is included. This could include rates of dementia or other specific diseases, participation in sport and leisure activities, or even crime victimisation rates.

Learn more about .id’s consulting services.

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