Aged residential care occupancy for 31 March 2019

The national occupancy rate, as measured by data in the TAS Quarterly Bed Survey, at 31 March 2019 is 87.7% (Figure 1, blue line).  This represents a recovery from the 86.6% of 31 December 2018 to the same occupancy as recorded at 30 September 2018. 

The rise in occupancy was driven by an increase of 372 residents to 34,293 at 31 March 2019. This represents a 1.1% increase in residents from 31 December 2018.  A minor factor contributing to the rise in the occupancy rate was a slight fall in the bed supply, down 72 (-0.2%) to 39,098 in March. 

Over the year to March 2019, the net growth in residents (337 or 1%) is slightly less than the net growth in beds (447 or 1.2%); consequently, the occupancy rate slipped by 0.2% over the year.

Figure 1 also shows the occupancy rate with ORA ARRC-certified bed and residents excluded (green line).  This is 89.8% in March 2019, well up from the 88.3% in December 2018.

The number of distinct care facilities recorded in the 31 March 2019 survey is 667, marginally down from the 31 December 2018 survey number of 668. 


17 May 2019 ARCO Fig 1


The growth in bed and resident numbers since the survey began in 2013 is shown in Figure 2, along with the occupancy rate.  While there has been a clear trend upwards in both beds and residents, short term shifts in one or the other leads to fluctuations in the occupancy rate. The March 2019 occupancy rate, 87.7%, is slightly less that the 87.9% average quarterly occupancy figure since September 2013.


17 May 2019 ARCO Fig 2


The DHB with the highest occupancy in the March 2019 quarter is Hawke’s Bay, at 93.9% (Table 1).   Northland (93.4%), Capital and Coast (90.5%), Hutt Valley (90.5%) and Southern (90.2%) also have relatively high occupancy.  At the other extreme, Lakes is yet again the DHB region with lowest occupancy, at 78.3%, and occupancy in Nelson Marlborough is second lowest at 81.6%.


17 May 2019 ARCO Fig 3

Figure 3 ranks the DHBs in descending order of their shift in occupancy between December 2018 and March 2019.   The largest increase occurred in Taranaki (up 4.4% to 85.6%). This is followed by a 4.3% increase in West Coast (to 90.2%).  In contrast, occupancy in Wairarapa fell by 4.2% (to 82.2%) and in South Canterbury by 4.0% (to 87.4%).  


17 May 2019 ARCO Fig 4


Table 2 shows the national occupancy difference by (non-ORA) bed type in December 2018 and March 2019.  Occupancy of dedicated rest home beds increased by 1.4% to 89.9%.  Occupancy of dedicated hospital beds also increased, by 1.7% to 90.6%, and occupancy of (non-ORA) dual service beds similarly increased, by 1.5% to 89.4%.


17 Aug ARCO 4


Table 3 shows occupancy across all DHB regions by (non-ORA) bed-service type at 31 March 2019.


17 May 2019 ARCO Fig 6

For further information please contact John McDougall, NZACA Data and Insight Specialist or on 04 473 3159.