Improving the design of aged care homes

A cheerful older woman with white hair wearing a bright red sweater, smiling at the camera while outdoors. Part of another person wearing a hat is visible in the corner of the image.

We are shaping the design of aged care homes to create a better environment for the people who live and work there.

Following extensive consultation, we developed the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines. From September 2023, we consulted further with stakeholders, including aged care providers, design professionals and older people, families and carers.

Thank you to everyone who shared their views.

What we heard

Feedback was largely positive. People found the Principles and Guidelines useful, well‑structured and easy to understand.

Areas that required further consideration in the draft Principles and Guidelines include:

  • balancing resident autonomy and staff safety
  • the feasibility of some recommendations, such as:
    • monitoring and control of air quality, temperature and noise
    • openable windows and cross ventilation
    • minimising the use of handrails in corridors
  • diversity and inclusivity of examples and images
  • costs of retrofitting and upgrading buildings
  • alignment with the Aged Care Quality Standards and the accreditation process
  • considerations on resident health around climate change and sustainability
  • flexibility to meet changing needs and preferences
  • research methods and evidence base.

What we're doing

We used the feedback to refine the final National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines which have been introduced. We will also use insights from the consultation to help us make sure the Principles and Guidelines are widely adopted.

For more information, visit improving accommodation in residential aged care.

Let's change aged care, together

Every Australian should feel confident about accessing high quality and safe aged care, when and where they need it.

The changes mean Older people will have greater choice and control, services that respect and meet their needs, and support to stay independent as they age.

To find out more and help design the changes, visit the Get Involved page or call 1800 318 209.

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The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.