Reimagining living in aged care homes

Two older women sitting in a modern living room with tropical-themed artworks and green plants.

We have been working with older people, their families and carers, the aged care sector and design experts to develop the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines.

The draft principles and guidelines will help residential aged care homes make practical changes to create welcoming and safe living environments that are accessible, dementia-friendly and consider the role of small home models.

The draft Design Principles and Guidelines include 4 design principles:

  • Enable the person Support people living in a place that maintains their health, wellbeing and a sense of identity.
  • Cultivate a Home Create a familiar environment in which people have privacy, control and feel they belong.
  • Access to Outdoors Support people seeing, accessing and spending time outdoors in contact with nature.
  • Connect with Community Encourage people to connect with family, friends and community, continuing to participate in meaningful activities

We are also running a design competition, which challenges architects and designers to use the draft Design Principles and Guidelines to design an innovative aged care home.

Entries will show architects and other designers, aged care providers and the broader community:

  • what well-designed aged care accommodation can look and feel like
  • how the Design Principles and Guidelines can improve quality of life for residents and working environments for aged care workers.

For more information about what we’re doing to improve aged care accommodation, visit the department’s website.

You can also visit the competition website for more information.

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.