Improving accommodation in residential aged care

We are working with older people and the aged care sector to improve the design of residential aged care accommodation.

About the initiative

We are working to improve the design of residential aged care accommodation, in response to recommendation 45 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

From 1 July 2024, new National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines will guide refurbishments and new residential aged care accommodation builds to ensure they: 

  • promote independence, function and enjoyment for residents
  • support the delivery of high-quality, safe, respectful and dignified care.

Draft Design Principles and Guidelines are already available. They are:

Why it is important

The new Design Principles and Guidelines will focus on creating more accessible, dementia-friendly and home-like living environments. This will help improve quality of life for older people living in residential aged care and working environments for aged care staff.

Older people, especially those living with cognitive impairment or dementia, will benefit from well-designed aged care accommodation that is guided by 4 principles:

  • Enable the person – Support older people to live in a place that maintains their health, wellbeing and a sense of identity.
  • Cultivate a home – Create a familiar environment in which older people have privacy and control, and feel they belong.
  • Access the outdoors – Support older people to see, access and spend time outdoors, in contact with nature.
  • Connect with community – Encourage older people to connect with family, friends and community, and continue to participate in meaningful activities.


The new Design Principles and Guidelines aim to:

  • guide residential aged care providers when refurbishing and building aged care homes
  • improve quality of life for people living in residential aged care
  • give older people greater confidence that the aged care home they choose will meet their needs.


We have consulted extensively with:

  • older people their families and carers
  • the aged care sector 
  • design and technical experts.

Consultation activities have included:

Learn more

To keep up to date or receive notification of future opportunities, subscribe to our newsletters and alerts.


Residential aged care accommodation design contact

Contact us for information about the residential aged care accommodation design consultation.
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.