6.

How do I find an Aged Care Operator?

Take a moment to understand how the agedcare101 directory of aged care operators has been designed, to get the most out of your search. 

At this point in your journey you will be close to deciding on an aged care home (nursing home). It is important to understand who the operator is because:

  • They will be responsible for your medical care 
  • They will be responsible for your emotional care
  • You are entering a journey of support together 
  • You are entering a legal contract
  • You are entering a financial contract
  • Ultimately you are entering a relationship centred on trust


In this section you will learn:

  • What to look for in an aged care home (nursing home) operator
  • The standards they must comply with
  • Rating quality

What to look for in an aged care operator

Across Australia there are over 800 different operators of 2,900 aged care homes (nursing homes). 

There are a relatively few large operators. They have as many as 70 aged care homes (nursing homes) with up to 6,000 beds. The majority however are small operators, covering a small geographic area. 

Aged care homes that perform at high standards and pass regular audits receive substantial government funding and because of this all of them are heavily regulated and audited to ensure they perform to a high standard. See Get Informed Chapter 1.5

In effect, the operators have two customers – the Government and aged care residents – with both providing them funds for services.

The primary roles of the operator are to:

  • Provide the buildings and facilities that match or exceed the government requirements and standards to receive funding
  • Provide medical care and physical support services that match or exceed the government’s requirements and standards to receive funding

The important point is that all aged care homes (nursing homes) will operate to the standards set by Government. 

What you need to judge is the level of care they will provide you.

Our advice: the physical design of the home at the end of the day is less important than the commitment of the operator to actually care for residents.

The size of the operator, the number of homes they operate, has benefits like being bigger allows for investment in better training systems and technology. However smaller operators can deliver more owner involvement and personal care.

At the end of the day, it is the leadership of each home that dictates the quality of the care and you will be able to sense this when you visit the individual home and talk to the staff and the residents – which is your right to do.

Length of time the management has been at that home is also important. 

What are the standards and controls for operators

The standards and controls the Government applies to individual aged care homes (nursing homes) is covered extensively in Get Informed.

In summary there are four ‘accreditation standards’ and 44 ‘expected outcomes’ that Government auditors check, using planned and surprised visits. The four broad standards are:

  • the home’s management, systems and processes; 
  • the health and personal care they provide
  • how they support choices and lifestyle for residents; and 
  • the physical environment of the home.

The performance of each home is listed on the my aged care website.

Rating quality

Measuring ‘quality’ of care can be extremely subjective.

We do not attempt to rate or support a rating system on agedcare101. 

In January 2016 the Government introduced the national Aged Care Quality Indicator Programme. The Government has identified quality three indicators of 

1. Pressure injuries, such as bed sores

2. Use of physical restraints

3. Unplanned weight loss

It is a non compulsory programme. Many operators argue it is a limited and poor guide to quality and  have not participated.

Once again, your visit to the home is the best method of judging the quality of care being provided.


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