Step 6

How do I find an Aged Care Operator?

Agedcare Operators

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

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View transcript of video here
It is important to understand who the operator is because:
  • They will be responsible for your medical and emotional care
  • You are entering a journey of support together
  • You are entering a legal and financial contract


  • Ultimately you are entering a relationship centred on trust
What to look for in an aged care operator

There are over 2,900 aged care homes and over 800 different operators across Australia.

There are a few large operators but the majority are small operators, covering a small geographic area.

Aged care homes (nursing homes) that perform at high standards and pass regular audits receive substantial government funding.  Because of this, all are heavily regulated.  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:

1. Provide the buildings and facilities that match or exceed the government requirements and standards to receive funding

2. 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 will operate to the standards set by Government.

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

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 can mean they are more able to invest in better training systems and technology.  However smaller operators can deliver more owner involvement and personal care. 

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.  The 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 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.

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.

Have a question? Open our discussion forum

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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.