Step 7.2

Should I visit my shortlisted aged care homes?

Visiting your shortlisted aged care homes

Before you make any decisions, you should visit the homes in person. If you are looking for a home on behalf of someone else, take them too if they are able to come.

As much as possible, it is important that the aged care home (nursing home) is chosen by, or in close consultation with, the person who will be living there.

Remember, visiting an aged care home for the first time can be an emotional and confusing experience. There are so many things to consider; many of which will be unfamiliar and some of which might be confronting.

It will help to have a checklist of things to look for, topics to cover and questions to ask, to take with you when you visit see 7.3 Ask the right questions when you visit.

Organise a tour of an aged care home

Phone first - To ensure you get the most out of your visit, call the home first and make an appointment.   You can always request a personal tour at a time that is convenient to you, including outside of normal business hours.  Simply dropping in without setting up a time might not give you the best result.

Make a time – Some aged care homes offer group tours at particular times. Some host regular coffee-mornings or ‘open-evenings’ where people can visit and meet residents and their families and talk to staff.  

Know your rights - Most aged care homes will have a general tour mapped out, taking in all the main areas and features of the home.  You are entitled to tour most areas, subject to safety and privacy conditions.  These include:

  • public areas – such as living areas, dining rooms, gyms, libraries, hairdressers, outdoor areas and gardens
  • operational areas - such as kitchens, laundries, training and administrative areas
  • available resident rooms
  • specific areas such as dedicated dementia units, rehabilitation centres, palliative care services etc.


  • You also have the right to speak to staff, residents and volunteers in the aged care home.

Looking for aged care?

Did you know it could be 13 weeks or more to secure an aged care home?

agedcare101 makes aged care easy with 9 steps to an aged care home. You’re likely feeling the pressure to do something now but it’s equally important to invest the time to complete each of the steps and get the best result.

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A special thanks to our contributors

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.