Aged care is not a hospital – it is a home that brings the smiles back

One of the most common myths about residential aged care is that it is like a hospital – but that couldn’t be further from the truth of today, according to aged care providers.

“If there was one myth l could dispel about aged care it would be the old mindset around aged care homes as hospital-like facilities of the past. They are homes, not hospitals,” said Alyson Jarrett, Deputy CEO of Whiddon, which cares for more than 2,300 people in NSW and Queensland.

“There is tremendous life inside our aged care homes. At Whiddon, our focus is to create a home for our residents, extending from the social connections and vibrant activity around our homestyle kitchens to positive ageing programs that keep our residents connected to what matters most in life. Importantly, and underpinning it all, is an emphasis on relationship-based care that builds meaningful day-to-day relationships between residents and our team members.

“The depth and richness of the relationships that can be built when we are caring for people longer term, as opposed to hospitals, is illustrated through the warmth of an early morning hug, the joy of the resident’s face when an employee returns from leave, the secret jokes and eye winks between the residents and staff.

“Whilst we have the clinical teams and capacity to provide clinical care, this is not the focus. The focus is providing a loving home for our residents with the advantage of being able to receive clinical care when they need it, similar to the hospital in the home model.”

There are so many things happening in residential aged care almost every minute.

The images pictured above show Penrith Panthers forward Trent Martin calling in at Whiddon’s Temora home, the SES volunteers putting on a show at Southern Cross Care NSW and ACT’s home in Parkes in the NSW Central West, and a brass band putting the smiles on residents at Palm Lake Care Deception Bay in Moreton Bay, Queensland.     

Not every aged care home has the same services, amenities, and programs available so it is essential to talk with family and friends before deciding which one is right for you or your family members.

You can find more information about choosing an aged care home on AgedCare101 here.

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A special thanks to our contributors



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.