How long do you need to wait to be assessed for aged care?

It all depends on where you live, according to new data released by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

The figures have revealed that people typically waited 17 days to be assessed for aged care in 2022-23 with longer waits for some pushing the average up to 35.6 days.

However, these numbers varied according to region.

“The median wait time for ‘low’ priority cases in the community was 35 days,” said Tim Hicks (pictured), Executive General Manager, Policy and Advocacy, at Bolton Clarke, Australia’s largest Not For Profit aged care provider.

“[However] NSW, Tasmania, and the NT seem to do the best across the board. Whereas metro Vic, remote Vic (which to be fair is a tiny part of the State), and metro ACT all have average wait times in excess of 50 days.”

Tim Hicks Executive General Manager, Policy and Advocacy, at Bolton Clarke, Australia’s largest Not For Profit aged care provider.

Why the difference?

Tim attributes the longer wait times to lower rates of assessments in certain areas.

But there was good news.

Wait times were shorter for higher priority cases, and for people assessed in hospital settings.

And remember: if you or a loved one does need access to aged care urgently, there are options available.

The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) can fast track your assessment if your case is deemed to be a high priority.

There is also transition care – which provides short-term specialised care after a hospital stay like nursing, physiotherapy, and personal care – and emergency respite.

For more information, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the and within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.



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.