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Half of Australians sourcing an aged care place for a loved one found the experience very or extremely stressful

A national survey of more than 500 Australians has revealed that half (50%) of people seeking to source an aged care place for their loved one found the whole process either ‘very stressful’ or ‘extremely stressful’.

The finding was one of a number of important insights revealed by the 2016 Great Australian Aged Care Entry Survey - which was jointly released today by Aged Care Reviews (Australia’s dedicated consumer review website for aged care) and Apia (the leading insurance provider for Over 50s).

The report found that more than 90 per cent (93%) of respondents indicated the aged care placement experience was stressful, with almost a third (27%) describing the experience as being ‘very stressful’ and a further quarter (23%) describing the process as ‘extremely stressful’.

Some of the other key findings revealed by the survey included:

  • More than half (55%) of aged care entry respondents reported the need to sell their family home to facilitate aged care entry
  • Location was ranked as the most important decision making factor; followed closely by the friendliness of the facility. The bond/price was the least important factor
  • Finding the right place was most often a family decision involving three or more family members involved in the process
  • Reviews and word of mouth are trusted more than government sources of information

Aged Care Reviews CEO Ken Ray said: “Most people don’t appreciate how complex aged care is until they are already in the situation.

“They soon find that this process is very complex which, often coupled with the emotional investment of selling the family home, makes the whole experience very stressful for all involved.

“As a result the majority of people seek out recommendations from their social networks or secure advice from a medico. Internet searches also figured prominently in the decision making process,” continued Mr Ray.

Even with this assistance, the majority of respondents suggested that the whole process took at least a month with others indicating two to three years and trial of multiple facilities before finding a suitable aged care facility.

Apia Executive Manager, Geoff Keogh, said the process of finding the right residential facility can be really challenging, and more needed to be done to help facilitate informed decisions about how people choose the right care homes for their loved ones.

“Speaking with our customers has helped us to better understand the needs of older Australians and their families. We’ve found that the process of placing a loved one in an aged care facility is one of the most stressful experiences a family can go through and finding the right place is most often a family decision,” Mr Keogh said.

“Apia has set out to truly understand the needs of Over 50s. Our research shows that families need more support to make the right decision about choosing the most suitable place for their loved one.”

Mr Ray added: “With the number of Australians in nursing homes set to grow by 90,000, or 56%, in the next ten years, an already complex process could enter into an ever deepening spiral of confusion and lack of choice.

“While we applaud recent Federal Government attempts to make aged care entry less complex, the results of this survey show that there is still more that needs to be done.”

For further information or to arrange an interview:

Kenneth Ray
CEO, Aged Care Reviews
T: 0410 626 467 E:
Angela Wilkinson
Corporate Affairs, Apia
T: 0477 395 119 E:



*The Great Australian Aged Care Entry Survey, compiled jointly from more than 500 Apia ( and Aged Care Reviews ( customers in December 2015, can be accessed at

About Partners

Aged Care Reviews brings transparency to the aged care sector by providing Australia’s only dedicated aged care review website.

Our aim is to assist families in making a difficult decision easier by becoming Australia’s largest and most trusted provider of relevant information to current and future residents and their families in the aged care sector.

At Apia, we realise that the more you live life, the better you get at it. So it's only fair that the experience you've gained should count for something. That's why we reward over 50s for their experience, with great insurance products and the service they deserve. This winning combination of service and excellent insurance products means Apia now has more than 750,000 customers across Australia, serviced by our network of branches and over 450 staff. For more information visit