Key messages

  • The design of residential aged care services (RACS) should consider the physical and social needs of older Victorians.
  • RACS can use the built environment audit tool to identify ways to improve their facilities and better meet the needs of residents and visitors.
  • The dementia-friendly environments guide for RACS has information about how to change physical environments to support residents with cognitive impairment and older people generally.

Residential aged care services should include appropriate and age-friendly features. The building design must consider the social inclusion, independence, sensitivities and reduced sensory abilities of older Victorians.

Audit tool

The RACS built environment audit tool helps RACS audit their facilities and develop action plans to improve the physical environment for older people. Action plans can include ‘easy to achieve’ changes and more costly long term changes.

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool - Introduction explains the tool and how to use it.

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool – summary is a summary table that provides a brief overview of audit outcomes and general areas of concern. You should complete the table at the end of the audit.

The audit covers five areas:

  • external areas
  • entrances and hallways
  • communal areas
  • resident room
  • bathrooms, ensuites and toilets

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool - action plan records identified actions and timelines.

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool - resource review provides the evidence base used to develop the audit tool and lists where to find more information.

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool – appendices provide more information on the background and methodology (appendix 1), design principles (appendix 2) and the individual seating assessment tool (appendix 3).

Residential aged care services built environment audit tool - photo gallery provides photographs to help you visualise particular recommendations in the audit tool. You can refer to the gallery for a photograph and explanation that may help clarify the tip whenever you see the camera symbol.

The audit tool is not intended to replace existing processes or audits for occupational health and safety, hygiene, infection control, emergency equipment and air quality within Victorian RACS. It aims to complement and, in some cases, to assist these processes.

Dementia friendly environments

Dementia friendly environments: a guide for residential aged care services has tips and hints about how to change physical environments to support residents with cognitive impairments and older people generally. The guide is based on research, knowledge and practical experience to inform the building or renovation of residential aged care facilities.