Improving an admission experience in residential aged care.

How might Service Design transform an experience in Residential Aged Care? This question drove my university Honours research project in 2016. Interviews with staff, family, residents and older people living at home highlighted the admission process as a source of stress and confusion for the family members of the older person. 

A map of the journey as uncovered during this research.

This confusion generated repeat enquiries with front-line staff in Newcastle and the billing office in Sydney, and created a tension between business systems informed by government legislation, and caring support for the individual.

A generative workshop with front-line staff provided richer insights into key pain points and moments of delight, and I learnt details about the admission experience that had not been revealed in interviews.

Designed Outcomes


For clients

Informed by the research, I prototyped and tested a brochure as proof of concept, with a journey map to set expectations a for the family members, explaining where they can get help, and who they can talk to about specific issues.


For co-design

To enable participation in future workshops, I created 'cartographic', a magnetic experience sketching kit, as a tool for people who might be uncomfortable with drawing at first.  The simple cartoons provide examples for people to mimic and signal the level of skill needed to participate.



This has been tested at a workshop with the Cancer Council Australia, and improvements to the design are in progress.