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Male or female only aged care – what does that mean?

Residential aged care is designed to cater for everyone, male or female, however, there are times when gender-specific aged care may be your best option to ensure you receive quality care.

Last updated: January 20th 2023
There are times when gender-specific aged care may be your best option to ensure you receive quality care. [Source: Shutterstock]

There are times when gender-specific aged care may be your best option to ensure you receive quality care. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • There are some aged care homes that cater to either men-only or women-only
  • Gender-specific homes provide specialised care for older men and women with more complex health needs
  • Residents can feel safe and secure in an environment where they feel comfortable amongst their fellow male or female residents

Choosing to move into a gender-specific aged care home that caters for just men or women is about more than just your preferences of who you live with.

These homes typically provide services that cater to specific needs. For example, there are homes for older women with dementia, and you may find this is a better environment for yourself or a loved one.

If you are considering the move into male or female-only aged care, but you have plenty of questions, Aged Care Guide is here to answer them. Keep on reading to learn more about your gender-specific aged care options. 

What is male or female-only aged care?

Male-only or female-only aged care homes cater for just one cohort, meaning the home houses same-sex residents who have chosen to live in that location specifically. 

These homes often provide specialised services – they are not segregated for the sake of gender – but more so for safety and care.

In some instances, they support older people with behavioural and mental health concerns. You will find these homes are often set up to support people who have experienced homelessness and may feel more comfortable in a same-sex setting with other older men or older women.

Meanwhile, there are several homes that exclusively support men or women with dementia. This means older people can receive personalised care that specifically suits their needs and maintain strong friendships without worrying about behavioural changes that could impact others. 

Some facilities also offer short-term respite care alongside traditional aged care services if you or your carer require a short break. 

There may be other influencing factors that guide an older person into certain aged care settings, such as the loss of a husband or wife. Coupled with other health factors, you may find this is the right location to live in during your senior years.

Who can access gender-specific aged care?

As the majority of gender-specific aged care homes are targeted at residents with specific needs, you will need to meet certain requirements to be accepted. 

For example, homes for men with behavioural and mental health concerns will need to assess your needs and support requirements to make sure you fit the relevant criteria for additional specialised aged care services.

There are aged care homes for men who have experienced homelessness or have complex behaviours and health issues that may benefit from focused care. Organisations such as The Salvation Army or Anglicare may be able to help you, or someone you know, access unique men-only homes.

Men or women looking to access specialised dementia care homes will also need to undertake an assessment before being admitted, which can be done by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS, Victoria only).

The ACAT or ACAS are staffed by doctors, nurses, health professionals and social workers that work together with you to determine what aged care support you need. Their assessment will help you identify what kind of care is best before you approach an aged care home. 

You can read more about the steps to take in our article, “ACAT and ACAS Assessments’.

If you would like to find out more about local male or female-only aged care providers, you can use the service finder on You can narrow down the search and select either “Men Only” or “Women Only” filters under the dropdown “Cultural environment” menu.

To learn more about finding aged care services, you can read our articles, ‘Finding a home care provider on‘ or ‘How to find an aged care home on‘.

What are the benefits?

Living in a gender-specific nursing home provides a range of benefits through specialised services that cater to cognitive or health requirements in older people.

As dedicated men-only or women-only homes, you will find the staff have specifically been recruited to suit the needs of its residents. They are safe, secure, and can support residents through the ageing process.

These homes provide specialist allied health services and access to palliative care, specialist dementia care, short-term respite care and in-house National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services. 

The majority of gender-specific aged care homes are also smaller with an average of 50 beds to ensure residents receive the attention and care they deserve in single rooms.

You can often enjoy a range of daily activities with other residents and allied health professionals, including:

  • Cooking
  • Art 
  • Social happy hours
  • Fitness and wellbeing 
  • Shopping
  • Pet therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Hairdressing and beauty care 

Most importantly, residents remain comfortable in an environment of their choosing where they can build close relationships with other men or women, while staying connected with their friends and family.

Would you consider living in a male or female only aged care home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Finding LGBTIQ sensitive and inclusive aged care
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