Mapping the aged care journey to better support customers and families through the final stages of life

Arcare is a residential aged care organisation with residences throughout Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. They sought to understand and improve the experience for customers and their families entering and exiting aged care.


Visit Arcare's website
Desired outcomes

Customer experience

New Value Creation

Service innovation

  • Arcare wanted to understand what it was like to go through the Aged care journey with them as both a resident and a loved one or family member.
  • Huddle conducted extensive and deep research with residents and families and created a suite of tools to help Arcare understand the experience and to take action. 
  • The tools include an experience map showing both the resident journey and the family member journey and how they impact one another, design principles, key insights and identified areas of focus to improve experience.
  • The tools are helping Arcare staff at all levels design new experiences grounded in evidence.
Tools used

Based on the deep face-to-face and online research with families and residents we developed a suite of tools to help Arcare people at all levels connect with the research in meaningful ways. The tools included:

  • An experience map that shows current separate and interrelated journeys for residents and their family members including expectations at each stage of the journey.
  • A report that guided Arcare through the research and included letters from family members, this contained:
    • Nine core insights to direct future work and innovation in an evidence based way
    • Five design principles to guide decision-making
    • A set of key opportunity areas to take specific action on
    • A step-by-step guide to using all the tools and taking action

Together, these tools and insights help Arcare create better experiences and care for some of the most frail and vulnerable in our society.


Arcare wanted to know how people wanted to feel, and what they wanted to know, during the Aged Care journey so that they could better attract potential residents and care for both residents and their families in the journey. 

How can we understand what the experience of residents and their families is like now and where it falls short so we can design experiences that better meet their needs during exploration of aged care and through their time with us? 


We set out to understand what the current experience of aged care at Arcare is like, so that Arcare could make decisions and changes grounded in knowing what will meet people’s needs.


We approached our research with deep face-to-face interviews with residents and online research with their loved ones. Our contextual based enquiry working with residents and influencers allowed us to understand what it was like to be them and what it felt like to go through the aged care journey with Arcare.
During the synthesis and analysis phase of our research, Huddle hosted an Ideation workshop for senior leaders of Arcare’s management team, where we co-designed possible solutions to the findings we had uncovered. This session was invaluable to support the Arcare team in understanding and implementing the research within their organisation.

What we discovered through research

We discovered the aged care journey can be lonely, it’s a journey of shared grief, and that love fuels that journey. We also discovered the loved ones of the residents were not only supporting them through the experience, but they too were customers of Arcare, for the entire experience. This insight created a new journey of two experiences parallel to each other within the research, not just the resident journey with elements of the families experience. The experience of the families needed to be supported by Arcare, just as much as the experience of the resident in entering and exiting aged care.


Ageing, seeking care and death are universal experiences and every particular experience of those is unique. Clients and their families bring their entire lives to this journey. Their life experience, their cultural context, their family dynamics, their spirituality and their beliefs all shape their individual journey.

Our research helped Arcare understand what deep needs and drivers people coming into aged care have, and how they could be applied broadly across their customers. The tools we created have helped Arcare leaders and staff at all levels make changes and decisions that really deliver care and peace of mind in every action and interaction. 

The work enabled Arcare to proactively create great experiences for older Australians and their families to support them at a challenging time in their lives. 



Arcare received a four metre long experience map in addition to the report produced for them. 
This allows them to continuously check their customer experience design decisions against a tangible map that outlines the emotional and spoken responses to the journey by residents and their loved ones.

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Huddle acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the true custodians of the land in which we live and work.

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