OBJECTIVE:To report on the conceptualisation of a model for residential aged care in Australia. METHODS:Three-stage approach involving initial model conceptualisation; extensive consultation with stakeholders to test and develop the model for feasibility and acceptability; and examination of whether the model addresses circumstances that arise in scenarios of organisational failure. RESULTS:A model consisting of five domains relevant to the experience of older adults living in residential aged care-health care; social inclusion; rights; personal care and re-ablement; and dementia management. CONCLUSIONS:This proposed model of residential aged care takes as its purpose the provision of person-centred care to older people with complex health issues, requiring end-of-life care, and/or living with dementia. This includes supporting dignity of risk and quality of life and enabling older adults to thrive.