Declining investment in Australias aged care facilities could foreshadow a bleak future for the sector, a survey found this week. The study of 686 homes, conducted by business consultants Grant Thornton, is believed to be the largest ever undertaken. The results showed an overall drop in average returns in the past 12 months of 10 percent for new single-room homes; the estimated average return on investment for such facilities just 1.1 percent. Head of national aged care services at Grant Thornton, Cam Ansell, said nursing home residents wanted single ensuite rooms over shared multi-bed ones. “We’ve had a major paradigm shift in consumer demand where the expectations of the privacy and dignity and comprehensive care within these facilities means investment is significant,” he said. “Unfortunately, under the current regulatory framework the revenues you get for investing in these very expensive facilities, which are much more costly to operate, is no different.” Responding to the survey results, Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot yesterday said the federal government was providing record financial support $1.5 billion over the next five years to the aged care sector.