Fifty of 62 applicants for residential accommodation underwent assessment at a geriatric day hospital. Twenty-five were suitable, 11 were suitable following rehabilitation and 14 were unsuitable for placement in residential accommodation. Around 35% of all applicants were not assessed. Seventy-nine per cent of assessed applicants, without dementia, either were unsure of how their application had been initiated or did not understand the implications of a move to residential accommodation. Twenty-two per cent of all applicants assessed were taking four or more drugs. To maximise the use of residential accommodation, all applicants should be assessed to reduce inappropriate referrals.