The government has defended strict staffing requirements for aged care facilities as a necessary change as more centres close their doors over recruitment and cost pressures.
But the federal opposition has warned of a looming collapse in the aged care sector after providers in Sydney and Perth unexpectedly announced the closure of several facilities.
Western Australia's Brightwater Care Group is the latest operator to shut some of its aged care homes, citing problems meeting a new staffing mandate.
From July, it will be a requirement for all aged care centres to have a registered nurse on-site around the clock.
Brightwater operates 23 centres across WA, but chief executive Catherine Stoddart confirmed three of its Perth sites would close in the next 12 months.
The 75 residents at the Joondalup, Huntingdale and South Lake facilities would be relocated to other centres that met their needs and price range, she said.
"We are proud of the high level of care we provide to our residents," Ms Stoddart said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, modelling of our rosters to meet the new minimum staffing requirements has shown that our smallest facilities will not be best-placed to deliver the quality of care we pride ourselves on in a financially sustainable way."
The decision comes after Wesley Mission revealed on Thursday all three of its Sydney aged care homes would close, affecting almost 200 residents.
The Australian College of Nursing and Aged and Community Care Providers Association has warned there could be more closures in the sector due to staffing and financial problems.
Opposition deputy leader Sussan Ley said the aged care system was in crisis because of the federal government.
"Anthony Albanese ignored the experts and listened to the pollsters. He weaponised aged care for his own political advantage," she told reporters.
"He sowed the seeds of the crisis that is now unfolding across the nation."
Ms Ley said hundreds of vulnerable Australians were being kicked out of their homes because the government rushed through the staffing mandates.
But Labor frontbencher Jason Clare maintained the changes were important following a damning royal commission into the aged care sector.
"People were dying in aged care because they weren't being looked after and the royal commission recommended that there be a nurse on-site 24 hours a day," he told Seven's Sunrise on Friday.
"If my mum was in aged care, I want there to be a nurse there, so we said that we will make this happen."
Eighty per cent of homes already meet the nursing requirements while about 10 per cent have nursing staff for only part of the day, Mr Clare said.
"There's about another 10 per cent of centres where they need more time, they need more support and what we've said is, if you need more time, if you need more support, then we'll work with you to do that," he said.
Australian Associated Press