What Is Consumer-Directed Care in Aged Care?

Interested in what consumer-directed care is? Read this article to understand how consumer-directed Home Care Packages work and whether it's the right decision for you.

Haisey Home Care
March 6, 2024
x min read
What Is Consumer-Directed Care in Aged Care?


Consumer-directed care (CDC) refers to the process of self-managing your Home Care Package. 

When you're approved for a Home Care Package, you are presented with different management options. One of them is self-management, or consumer-directed care. 

This type of care management gives you more control over your care services and Home Care Package funding. With CDC, you can choose the providers you want, the services you need, and how much you want to spend.

If you want to know more about consumer-directed care, keep reading. In this article, we'll discuss what this type of care management includes and how it works.

How Does Consumer-Directed Care Work?

With consumer-directed care, you're given a budget for long-term care services. You can use this budget to pay for the following home care services:

  • Personal care
  • Meal preparation
  • Household chores
  • Companionship care
  • Medical equipment
  • Home modifications
  • Transportation
  • Respite care
  • Social activities
  • Nursing care
  • Occupational therapy

With this type of care, it's all about choice and control. The goal is to provide a more personalised and person-centred approach. 

If you opt for CDC, you can choose your services. This includes decisions related to daily activities, healthcare, and support services. You can also choose your home care provider

It's your responsibility to allocate your HCP funds to pay for these services.

Consumer-directed care is also flexible. You have the freedom to choose what type of care you will receive, when, and to which amount. 

You will be able to actively take part in the development of your care plan. This way, you will be able to create a plan that meets all your needs and goals. 

Consumer-directed care leads to more transparency, decision-making, and empowerment. 

What Are the Benefits of Consumer-Directed Care?

There are many benefits to consumer-directed care, including:

  • More choice and control
  • Greater flexibility
  • Improved quality of care
  • Lower costs
  • Budget management
  • Active participation
  • Empowerment and independence

With CDC, you have a say in various aspects of your plan. This includes services, providers, and budget preferences. 

It also allows for greater flexibility. You can alter your care plan as your needs change. You can also make sure your schedule aligns with your lifestyle and goals. 

Being able to alter your care plan leads to improved quality of care. You will be able to make sure all your needs are met at all times.

CDC can be more cost-effective than traditional long-term care. The reason for this is that you will be in charge of your HCP budget. You can determine which services you need and at what cost. 

Home care providers deal with all the paperwork. Taking this responsibility away means reduced home care provider fees. 

This also leads to more transparency in financial matters.

If you prefer active participation, consumer-directed care may be for you. With this form of care management, you can take part in every step of the care process.

Finally, consumer-directed care results in greater empowerment and independence. This allows individuals to maintain greater control over their lives while receiving necessary support.

Who Is Eligible for Consumer-Directed Care?

You have to be eligible for home care services in order to use CDC. 

The eligibility criteria include:

  1. Being 65 years of age or older (50 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people)
  2. Having a disability that makes it difficult for you to live on your own
  3. Needing help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating

In short, if you're an elderly person who needs help with daily living, you may be eligible for Home Care Packages. You don't have to have a disability if you want to apply. 

That being said, if you're younger than 65, then you need to have a disability that prevents you from completing everyday tasks. 

You could be an older person with a change in family care arrangements. You may have experienced a recent fall or an injury. Some people need home care services while they are recovering from surgery. 

Eligibility for Home Care Packages is determined through a formal assessment. An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) conducts the assessment. It considers various factors, including health, personal care needs, and the level of support required.

You can use the eligibility checker on the My Aged Care website to check. 

How Do I Get Started with Consumer-Directed Care?

To get started with consumer-directed care, you'll need to:

  1. Contact My Aged Care. They will be able to tell you if you're eligible and help you get started.
  2. Go through a formal assessment. This includes getting assessed by ACAT and going through an income assessment.
  3. Wait until someone contacts you. You will be put on a waiting list after the assessment. You might be on the waiting list for three to six months. 
  4. Choose a home care provider. Even though you want to self-manage your Home Care Package, you still need to choose a home care provider. 
  5. Develop a care plan. Your care plan will outline the services you need and how you will pay for them.
  6. Start receiving your care services. Once your care plan is approved, you can start receiving services from your home care provider.

The exact process will depend on many factors. This mainly refers to the type of care you need and how urgently you need it. 

If you don't want to use the consumer-directed approach, you can always change your mind. Your home care provider will be happy to help. 

What Are the Alternatives to Consumer-Directed Care?

There are two alternatives to consumer-directed care for receiving home care services. These include provider-directed care and mixed-managed care. 

Provider-directed care means that your home care provider takes full responsibility for your Home Care Package. This means that your home care provider handles:

  • Developing your care plan
  • Coordinating and delivering your care services
  • Managing your budget and allocating your funds for your care services
  • Going through the entire administration process
  • Choosing your care providers and support workers

Many HCP recipients find this option more convenient. It lets them relax and leave the financial and administrative matters to their providers. 

But others may not prefer provider-directed care because it means less flexibility and transparency. 

For those who can't choose, the mixed-managed approach is the perfect decision. This approach lets you participate to some extent, but you can let your provider handle the finances and budgeting. 

Your choice should depend on your priorities and skills. If you have the knowledge to manage your package, then self-managed care may be the right choice. 

Receive Care the Way You Want to 

Consumer-directed care is a great option for people who want more control over their long-term care. It can provide you with the flexibility, choice, and quality of care you need to live a happy and healthy life.

If you're looking for a reliable home care provider, Haisey Home Care supports both provider and consumer-directed care models. We want to take part in your home care journey, even if you want to manage your package by yourself. 

If you have any questions about our services, feel free to contact us

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