1 July 2015

1 July 2015 is the date by which all home care providers must offer their current Home Care Packages (HCP) using a Consumer Directed approach.  This is great news for older people who need support at home, but what does it mean?

In the past, people who were eligible for HCPs (by way of assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) were able to receive a ‘package’ of support with providers based on their assessed needs.  Generally, that may have included a combination of support, such as domestic help, personal care assistance, helping people get out and about in the community and respite.  Providers would work with people and send their trained staff into people’s homes to do the work. People really didn’t know how much their ‘package’ of support was worth in terms of dollars and sometimes didn’t have much of a choice as to how, when or where their support would come to them.

Consumer Directed Aged Care (CDC) has changed that.  Now, people who are eligible for HCPs are offered their package of support in a consumer directed way.  What does that mean?  It means that as a consumer, people with a package know how much money they have to spend for their home care support and they can work with the provider to choose the sorts of services and support that best suit their needs.  People can choose to use staff that are trained by the provider, or they can choose to purchase services outside of what the provider has to offer. The choice is up to the consumer.  People direct the provider as to how they would like to spend their package budget.

This is a big change for consumers and providers alike. You might like to find out more about how Consumer Directed Aged Care works and what options are available.  A good website for resources and to find out more is http://www.homecaretoday.org.au

As always, Planning for the Next Season is only a phone call away and we’re happy to talk to you about Consumer Directed Aged Care and your other options in planning to age in place at home.