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Consumer directed care: what is it and how can it benefit you?

Consumer directed care: what is it and how can it benefit you?

Consumer directed care: what is it and how can it benefit you?

During your research of Home Care Packages and aged care options, you may have come across the term consumer directed care. Here we explain what consumer directed care is and how it benefits you.

What is consumer directed care?

Home Care Packages used to work differently. In the old system, they allocated your package to an approved provider, and you had little choice over who was providing your care.

However, in February 2017, the government moved towards a ‘Consumer Directed Care’ model. This means you have more choice, flexibility and control over:

  • the type of services you receive
  • how you receive those services
  • who provides those services
  • when you receive those services

Consumer directed care is about putting you in control of your care.

How does consumer directed care work?

To access government-funded home care, you will need to be assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. You schedule this assessment by contacting MyAgedCare and it will take place in your home.

After your assessment, you will receive a letter that tells you whether they have approved you for care and at what level. There are four levels of care:

  • Level 1: caters for people with basic care needs
  • Level 2: caters for people with low care needs
  • Level 3: caters for people with intermediate care needs
  • Level 4: caters for people with high care needs

You own this package. With the consumer directed care model, you can now decide about which home care provider you want to provide services.

How does consumer directed care impact my Home Care Package at Five Good Friends?

Once you’ve decided on a provider like Five Good Friends, you have the power to make other choices about the way you receive care.

For example, you can choose to self-manage your Home Care Package. This means you have the flexibility to choose what services and supports you need. Thanks to our expert team and easy-to-use technology, you will feel supported to manage this process yourself.

Alternatively, you can opt for a care manager, which means we help manage your schedule for you. We get to know you and find the best Helpers that match your needs and personality. We work closely with you to manage your budget, third party services and any changes to support needs.

Regardless of which option you choose, consumer directed care means you have more flexibility and control over how you spend your Home Care Package.

We work with you to create your care plan and budget.

We have ongoing care discussions with you to ensure our services meet your needs.

Our team is on hand to give you information and help you make decisions.

Our technology lets you understand how much funding you have and where it’s spent. We are always transparent about our fees and charges.

What are some other benefits of consumer directed care?

When choosing how to spend your funds, there are three categories.

  • Services to keep me well and independent. These might include personal care, such as help with showering or meal preparation, physiotherapy or speech therapy or specialist support for dementia.
  • Services to keep me safe in my home. This might be house cleaning or garden maintenance, installing handrails in the bathroom or mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Services to keep me connected to my community. This includes transport services and support to help you get out and about.

Consumer directed care means you can choose how you spend your funds, as long as they fit within these three categories and are within your budget. You just need to talk to your care manager about what you need, how it will help achieve your goals and we will do the rest.

What if I'm not happy with my provider?

Another advantage of consumer directed care is that it gives you the choice to move providers if you’re not happy. Although some providers have ‘exit fees’, they can only be deducted from your package if you have a surplus. They can’t charge you an exit fee if you have spent all your funds.

Your home care provider must disclose this exit fee in your original agreement and on their website. At Five Good Friends, we never charge exit fees, as we believe everyone should have flexibility and choice.

If you want more choice in your home care, our team can help. Call us today on 1300 787 581.

Learn more: Understanding Government funding.

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